Have you ever been so excited to do something with your students that you just jump in? And after you jump in, the kids have fun but what you thought would happen didn't and the product you get is a failure? Yeah.....that is what happened when I jumped into blogging with my students. So here is my tale of how I messed up and how I am fixing it.
Over winter break I was so excited to blog with my students. I couldn't WAIT for school to come around and so the first week back from break I told them we would be blogging the next week. They were excited, I was way more excited then they were and so we jumped in. I used Kidblog and signed up all of my kids, sent home a letter with information about Kidblog and how we would be using it in our classroom.
My students were working on silly animals stories and I was silly enough to not go over the rules and procedures of blogging. I let them loose and they started typing away not really knowing why we were blogging, they just knew that we were going to share our stories with family, friends, and other people online. I didn't go over procedures for how to leave good comments, or that whatever you put online is stuck online. The kids had fun though but the product was not up to my expectations.
So what do you do when you mess up and feel like the worst teacher in the world? I decided to start again and ask my PLN (Professional Learning Network). Man oh man did I find some great things from fellow class blogger Victoria who did a GHO (Google Hangout) with me and broke down how she successfully blogs in her class. She referred me to Pernille Ripp and her fantastic tips on blogging. After all the talking and reading I knew I was ready to start again.
Next week, my class and I will be using paper blogs to start our journey, we have been going over internet safety rules and how to be safe online from Common Sense Media. I felt so disappointed that I rushed in, but my kids are excited to blog again. Sometimes you have to mess up to figure out how to become a better person (or teacher).
Hope you have a great school week this week!
Let me know in the comments or on Twitter if you have ever done a lesson that was a flop and if so, how did you fix it?
We all have that great intention to make resolutions that we will keep throughout the year but come on.... our great intentions last all of two months or longer if we are lucky. I decided to change the world resolution to goals this year and that being said, I have five big goals that I would love to accomplish. Three are educational and two are personal so here we go...
1. Ramp Up My Patience-
I love my students, I really do. Just ask them and they will tell you that I care so much but sometimes I may or may not lose my cool. No screaming, yelling, or going crazy but I just lose my patience with them. I want to in those times, step back and realize they are in second grade, seven to nine years old. Such sweet little kids that I love oh so much and the brief moment of my losing my cool will be gone if I just take a deep breath. =)
2. Use More Technology-
I feel that I use a lot of technology in my classroom but I would LOVE to use it more in my classroom and use it consistently. We already use our Chromebooks daily for typing lessons, printing our AR reports, and for listening to stories. We also use Educreations on the iPad to work out our math problems. In the next year, I would love to have my kiddos to blog, type up their stories, listen to stories with Storia, and use so many of the great apps and websites out there!
3. Be More Productive-
Being a crazy extrovert and a passionate teacher, I tend to spend a lot of time focusing on my classroom and how I can improve. I am not trying to toot my own horn but I spend so much time on my classroom and thinking about my kids that I never get me time. Or me and family time and this is something I need to change. I am going to stick to my strict 4:30 rule; Leave at 4:30 (exceptions include report card time and sub plans).
4. Connect With More Educators-
I love connecting with educators but once things get crazy with school, I tend to stop blogging, stop using Twitter, and also stop listening to my favorite podcasts. I want to dedicate some time each day to take a break from the norm and spend more time connecting with my fellow educators.
Lastly, I'm sure that a lot of people have this goal/resolution so I won't go into detail ;)
5. Budget My Money-
I know this is a popular one but I want to become better at balancing my money. I am in the process of getting a house, growing up, and all that jazz (Being old stinks sometimes). I love using Mint.com as I have tried many other ways of budgeting and this is the only way that seems to work.
These are a few goals/resolutions that I figured I would be able to keep.
What are your goals for this year? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section!
Lots of love and I hope you celebrated the coming of the new year in style!
Sara Boucher is a Robotics and Computer Programming Teacher in Los Lunas, NM who is developing her own set of super geeks.