Sunday, August 30, 2015

Start of the School Year

Well the 2015 school year is underway. I hope to blog more this year than last school year, but of course, I said that last year as well ha! And I hope to have more content-rich posts instead of only linking up for Currently once a month (which is actually right around the corner!)

Here is a pic of the back half of my classroom this year that I posted on Instagram and FB. I moved my desk to the back of the room instead of the front, since we went 1:1 and I want to be able to monitor what is on students' computers during study hall or when they are quietly working/writing and I don't need to be at the front of the room.

A lot of my friends commented on liking my purple walls lol. Our only choices were purple, gold, or white. We aren't allowed to paint them anything other than those, and gold seemed too bright for me, yet white was blah. So purple it is!

On my bulletin board, I typed up a bunch of job titles and how English skills were going to be necessary in those positions. I titled the board "English in the Real World."

To the right of the bulletin board are keyboard short cuts, like Ctrl+P for print and so forth. I printed them on pretty paper and took them to Kinko's to get laminated. Since all kids have laptops now, they hopefully will come in handy.

The posters around/behind my desk are mostly from Amazon, but a couple are from other sites like RedBubble. Thank you, Amazon Prime, for getting them here before school started!

So, since we all have devices, I decided to try out Google Classroom this year. It has been a change, but I am LOVING it so far. I find it pretty user-friendly on both my end and my students' end. The hardest thing for them has been getting used to using Google Drive instead of Microsoft Office and learning how to turn in assignments in Classroom. But all classes have turned in at least a couple assignments so far, and I hardly have any problems now. If Google Classroom is an option at your school and your kids have devices, I'd really suggest checking it out. I am no expert, by any means, but I can try and answer questions you've got. I just taught myself how to navigate it, with a little help from Google Help, as well as a friend who's a librarian and knows how to use it well.

Positives to using an LMS like Classroom:
1) Easy for days I have subs! I can post all my assignments and instructions online, and students can't claim they turned something in to the sub, who lost it. They submit directly online.
2) Less paper! No lines at the copy machine!
3) Students can easily get absent work when they are gone.
4) With Drive specifically--kids can share documents with each other, for instance to peer edit papers or what not.
5) I have found grading faster so far. Now, I will say, I plan on having them turn in major essays still in hard copy because I think I will prefer that, but for short assignments or writing samples, I have liked being able to type my comments instead of writing them.

I teach mainly seniors and am loving my sections so far. We've had some great discussions and all my classes are very well-behaved and respectful. Fingers crossed that it lasts! :)

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea to have a wall with jobs needing English skills in the real world! I love it!
    Tales of Teaching in Heels