I spent the last week vacationing in San Diego with my family. We enjoyed the weather, the zoo, the U.S.S. Midway, and much more. As soon as I got home today, I wanted to head over to school. We weren't allowed in our rooms until this week, so I wanted to get in there as soon as I got home to get a handle on what I need to tackle in the next week!
I found a few changes are under way for 13-14. First of all, a new interactive whiteboard system was hanging on the wall. Surprise! I had a SMARTboard that never truly cooperated with my computer, so I called it the "dumb board" and used it as a screen mostly. After countless failed lessons ("OK, everyone, it looks like my computer's frozen, so I'll just switch over to a paper copy and the document camera..."), I threw in the towel and I don't think I used it once last year. It was about 8 years old, so I suppose it was time for a modern replacement. I just didn't know I was getting one! Now we'll be trained next week how to use these darlings. I'm hoping we get some new software too; the SMARTnotebook software was never my favorite.
We're becoming a PBIS school, so we're going to have a school-wide "acknowledgment" system instead of grade-level incentives. It sounds really promising, taking the better aspects of what we did before and making them consistent throughout the school. I think we'll be getting rid of our grade-level economy as it would be largely redundant. That's a bit sad, but it had its flaws, so I'm happy to try something new.
Oh, and I totally rearranged my classroom. I moved my desk to a different corner, put some cabinets in different spots (they're large and on wheels), and still have no idea where my document camera should live. Right now, I think I want to try to keep my old projector to use with it so I can project from my computer and document camera simultaneously. Good idea? Bad idea? I'd love input.
Other big things on the horizon for 13-14 are:
1. NBCT process
2. Teaching the new Common Core for 8th grade math (and refining the CC Algebra I course I taught last year)
3. Implementing Interactive Notebooks for the first time
4. Continuing my role as STEM representative for my school and presenting follow-up inservice on STEM/PBL to the rest of the staff.
Bring it on, 13-14!