Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Summer of Learning and Planning

Summer holidays have begun!  I have a lot of work related things to get done this summer.  I know that I should spend the summer relaxing but plan on putting a lot of time in this summer so that my year can go better.  My plan for the summer is dedicate one week to developing each of my student's programs - putting together their binders and materials.  This way we can start full out on day one which I think is going to be important given that I am going to be working with four new learning assistants this fall (and five are coming back).

My plan is to try to blog every day about something that I'm planning, learning or a new program or book that I'm reviewing (or perhaps and old one that I haven't actually done much with but now it is important).  I'm hoping to bring my blog to life again as its been a slow stretch at the end of this past year. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Good-bye 2009-10

Today was my last day of work.  Its been perhaps my biggest learning year of my career.  Its been exhausting.  We have many great things lined up for next year and after a bit of time to rest and regain my energy I'm looking forward to spending some time making and sharing plans for the 2010-11 school year. Stay tuned!

On a fun side note: This is my 100th blog post!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brainstorming: Back to School Bulletin Board and Project

I'm brainstorming a bit on our back-to-school project and bulletin board.  I like to do something that has the students make a poster or booklet about themselves so that we can put them on display in the hallway. Our students love making these and the others in the school love reading them. This is always the most interacted with board in our school.

This year I want to stick with the movie theme.  My thought is that the board will mostly be set up before students arrive.  The title of the board will be "Introducing the Stars of L.A.P."  There will be stars and lights and clapboards...etc.  Each student will have a picture of themselves and their names with stars to highlight.  Somewhere on the board, I will also have the "Production Team" (staff) but that will be smaller - probably infused on a roll of film.

I am also going to put up a poster advertising "Living and Learning Biographies" magazine.
For the first couple of weeks, students will put together a biography magazine about themselves and these will eventually get attached to the bulletin board for others to take a look at :).
Here is an outline of the biography magazine:
Title Page: I am working on a designing a cover that will be the same for everyone except that the feature topic for the magazine will be that person with a picture of that person on the front of the magazine.  I'm going to use this site to make the cover so it looks like a real magazine:

Table of Contents: Because the amount of pages will not be the same in each student's book, I will make a template of all the sections and then the pages will get filled as the magazine is completed.

Introducing Student Name: This section will just be a general fill in of biographical information such as full name, birthday, eye color, hair color, height...etc.

A Peak in ---'s Scrapbook: This is meant to a section that is like a scrapbook and has pictures of the student from birth through to now.

Friends and Family: Just a section to highlight friends and family.

Love It or Leave It: A place to highlight things the student likes, their hobbies  and/or their interests as well as the things they just don't really like. 

Check This Out!: This is meant to a place to put information about the student including interests, hobbies, talents, things that make them unique, neat things that have happened in their lives...etc.

I Can!: Our school is big on teaching with "I Can" statements and I use them in the room for tasks that we are doing. I like to also focus students this way in thinking about all the things that they can do.  Some of this will refer to things they have learned to do in the past in our classroom.

The Last Word: Some comments from others about this person.  I will have parents, family, friends, staff...etc. write notes and these will be published.
I should have the boardmaker file to be used for this done in the next day or two and I will post it then :).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Home Stretch

June has gone by so quickly! I now only have six days of work left and only two of them are with the students. We will be finishing things up today and tomorrow and then doing all the end of the year stuff for the next four days. Its crazy how quickly this year has gone.

I have reflected much on this year as it has been an incredible growing year for me but I am still not at a point where I can put it all in to words. I think perhaps as I fall in to the routine of the lazy days of summer I will be better able to process it all and then use it to start working on plans for next year.

I'm excited about next year and have many plans... but that is for future posts!