Saturday, 1 February 2014

Fringe Benefit

This week I spoke to a group of Ed students about how I use tech in my classroom, plus the challenges that go along with it. It was neat, since I was taking I4ED just last year. I've been reflecting on it and have thought of one more thing I would have liked to share.

Tech knowledge and experience does more than just engage students: it can help you become part of your school community. Things that are second nature to me, like hooking up a projector, are mysteries to others. Also, when things go wrong, and they always do, it can be incredibly frustrating. Keep an eye out and help out wherever you can. The hallmark of a good team is working together. If you can download an alternative media player for someone when Windows Media Player crashes, switch from extended display to cloned, or set up speakers, don't hesitate to help someone with it. It'll make you fast friends and one of the most important things I'm learning, as a first year teacher, is that the advice of friends who've already survived their first year is invaluable.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Tournament of Words: Update

I've found a great site for keeping track of my tournaments: Challonge.

I created an account and it lets me create my brackets in advance, randomize entries, save brackets, and choose winners for each match-up with ease. During the first tournament I had to stay by the computer to advance words through the bracket, where with challonge, I tap the match-up on the smart board and a box appears where I tap on the winner, after tallying the votes. I liked using it a lot.

I plan on mixing up the formula in the new term. Student interest in finding words has waned, but I think this could be an effective way of introducing new vocabulary for a unit. They'll vote on the words without knowing their defintions. Then, once a winner is crowned, when I ask them to learn the definitions of the new words, I'm hoping they'll have some investment in them.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Writing Hooks

I've started a short story unit with my grade 9 English classes and am starting with the first line of a story: the hook.
As a class we've gone to the library and browsed through many books finding first lines we like and dislike. We've discussed our lines with each other and come up personal definitions of what makes a good hook. We've looked at different types of hooks and have now tried our hand at writing our own.
Our hooks are based on this idea for a story: You've inherited a mysterious object from a relative you didn't even know you had. Each of us wrote 5 hooks and chose 1 that we thought was our best. I've compiled each class' best hooks into the following forms.
We would appreciate if you could take a few minutes and give us feedback on our writing.

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3