Yes, you heard me correctly; I am a lazy teacher. Or so that’s how I feel. Being a 5th-grade self-inclusion teacher is hard. Now, I have nothing to compare this to, so I’m not saying that my job is harder than anyone else’s. I’m just saying that my job is hard. And I get lazy. I’m really hoping I’m not the only one.
So what do I mean by lazy? Well, there are days – more when it’s closer to a break – that I pull out the curriculum and do what’s next in the TE. I barely modify it, if at all. See, lazy. I hate this, but sometimes I’m tired and it takes a lot of energy to come up with engaging lessons for all areas of the day. I love Hyperdocs, Hypermaps, Breakouts, Ditch the Textbook philosophy, and all things engaging. But sometimes being an island in your own school/district is hard.
I want to BE the Rockstar my students think I am!
So, this is why I am vowing to come back from break with more gusto, enthusiasm, and most importantly, engaging lessons for the students. They deserve it! I’m finally going to start that 50 states lesson I thought up last summer, we are going to read The Mouse & the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly and the unit will include Flipgrid discussions. Science Camp is also scheduled for later in the week. And Math. I just received my copy of Jo Boaler’s new book: Mindset Mathematics Grade 5. It’s the perfect time to revisit certain concepts that they are struggling with.
No more lazy teacher! My students deserve better. I am capable of better. I will do better!
I love slides and the flexibility I have with them. I have been using them more and more, in the classroom, for something other than Presentations. I recently wrote how my students were using them to take collaborative notes. I have also used them as assessments in math and more recently as a version of Hyperdocs. One advantage to using Google Slides is that I have the capability to customize the size of the slide. This means if I want to make it the size of an 8.5 x 11 in paper and print it out, I can. Here’s how:
When open in Slides, go to ‘File’ on the Menu bar and select ‘Page Setup’:
This will open a pop-out window. The default is ‘Widescreen 16:9’. Select the dropdown menu and find ‘Custom’.
This will prompt another window which will ask the size you want. The default is inches but can be changed to centimeters, points, or pixels. Once you have your desired size, select the blue ‘OK’ button. And viola, you will have your custom size.
Yesterday I wrote about the MLK Hyperdoc my students are doing this week. Today we discovered that at least one other class is using it. While doing their work today, a student approached me asking, “Who are some of these people?” My student was on the MLK Padlet doing their assignment. I looked, and sure enough, there were names on it of students who weren’t in our classroom or school.
When I shared the Hyperdoc I forgot to unlink the padlet and make a note to create your own padlet. The other teacher must not have thought about it either.
I got pretty excited about this. THIS makes their learning even more relevant. They now have a chance to talk with another class somewhere in the US. I encouraged my students to answer questions and check out what the other students had written. Some were silly (a string of letters) and my students were disturbed by this. Which I took as a compliment. This means they know what I expect from them and that that sort of Internet activity isn’t acceptable. My students then began answering questions and reading the information.
This was such a GREAT learning opportunity for them (and me). So yes, my Padlet is a ‘hot mess’, but a wonderful ‘hot mess’!
This week we went back to school, after 3 weeks off. My partner teacher and I decided to start book studies on the 17th which left us wide open for this week. Well, we have Benchmark Assessments (I know, who does those the first week back from a break? Apparently, my district). This got me excited. I never feel like there is enough time to study some of the important people and events in our history. That’s when I decided to create a Hyperdoc! I have fallen in love with the model. It’s work on my end in the beginning, but so worth it! The experience and learning are so much richer for the students.
I have shared this out with my PLN and some might be using it. This is what we want! Sharing really is caring. As my students were working on it today, one came up to me and showed me that there were 3 ‘anonymous’ animals on one of the required documents. I said yes, that makes sense since I shared it. He was confused. I explained to him that others were looking for an MLK Hyperdoc and I shared the one I created. He was satisfied with the answer and walked away.
I LOVE that I can model a collaborative mindset for my students. They know I find Hyperdocs and activities online (and am sure to point out the author and give credit even when they don’t know the person). This is what I want my students to do in the future; reach out to others online to create better products and help one another.
If you’d like to use the MLK Hyperdoc, go for it and feel free to pass it along. Sharing really is creating a caring world!