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Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting out of the teaching rut!



With any job it’s easy to eventually find oneself in a rut, doing things the same way over and over. I know back when I was teaching, sometimes the pressures of grading, paperwork, and the real world meant that I didn’t try to teach a lesson differently or try something new with my students. Maybe I blamed it on the fact that I had four class preps, but no matter what the reason, it was always very rewarding to take time to try a new innovative lesson and see it work very well in the classroom.
 
As we start a new school year, there is no better time for teachers to investigate something new. And whether it is something truly transformative to teaching, or maybe just a tool to make teaching a little more efficient, any improvement is a step in the right direction.
 
Maybe a simple tool to motivate good student behavior is what is needed; then try ClassDojo. Or maybe increasing communication with students and parents is a pressing need. Tools like Remind or Class Messenger will help improve communication.
 
Want students to be more involved in class? Then give Socrative or ExitTicket a try. Is it time to find a new way to curate and synthesize web content for students or for students to do so as they learn? Then head on over and try super simple Blendspace or LessonPaths.
 
Sometimes it’s much easier to take baby steps to get out of the rut, rather than trying to climb the ladder and change everything at once. So make a new school year resolution for you or your staff to take a baby step or two on your path of improvement. For more info on these tools, view my blog entry and presentation about them.

                This blog entry is cross posted with the great folks at SchoolCIO

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Some tools to bring new life to your classroom

If your classroom is looking a bit too similar to this:


Image used with blog permission from tomfishburne.com

Then it's time to try something different.  Check out the recommendations in the presentation below.