Sunday, September 7, 2014

We're Baaaack!

A new school year always comes with new ideas, new excitement, new students, and new personal goals. One of my goals this year is to blog more often! I have probably said this before, and I don't know if I will be able to keep up with what I would like to do, but I am going to give it a go.

This semester I am teaching Grade 9 Academic Science, Grade 11 University Physics, and Grade 11 Workplace Math (Math for Everyday Life). I am continuing to work on my flipped class this year with the two former classes mentioned and am hoping to build on things that I tried last year. My Grade 9s are working with some videos that have questions embedded via EduCanon (this is new for me) and I hope to developed a lot more in-class tasks for my Physics kids this time around. I have all three of my classes on Edmodo this year as well. I really liked the idea of the kids having App access to our class website. So far so good.

This week I introduced the concept of the video lesson and put a focus on note-taking and the importance of taking the time to process the learning by summarizing and questioning. My Grade 9s had the opportunity to watch a couple of videos and note take in class as well as doing one at home (they won't likely have this concentration of "lessons" throughout the semester) and my 11s got to work at their own pace this week through a scientific numeracy introductory unit.

I am trying to gamify my workplace math class somewhat this semester to engage the group of students more effectively than I did last semester. I made use of Kahoot on the first day of class and hope to use this more in the future. I am also trying to turn the class into a "Game of Life" of sorts - each week I am hoping to come up with 6 scenarios related to what we have learned that week and they will roll a die to see what happens to them. They created avatars this week to introduce themselves to the class including their goals for after graduation. They were very honest about what they wanted and posted the resulting link to our Edmodo site. Here is one of them.

One last big change I have made in my approach to the flipped class this year is that I am hosting a parent info night early on in the semester so that parents can come in to get more information and voice their concerns before we get too deep into the semester.

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions your input would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers to a great new year!

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