Here’s to the new year…

The eve of the first day is upon me like an impending tsunami. Think beast of Pacific Rim, and you have it. Snot, beak, and claws and all. Fortunately I got in the seat of the Mech warriors to fight with an iron fist. Still daunting, but I feel prepared more than ever this summer.

Well I have been working what seems like decades this week with class materials, flip videos, professional development, and making sure tiny time has his locker and nametag with the big smiley face on it. God bless us, every one! 15 + hours in my room have proven some dividends as far as organization, open learning spaces, and places for lab materials to be on the spread. Not earth shattering, but I kinda like how everything has its place.

Some answers have come through from my previous post, which is nice since tomorrow is the day they come in.

1. I will be blogging, If you would like to follow the Class Science blog, I will be using Google’s blogger format. Here is the link. Swords Science .

2. Tech integration has been given a face lift and a little sauce. Our School district is using Moodle Rooms, which has great features of turn it in grading. I know its simple, but come on, its the little things. It means I don’t get truckloads of emails or google forms dumped on my digital lap. You know how disgustingly daunting it is to look at 120 emails… let alone grade, respond, and tell Steve he wrote “organism” a little wrong. That’s an awkward talk in class.

In addition to that I found out a little trick with google drive for videos. Add the video into your google drive and allow google to convert it, and you waste no space! Great if you have…. like me… 2-3 videos a week you will be using to demonstrate lessons. You can, as always, share them to students using a contact group for quick sharing. Thanks google for the free parking!

3. Flipped classroom is now reaching its second iteration for me. I have half a year of video and integration experience notched on my belt and I’m looking at more. I’m excited for the open doors, aha! moments, and “why” questions I will be badgering the kids with. I am my 3 year old daughter when it comes to the word “Why!”

4. I have a concept of “Why” now. Last year I thought flipping was just a cool way, a different way, to put myself out of the driver’s seat and give my kids a spin. Nothing more, nothing less. This spring and following summer have given me the “old soul” mentality. I know why I do lessons using the flip model.

a. Kids can take ownership of their learning- Students hate when I don’t give them an answer, but by Thanksgiving, they stop asking, and I start giving thanks. They ask more questions, but its  not the pouty “I don’t get it.” response I hear my kids make. Its the deeper questions that show they get what I’m sellin’, and that is an awesome thing. Additionally, students are earning these skills to fend for themselves academically. Independence is a good thing.

b. They see each other as resources too. Not for answers, but for perspectives, for alternative resources, and for insight. Interdependence to solve tasks is a skill we use everyday in the workplace, why should school be any different?

c. I can be a cheerleader, a mentor, and a coach of learning.  With macs at their sides, I am not always the expert in the room, but I am pretty good at finding the answers. I would be doing them a disservice if I limited their resources to what I deem appropriate.

I am excited about their blogs with flipped inquiry because blogs give students voice. It gives me a vehicle to put their projects and assessments in a consistent place. It also allows them to be transparent with what they know. This is new for me, but I have huge excitement in this area and look forward to the year of blogs I get to read.

So, without further adieu. Bring on the why’s, the who’s, the questions, the groupwork, the whiteboards, The wsq talks, the vodcasts, the laughs, the smiles, the jokes, the frustrated looks, the “I know your better than what your giving me, so I won’t let you down by letting up” talks, and the “I’m so blessed to be your teacher,” reflections at the end of the day. Here’s to a new school year.

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