Sunday, August 11, 2013

The night before school and all through the house....

Everyone in my house is going about their normal business and I am preparing for the first day of school.  Don't be alarmed!  I've actually been preparing for this day all summer, now I'm running over everything in my head.  Things I hope I don't forget, things that I want to add, and things that I'm hoping will help my day be easier.

This year I am incorporating new apps in my room.  First up for classroom management is Class Dojo:

You can click on the Dojo icon to take you to their webpage, but in a nutshell it is a way for you to document student behavior that the students can view daily as well as the parents.  Students are rewarded with points for good behavior and negative behavior takes away points.  Students who reach a particular amount of points each nine weeks will have the chance to earn homework passes.

Next up is Doceri:

Doceri is an app for my iPad that will allow me to link to my classroom computer, therefore linking me to my Smart Board.  Last year I had a hard time with classroom management.  The principal offered to come in and observe, but of course they are all golden children when this happens.  Instead I set up my iPad and secretly recorded one of my more out of control classes.  This was to be viewed by me and only the principal so she could critique me and point out my weak areas for improvement.  Lo and behold on the video each time I turned around to work a math problem on the board, the students began to act crazy.  Little things like hitting each other with pencils, smirks, comments, but I even had two students who stood up and did a little dance.  Just as I would start to turn around, they would hurry and sit back down.  Enter Doceri.  Doceri will allow me to work those problems on my iPad so that I never have to turn my back, but what I do will be visible on my Smart Board for my students.  I won't need eyes in the back of my head anymore! 

For those that don't know, I work in a private Catholic school.  I really was blessed and felt God was putting me right where I needed to be however, my first year of school I did everything I could just to survive.  I really thought it was cool that we prayed in school, before every class, and we can talk about God whenever we want.  I really wanted to integrate God and the Catholic faith into my classroom.  I didn't do so well the first year, but this year I want to do much better.  I've always read that those who write down their goals have a higher percentage rate of success, so the night before the new school year starts, I want to write down my goals for this school year:

1.  Better classroom management.  Start the year strong and remain consistent throughout the year.

2.  Incorporate new Common Core Standards throughout my lessons. 

3.  Involve student participation in finding a patron Saint for our classroom.  Learn about this Saint and incorporate this learning into our room.

4.  Integrate the Bible into my lesson plans. 

5.  Be more organized. 

6.  Write more often in my blog.

7.  Bring less work home and spend more time with my own children this school year.

Those are the big seven, and you know seven is a lucky number!  I'm making an event on my calendar to reevaluate how I'm doing with my goals mid year and at the end of the year.

To all of those starting back to school tomorrow or in the new future best of luck to you!  God has blessed us with another day, so let's make the most of it!