Tag Archives: edmodo

A head start to a new year

I finished my education degree in 1999. Back then a requirement of our practicums was to write what were called ‘reflections’ on our teaching practice. I hated the thought of writing them. Like most of my classmates, I felt that I was ready to ‘just teach’ and that writing about what I had done was just a make-work project.

However, being the good student I was (I can hear the groans that my classes would give me at that!), I always did them regardless of my personal feelings. And inevitably, after sitting down to write them, I felt like I really had learned something in the process. I liked talking about my mistakes and my successes. I liked thinking back about how to do it differently. I liked the way it forced me to slow down and really think. Now, 11 years, many different schools, varied subjects and thousands of students later, I feel like I need to return to reflections.

This is a big school year coming up for many different reasons, but for me, especially, on a personal level for my practice. The more I thought about the upcoming year, the more I wanted to challenge myself and by extension, my students, with some changes to my teaching.

First up is the adoption of edmodo. Edmodo┬áis “a secure social learning network for students and teachers”, according to their website: www.edmodo.com. After attending their online conference last week (#edmodocon), I’m even more energized to try out. I have used a google site in the past to communicate with students and a posterous blog to communicate with parents. I’m hoping to use edmodo to blend the two together. Originally I had planned to only introduce the website to my junior classes, but after the conference, I’m considering expanding to all my grade levels.

Second, I’m teaching Math 8 again for the first time in many years. With the help of a learned colleague who suggested the idea, I have decided to try flipping my math classroom. There is a myriad of websites talking about this idea at the moment, so I won’t go into detail about it (mostly because I’m still deciding on how I plan to implement it!), but a great introduction can be found here: www.flipteaching.com.

Lastly, obviously, there is this blog: this chance to reflect out loud and publicly. Honestly, I resisted the whole idea because it seems terrifying to me, but how can I, as a teacher, demand something of my students (like I do with almost any type of public display of their work, be it presentation, wiki, blog etc.) that I am not willing to risk doing myself. So, here I am, reflecting.

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