There are so many advantages to connecting with other educators through conferences, workshops and social media. But I'm starting to see a problem.
I have too many ideas.
And not near enough time.
Don't get me wrong. It's a good problem to have. But still a problem. Here's my list of the BIG things I want to do this summer.
1. Archaeological Dig Tubs: This is #1 on the list because it's consumed my head most of the school year. Plus it effects possibilities with the other things on my list. I want to create tubs filled with a sand/dirt mixture and a variety of historical artifacts for the students to have to dig up and connect to a larger theme. The one thing about this one... money. I've written a couple grants in order to try and get some funding for this idea. If the money doesn't come, this one get's the boot. At least for another year until I try again. (See what I did there? Growth mindset!) If the money does come, I've got a lot of shopping and researching to do!
2. Skype in the classroom: I recently stumbled onto a presentation done by Dyane Smokorowski (@mrs_smoke) about the many different ways that Skype can enhance the classrooms of all ages and content areas. I love this idea. A way for my students to connect with other students around the country, experts in the field, and experience virtual field trips. So cool! I love the idea of combining task #1 with #2 by searching for an archaeologist who would be interested in participating in a Skype interview with my students...
3. Breakout EDU. This is the newest one I've come across. It is SO COOL and I'm attempting to hold back my enthusiasm because I'm approaching obsession level. I have P/T conferences tomorrow and 1/4th a school year to plan for, grade, and teach. But seriously. Creating a Breakout EDU for my classroom is all I can think about at the moment... If #1 doesn't happen this year, this one moves to the top of the list! Much easier to attempt to get funding for a $99 starter kit, than artifacts, dig tools, and dirt. Ohhh....but can you imagine the AWESOMENESS of the two combined?!?! See, this is what happens...
4. Updating Curriculum Map: I'm making changes (what else is new...) and that means some serious one-on-one time with the content I currently teach. I need to figure out a way to consistently integrate current events that parallel the historic topics we study. This is SO IMPORTANT...but I seem to continually run out of time... I'm in love with the website, Newsela. This will play into my plans in some way!
5. Classroom Organization: I moved into a new classroom in August. New as in "brand-spanking-new!" It's wasn't completely finished. I received all my cabinets by the end of November. I pretty much took the stacks and boxes that were sitting around my room and threw them in no particular order onto the shelves and in the drawers. I'm going to have to get in to my room at some point and figure out where it's all going to go. And what can go in the trash...
6. Play with and figure out Google Classroom. The more I hear about it the more I'm thinking I need to start using it. I balked when it first came out. I have gone "all in" with educational programs before that sort of fell flat. I was waiting to see if Classroom stuck around and what other teachers were saying about it. I think it's time I started figuring it out.
And I only have 3 months "off."
And another 1/4 of the year to get more ideas. Sheesh!