I read an amazing blog by Chase Mielke. I have included the video here on my blog. He is very thoughtful in sharing his heart with kids. I echo every part of this. Today after a science quiz my students will be reading this article or watching this video. They are then to respond with how these words make them feel. I had a student quote today how she loves that her teachers do this for her: "As long as you are in my life I'm not going to let you quit". It thrills me that she knows she has teachers in her life that won't allow her to quit. Fail yes, quit no.
It took about 8 weeks to find our groove at JMS, but I think it has definitely been found. My 7th grade science class has gone almost all digital. We still keep our ISN. We still write bellringers everyday, we still take notes. But, everyday the students come in and after they finish their bellringers they are to log in to Google Classroom and find that days assignment.
We first started off by easing into it with 1 assignment a week-our flip class assignment. It may be a ppt, video or an article with questions for comprehension. The troubles with that was with submitting the online work. That will take practice, but we will get it figured out.
We now go to Google Classroom daily for what we are doing. It is a work in progress and getting the kids trained to not just sit there is the hardest part. They still like to be told what they are doing. I am trying to stop telling them what they are doing. They are not allowed to ask what they are doing but are allowed to ask clarifying questions if something is not understood. They also are to ask 5 other people before they have to ask me. By doing this I have learned alot about details and how many I give to the students. I try and think what questions will they ask about this assignment? I also like to leave some things vague and give them ownership in decisions.
Many times a student will ask a clarifying question that I am able to answer with .... a question. They are usually able to answer it on their own and many times it causes a class discussion.
As a teacher I am loving this method of teaching.
Today, after the bellringer, the students were to start on todays reading assignment. It was our Entry Event for the new unit. During that time I was able to pull students that didn't quite get last weeks assignment and work with them. There were students that blew through todays Entry Event quickly and were able to go on to this weeks flip class. It was amazing! We had 3 different assignments going on and with each one there was learning occurring.
A great feature of Google Classroom is that I can post the entire weeks assignments on it and the students can move ahead as far as doing whatever I have posted. I love that! It is more work for me, but it is so beneficial for the students that do not want to be held back and want to keep going with their learning.
School is very different in my class. While sometimes I find myself announcing "return to your seats and get quiet" I have to stop and realize that this isn't a traditional classroom any longer. It is loud. Kids are in and out. Kids are up and down. There are headphones. There is music. They may be on the floor working or they may be in the hallway. The key is they ARE WORKING and PRODUCING!
If you haven't started using Google Classroom you are missing out!
The students will have the opportunity to compete in UIL Chess! We are very excited about this here at JMS. We started up our chess club again and we meet every Friday. We have beginners to the experienced with us.
UIL Chess is not about sitting and playing on a board. It is called Chess Puzzles. The students look at scenarios of a game and must determine the best next move. It is very interesting.
I am including the practice sights that we will be using to help learn the puzzles and see how this works!
It always makes me cringe when I see certain pages "liked", "favorited", or "retweeted" on social media sights. Pages that I might not consider appropriate for me or my child.
My thinking in this is that people know me. That know what I stand for. Would me "retweeting" a certain picture matter if my students saw it? Or even my own child? I also approach this with my own family and athletes. If you are being recruited by colleges you need to take a serious look at what you share on social media. There have been coaches who have rescinded scholarships and districts that have stripped awards because of unwise social media posts.
Another article that was brought to my attention is from The IJReview. "Under the common law, parents are responsible to reasonably supervise the actions of their children and may be held liable for failing to control conduct which presents an unreasonable risk of harm to others."
Parents, be involved! Know who your kids are talking to, know who is talking to them. If they are being being cyberbullied, talk with them about how to respond. Don't assume that someone else will step up and handle it.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month! Talk with your kids about their classmates, encourage kindness.....
There is a hashtag on Twitter that encourages girls to #gangupforgood. Check it out and remember "MEANSTINKS!"
We are in our second week of using Google Classroom. The kids are learning the right and the wrong way of submitting work. There are several ways that it COULD be done. Only one way that I will accept it to be done. It must be submitted through Google Classroom by the student, from the students account. It is all apart of the learning process. There are specific steps that are followed in class that they and their group members help each other follow. It takes practice.
The students were told today that in the short classes tomorrow they will be submitting their homework. No need to stress parents! They will get it figured out, we just need to give them space to work through it. They are doing good and it is good for them to struggle, make mistakes and then do it the right way. That is how we all learn. I admit constantly that is how I learn best. Jump in, mess up, fix it. Then I know!
Now, about our composting proposals! It has been an exciting couple of days. Our TAG students were to email our cafeteria manager and introduce our project and invite the cafeteria to join with us on our introduction of composting. I spoke with Mr. Caughey today and the possibility of composting is only a part of this. We are hoping to get some grants to go ahead and begin our garden!!! The students are SUPER excited about this prospect. (So am I.... :) )
The students were to turn in their sketch and their proposal of What we are doing, How we are doing it, and Why we are doing it. They were encouraged to have a model but that was not required. Now, there were some amazing models that students built and brought in today. I was amazed! The cool thing is that if these student projects don't "win" they will have great bins to use at their homes.
We will do critical friends on Friday and then present the projects to classes on Tues and Wednesday and then to the cafeteria manager after that. The final selection will be presented to our school board with the hopes of them supporting our adoption of the composting program at JMS.
Great job today kids!!!
I love social media. I use it often. I use it to keep up with old friends, share about my life and to learn.
It can be used for good and bad. Sadly teenagers don't see it black and white. It is mainly just fun to use for them and no one gets hurt.
My question for parents is do you check up on your students social media use? Do you make sure that their settings are custom and accounts are locked?
In a recent "Social Network Spotlight", by Gaggle Speaks, they blog about Snapchat. They list many of the pros and cons. Gaggle goes on to say that Snapchat is the go-to app for sending nude photos and inappropriate content. "The idea that content disappears quickly after it is viewed" is the big draw for the app.
In the news this weekend, from Business Insider, hackers claim to have breached the 3rd party Snapchat app and plan to release users private photos. What students need to know that nothing is gone forever. Someway somehow pictures tend to resurface. Parents, it is our job to check in on them and their social media usage and hopefully keep them safer a little longer.
Ok, we have rolled out our next project! It is a fun one. The students are designing a proposal for a compost bin. This may not sound like any big deal but here is the kicker: The students are proposing it to our cafeteria to see if we can set up a compost bin and hopeful start a garden at our school. If it survives the cut in class it will go to the cafeteria for their input and then from there to our school board to see if they will support the adoption of our composting program. The kids are super excited about building something. They are also intrigued about doing a garden. The excitement from students in class today was great! Stay tuned... (students have started using google classroom, they have access to all links and assignments) I will be adding the links to the homework page soon.
After 6 weeks, we finally feel like we are officially up and running. Now that we are there will be a few changes going on in Boyd7Science.
Instead of running assignments/class from my blog we will move all links/assignments to the homework page. This may eventually go away too because beginning Monday all students will be in a Google classroom. They will be able to log in with their Chromebooks. (These finally rolled out on Monday and we have all kids IN!) They can also access their google account from home!!!!
They are still responsible for their ISN (student notebooks) and getting notes, bellringers and TOC updates daily.
My blog will go back to talking about the "craziness" of the things we do! I can't wait to share those things.... We do have fun! Let's Do This!