Sunday, August 07, 2016

Classroom Tech Tools

     There are still EIGHT days left until I can get back into my classroom and begin setting up for the new year! *insert stressed expression here* In a perfect world I would have loved to have access through the whole summer so I could work at it casually since I am beginning from the ground up after returning from maternity leave.

     In my first year I had access in the middle of July which worked perfectly; I was set-up and ready to go a week before school actually started and I could relax before the craziness began.

     In my second year I didn't really change much in my room so a lot of my content prep was simply done at home and I spent about a week cleaning and organizing for the year.

     This year the custodians are not only doing the floors in my room but also repainting the walls and installing new white boards... which is awesome because everything will be new and fresh but it also sucks because now I have to wait forever before I can do any work in the room.

     Jaxson is still nursing regularly as well so when I do gain access to my room I plan to do so after he goes to bed in the evening (at 7pm) so that I can work for longer stretches than if I were to attempt to take him with me during the day; I foresee some late nights in my future!

     In the meantime, I have been doing as much work from home as I can think of, including:
- prepping course content, updating course outlines, etc
- prepping furniture for my flexible seating options (more info on that in the future!)
- creating supply labels
- revamping classroom posters
- making endless to-do lists

     I have also been getting some of our classroom tech tools updated and organized for the year. This includes:

CLASSROOM WEBSITE

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     Our website's home page got a facelift for the fall and I've been updating our "students", "parents/guardians" and "about Mrs T" pages to reflect new information for the 2016/17 school year. Our website is primarily a static source of information but it does house all of the links for any videos, websites, online labs, notes that I share during the year.

     You can check it out at: http://thompsonclassroom.weebly.com/

REMIND ACCOUNTS
ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     I use Remind in all of my classes to communicate with students and parents/guardians. Depending on the grade level and subject area our correspondence includes:
- general school reminders
- prompts on what supplies are needed in class for a specific day
- reminders about upcoming assignments/tests
- classroom instructions

     I created new accounts for each of my classes for the upcoming school year and made posters on how to sign-up for the service using screenshots from the Remind website and clip art from Creative Commons. These posters will be included in an interactive "Connect With Us" bulletin board outside my classroom but the sign-up information is also included through our classroom website, course outlines, and emailed out to parents. 

CANADIAN HISTORY BLOG

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     Back in November I shared that I was going to be using blogging in my Grade 11 Canadian History class. Although I have blogged with my students in previous years this year our blog is going to be much more purposeful, will serve as a form of summative assessment, and be completed cross-curricularly with their English teacher. I have set-up the basic framework for the blog already and am slowly adding exemplars of the various blogging prompts I will be asking for throughout the course.

     You can check it out at: https://canadianhistorytoldbyus.blogspot.ca/


CONNECT WITH US POSTERS

     
ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     In addition to our classroom website and blog (both shared above) I also maintain a classroom YouTube channel that features videos created by students as well as comprehensive playlists of videos shared in various classes. As a way to maintain all of these resources I have an interactive "Connect With Us" display (mentioned previously) that features:
- the tech tool
- applicable links
- a QR code that can be scanned and take you directly to the resource

     The image above is the set-up I had created in previous years. I now have a large bulletin board outside my classroom where I will relocate this information to. I've updated the posters to include our new Canadian History blog.

     The posters were made using clip art from Creative Commons and QR Stuff.

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