Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catching Up

I've been coming up to school in the morning to do a little work. I got some of my classroom set up: teacher desk, classroom library. My goal is to not stress about the beginning of the school year; it's not worth it - everything works out in the end.

I'm primarily working on my presentation for Job-Alike. I have the basic gist mapped out, but now I'm playing with options, handouts, extentsions, etc. Up until now, I thought that I would go sans technology because it can be a hassel (we have to bring our own and set it up ourselves) but it's hard for me to teach without technology. So now I'm playing with bringing it and doing a PP presentation. I have a week to figure it out, so I feel good. I just want to be careful to not stray to far from the main point: accessing memories and writing about them.

I need to get out my notebook from the summer and look at my list of things I really want to do. I find so much power in making a list and then checking off the things I wanted to accomplish in my classroom. Last year my list was really short, but they were rather large items:
  1. Using film clips to teach literary techniques
  2. Service Learning Project
  3. Turning Points

I accomplished 1 and 2, but 3 never happened. In hindsight, I don't even really care about 3 because I see less and less of a need for something like that in my classroom; it doesn't fit my curriculum. So I think this year the list will be longer, but the items are smaller. My goal this year is stress less and simplicity. I make things so difficult all the time and there's no need.

I'm rereading Notebook Know How (Buckner) and Study Driven (Ray) to get ready for the first semester.

Julie and I were talking yesterday about planning and general school stuff. We talked about giving the kids choice and we were thinking about how often we do so (a lot), but I've been thinking about these opportunities, and I'm wondering if some of these were false choices. Like they seem like choices, but there's still a lot of constriction.

I'll also be updating my TeacherWeb with one of the new templates, so I'll be saying goodbye to my beloved "Ilike" icons I took from MS Word six years ago.

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