Wednesday, July 28, 2010


There hasn't been a lot of activity on here since school got out for the summer, but my weekly views have remained pretty consistent. I've been working for the recreation department of the town I teach in, and spend my days playing dodgeball/mat-ball/etc, going to the beach, and taking field trips with ~30 middle school's a blast! Reading, going to the Y, and watching Le Tour have also consumed my free time.

I've also been working on my own classroom website, and it's coming along quite nicely! I'm hoping this will serve multiple purposes during the school year, and I'm excited to have this resource ready for September.

I'm hoping to post one or two "recommended reads" during the rest of the summer. Expect many more updates during the school year as I try out new lesson plans, interact with colleagues, and begin graduate work.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thinking About Next Year

With my second year of teaching now over, I've made a list of things I want to work on before the start of next school year. Teaching is an ever evolving process, with no lesson ever going exactly the same way as before. I have the luxury of teaching each unit twice (for seventh and eighth grade) and three times (during sixth grade) during the school year due to our trimester schedule. So, I essentially have a "first day of school" multiple times during the school year, a luxury not afforded to my colleagues teaching year-long courses.
  1. Adjust to the new rotating schedule. My school is switching to a rotating schedule next year, which will increase the amount of time in each class, but will drop a period everyday. This is something that I'm looking forward to but that will initially cause a substantial amount of confusion. For the first two trimesters, I see classes every other day; during trimester three I see them every day. I'm going to have to be on the ball so I can know which classes I have on what days in advance. My plan book is probably going to be color coded next year!
  2. Make my classroom operate more smoothly. By this, I mean minimize interruptions to learning time. Generally, my students know the routine: they walk in, read the Smartboard and complete an activator while I silently take attendance. But, there are other things I'd like to work on. I have a few ideas floating around in my head that I plan to try out next year. I'm also going to consult some resources online and in some books I have for other ideas that could be useful.
  3. Activators & Summarizers. If these are to be used correctly, these could take quite some time. Currently, I use activators on a regular basis, but not summarizers. I'm hoping to utilize the extra ten minutes in each class afforded by the new schedule to really focus on how I begin and end my classes. Ideally, I also have a full, class-length activator for each unit as well. This might be more time consuming initially, but could save time in future classes do to not repeating information.
  4. Involvement in Professional Organizations. I will hopefully be presenting with a classmate of mine from Springfield at the MAHPERD conference in November, if our presentation is accepted. I'd like to try to take a more active role in MAHPERD and eventually AAHPERD. I have no intention of serving on any committees or anything at this point in my life, but simply becoming more of an advocate through means offered by both organizations is something I'd like to take on.
  5. Virtual Classroom? I'm trying to work my way through Moodle and different wiki sites in order to add an online component to my classes. I would post handouts, homework, and additional resources for my students here, and maybe put up discussion questions. I've also considered Google Sites, but Moodle is more along the lines of what I'm looking for.
This list is not set in stone and I'm not setting any due dates for accomplishing what's on this list. As I mentioned earlier, teaching is about evolving, and this list itself will evolve. As I work on the different items on this list, I'll post about what I'm learning and how I'm planning on using that in my classroom. I am still working on a post about condoms in Provincetown, but it's summer, so...check back soon!
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