Thursday, September 6, 2012

Exhausted and Loving It!!!

Well we are three days in and actually the word exhausted is probably an understatement.  One promise/goal/resolution I made to myself was that I would blog and reflect a lot this year.  I worked over the summer at developing the habit and it has grown on me, but I am at that point now of whoa, so much going on where do I start.

I will start with the whole "flipping" situation since that was what I did most of my research and planning on over the summer.  So far all I have done is told the kids that they will be watching videos as a portion of their homework and doing most of the hard problem solving in class.  They didn't seem worried, concerned, or really any emotion, it was kind of like "OK, whatever, that's cool."  I did have them watch a "how to sign up for Edmodo" video that I made with Screencast-o-matic, and they liked it, they are LOVING Edmodo which makes it really fun. They are posting like crazy already.

A while back I shared a bunch of videos and info with my team and so far the 7th grade ELA teacher is gung-ho and hopping on board.  We are going to make a parent video together which we will show at back to school night.  It is so exciting seeing someone else get as into it as I am.
I haven't made my videos yet though...  I am behind on this and I want them filmed 2 weeks in advance, that is my goal.  I plan on having a marathon recording session over the weekend.  I'm not too stressed about it though because I plan on keeping it way simple.  My reason for flipping is to free up class time to get the students to do more work.  The biggest time killer I've found is to be when students copy notes (definitions and such) off the board.  So, my videos are going to be basically just vocab and maybe one example.  We will still have a whole class mini lesson each day.

This week I've been teaching them procedures and focusing on working collaboratively.  In an effort to practice I have them discussing their summer projects and I have been pleasantly surprised by how engaged most of them are!  They are still on their best behavior and haven't begun the ritual of testing me yet, but so far the ability I see in them is much more than what I've worked with in the past, so this is exciting.

Since I mentioned behavior, I will address what has been happening in that area.  This is technically my second year teaching, I needed a lot of help with classroom management, I am the momma bear, and love all the kiddos so they took advantage of me.  Last year was better than the 1/2 year I had when I started, but I still needed work.  The nice thing is that I notice I am doing things a lot better so far.  Its so cool when I think  "ooh last year I wouldn't have handled that the best way, but NOW I know better!"  It is still the first week and I know they are on their best behavior. However, I do see behaviors and attitudes that I like much more than I did last year.  There is only one class I am worried about, and I told them straight up today that they are being warned as a class to watch it.  I think they got the message.  Oh and a student from my homeroom had a rough day, attitude from the very minute he walked in I gave him his talk and warning and then found out he was rude to other teachers, so no playing around, called home and having a parent meeting tomorrow.  I hope that little story gets spread around to the kids ;)  One of the things I told all of them is that I will have all of their parents on speed dial.

Well I am beat and my daughter is at the finals of Americas Got Talent with friends so I am going to watch it and hopefully spot my girl on TV!

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