When talking gets your down….

I’ve talked too much. Plain and simple–that’s the truth! These first few days of school my throat has hurt at the end of every day. And for me, that’s a sign of failure as far as the teaching I want to have occur in my classroom.

You see, my philosophy is that I don’t talk to the whole class. Or, at least I talk to the whole class as little as I possibly can. Instead, I prefer to talk to students individually. I can usually do this since I run my class in a semi-blended learning sort of way. ¬†However, this first week of school, we have had no computers. Blended learning without technology is almost near impossible. Also, there are so many things that I need to go over like how the grammar website works, where the books are, etc.

I do try to teach procedures and class norms in a fun, student-centered way. Day one there is no syllabus talk and I use a TLAP lesson. Day 2 is a BreakoutEDU with a short rules discussion. Day 3 was story time with students writing their own personal life themes. Day 4 was speed dating with our class movie trailer and then our infographic syllabus. Today was a lesson using Ted-Ed and student mini-interviews to talk about reflection.

However, this adds up. Even I’m only talking to the whole class for 10 minutes a class period (which means that the students are talking at least that much PLUS work time for them), I’m still talking to the whole class for 50 minutes total every day. And that’s a TON.

I am going to keep reflecting on how I can change this for next year, since every year it will be the same situation: no chromebooks until ¬†the second week of school. Most every solution I come up with for this uses technology. So, for now, I’m stuck with a scratchy throat and 50 minutes of talking total each day until they get their computers.

But tomorrow they do! And tomorrow we will learn about taking care of our chromebooks and make some awesome memes on Google Draw to teach each other about it.

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First day of school 2016!

Well everyone, the first day is in the books. I had a great and busy day. I really try to make my first day pretty interactive and fun since I know that students will maybe be sitting and listening to syllabi the rest of the day. (Side note: can we all stop doing that?!)

My first day centers around being awesome. I really want to set the tone for the year as positive and exciting, and I borrow from TLAP to make it happen.

First, we watch a Kid President video (the pep talk one). Then students make a symbol out of playdoh of what makes them awesome. They then do some sharing and write about it. Overall, it’s a great first day. Who doesn’t love Kid President and playing with playdoh?

Here’s a link to a quick video of my favorite student creation. They made a book (as a whole table!) to show how they like to read.