Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exploring New Robots

As the school year comes to an end, I'm looking into radically upgrading our robotics component of class. Here is one of the robots I'm looking to purchase this school year. They are made by Wonder Workshop and offer a variety of teaching resources.

I don't intend to purchase "Dot," but do want several "Dash" robots.

Do you have any experience with robotics and students? What would be your greatest teaching concern?

Thanks for sharing!

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Hiatus with Purpose

Admittedly, the school year came around and *poof!* no more posts or products have appeared in my little corner of the internet. While I could make excuses (and in a way I am)... it boiled down to moving classrooms, a new teaching environment, and finishing up my teaching credential.


Despite the fatigue, it was so rewarding!

Finishing my teaching credential consisted of a process called "induction" in California. I am oh so happy to have accomplished this goal of mine so I wanted to share three highlights of the experience!


1st Highlight: My induction program helped me implement diverse strategies I would have put off until I was more "experienced" (when does that even happen?).

My favorite implementation had to be the "exit ticket." Previously, I had written this type of strategy off as something that would only work for teachers who had a significant amount of time for their lesson - and with resources like paper and pencils! However, I found that my smartboard was a great resource for a quick exit ticket. Here's an example:

Students were asked for "key words" for internet searching.

2nd Highlight: I was taught to seek out good resources. An example would be this article of 10 Tips for New Teachers.

3rd Highlight: I grew in a definite area of weakness - assessments. Gah! Grading for a computer class was so scary to me...do I give grades for creativity? Behavior? My induction program helped me to realize that structure for my assessments (as well as including informal assessments) is so important for staying level-headed about those scary stacks of (digital) papers to grade!


Even though I had initially dreaded having to do more to clear my credential, the induction program was rewarding because of how it helped me change my own perception of my own teaching. What felt like failures at the start of my teaching career now feel like bumps along the dirt road that is teaching. It helps inspire goals for my teaching future - specifically, continuing to be adventurous in my teaching practices. Why not make this learning thing fun, right?

Please share a meaningful take-away you remember from your first years of teaching! Where did it come from?