Friday, November 7, 2014

November -- Time to take a deep breath and do what I can!

I know that I say this every year, but I really can't believe how fast time goes and how long my 'to-do' list feels. The last two months have been a challenge. My class makeup is very different with various needs that is requiring me to go about my instruction differently. I am so thankful for the technology that makes my life easier and the opportunities that help increase the motivation in my scholars.

Here is a quick and easy list of what I have done in my class the last 6 weeks and the successes and failures that came with it! :)

Google Classroom - My life from an organizational stand point, just got easier!

  • I love that Google Classroom shares documents with my students quickly and avoids the whole seeing who did, or did not, share their document with my correctly. I was using forms in the beginning of the year and was feeling frustrated at the amount of time spent reminding students how to copy links and share their docs so that I can view and edit them. 
  • I also like that my drive is now automatically organized for me and I don't need to go through the 'shared with me' files as much. 
  • My students like seeing when assignments are due and what they have to work on. I think this helps with accountability.
  • I would like to use Google Classroom more to differentiate assignments, but I am still thinking about how that would look.
  • I am still learning how to manage the grades with it and the flexibility to keep assignments pass their due dates.
  • My challenge is around determining when it is best to use my website versus Google Classroom.
Writing Partners - We now have a bigger audience!
  • This is my first year sharing our class writing with a 4th grade class in another school. My students and I really enjoy seeing what others are doing and determining what we are doing well and what we need to try and improve.
  • The bigger audience has increased my writer's desire to monitor their work they are publishing.
  • The use of different reviewers and their comments helps make my writers feel more accountable to their work.
  • I like that I can use the writing partners as a platform for encouraging my students to have a voice and use it wisely.
  • My challenge with this setup is that I don't have enough time to really put what I'd like into it.