Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Excitement Levels Are at a High

When I was at FETC in Orlando last year, I used my long neglected Twitter account to try to win some contests. I had no idea how much impact this would have on my teaching. I had people follow me, solely because of what I tweeted - and I became interested. I started to follow some educational hashtags (#edchat, #edtech), and the learning began. I have never seen the volume of good ideas, sharing, and affirmation in my teaching career that I have during a Twitter ed chat. Since then, I've started to follow so many different chats, and I've gotten so, so many ideas. This blog is going to be a place for me to share how they're working out. The first thing I'm planning to do this year is to step up Genius Hour. I've got a page to share information about what Genius Hour is, so I won't say much about it here, other than it's an opportunity for students to choose the direction of their learning, and a chance for me to learn more about my students. Last year, we tried it out after FCAT, and it was fantastic. This year, we'll be doing four rounds of Genius Hour, with one project each quarter. I'm so excited to see what my new students come up create. My next project is working with an open plan classroom with less desks. Instead of having assigned seats, students will work where they're comfortable (and successful) at one of the many seating options in our room. We'll have bar stool seating, a standing desk, a loveseat, floor cushions, a bean bag, a meeting table, or an individual desk. Last year, whenever given the opportunity to work together, my students took to the floor, and they did a great job. If they're achieving, why not allow them the comfort I would like to create, to read, and to learn? Once my classroom is setup, and throughout the year, I'll write about what's working, what needs tweaking, and I'll share pictures. Lastly, I've set a goal to start a St. Augustine EdCamp this fall. I'm working on putting together a team to do planning. Soon we'll pick a date and start organizing. I'm excited to see more collaboration between my students in class, and our St. Auggie teachers at an EdCamp. There are so many great ideas out there, it's time to share.