My reaction when I realized there was only one week of summer vacation left . . .
So, with the realization that I would be heading back to work (fully immersed, I should say . . . I have been going in during the summer for a few hours here and there), there are a few things I’d like share. These aren’t really “classroom hacks” in a sense, but there are a few things I use in the classroom that’s based on technology.
I think the Splashtop App is a very useful tool, especially if you use an iPad (or even iPhone) in the classroom and if you have an Interactive Whiteboard you can sync it with. It’s very convenient since the Splashtop App essentially streams your desktop onto your iPad, so you can manipulate your ActivBoard on your iPad. It’s very handy during a presentation so you can walk around the classroom to monitor behaviors if necessary.
This website is accessible for both iOS and Windows systems. You can also adjust any sort of discussion or conversation topic within the site itself after you’ve set up something for the students to talk about.
I don’t use this often, but I do introduce it to the kiddos. If someone from the class has a chance to work on some enrichment activities, sometimes I let them try to create a text message conversation between any of the historical or literary figures we’ve been studying.
Those are just three of the things we try to incorporate within the flow of the classroom. The Splashtop App is probably the one I’ve used the most for this past year, especially since it allows me to roam the classroom instead of just standing in front of the class during a Prezi.
Any other teachers out there have ideas to share? 🙂
Photo a Day
Here are some of my favorites from the past week in terms of photographs. I feel I’m getting “somewhat” better at photography, though I still have loads to learn.
With the new “balanced-calendar” scheduling, teachers report back during the first full week of August, which leaves me with little over two weeks left before going back to work.
While it’s a bit disappointing, I’m fine with coming back to work. Well, for the most part. I’ll miss the idea of being able to sleep in (honestly, even during the summer, I still manage to wake up at around 6 o’clock or even 5 a.m.!) but I’m also looking forward to helping out with another class. Last year’s class manage to come together for the most part and I was extremely proud of how they managed their growth during the course of the school year, both academically and as citizens of our community. It was absolutely fantastic to see. The challenge, of course, is to see if you can do it again. That’s always a great motivator for me.
Anyway, to continue with the summer!
But first, another disappointment.
I was planning a little trip to Los Angeles to visit friends. I was going to leave this week in fact. I was excited by the opportunity to hang out with some of my oldest friends, taking in the sights and sounds of Southern California. But sometimes, the best laid plans of mice and men . . . often get small chunks of rock thrown violently against the windshield of your car, enough to where is breaks the first layer of your windshield to cause a splinter pattern of cracked glass that’s beyond repair. The only option is to replace the windshield and the replacement windshield isn’t coming to the glass installation company until later this week.
So much for the trip.
Anyway, on to some other, more positive things!
For this entire year, starting on January 1st, I’ve made it a goal of mine to take a picture for each day of 2014. In retrospect, I should’ve been writing on this blog the entire time I was doing it, just to explain some of the things that happened to me as I was exploring Reno, Sparks, and both Nevada and California. So I think I’ll do that. Maybe not everyday, but on a day where there’s more to the picture, where the story behind it needs to be told.
Last weekend was the annual Art Club Field Trip to the Nevada Museum of Art. It was also the first time Room 55 Students had a lesson taught to them by one of the docents of the Art Museum. Normally, I’d take the students through the museum itself and then have lunch at a local restaurant. This time, however, the Nevada Museum of Art was kind enough to let us participate with the guided tour and time within their studio. A big shout-out to the Nevada Museum of Art.
If you’re a local or just a resident of Washoe County or the surrounding areas (Carson/Douglas . . . where you at!), I definitely recommend visiting the Museum.
Currently, the museum is showcasing two things:
- There is a collection on loan from the Haukohl Family who apparently own the largest collection of Baroque Pieces in the United States. Very impressive collection.
- There was also a collection from Doris Duke’s home in Hawaii. Now known as Shangri-La, it is a center for the study of Islamic Art and Culture.
Funny thing about that . . .
. . . I used to live in Hawaii and had no freakin’ clue this was there! Of course, I was probably occupied with doing 10-Year-Old Boy stuff when I lived in Hawaii, but still! Definitely a place I want to see if I manage to make it back to Hawaii 🙂
Anyway, I thought the visit went great. It was awesome to see as many students come to the field trip during the summer, especially some of the students who haven’t been in my class for a few years! However, once they’ve gone through the class, they do have that privilege of coming back on the trip, if I manage to stay in touch with them!
Anyway, we finished our trip with the Art Lesson, which centered around creating mandalas using a heavier weighted foil paper. There was also talk of geometry, especially defining asymmetrical design. I was happy the students could define “symmetrical” and sort of arrive at the conclusion that “asymmetrical” mean it wasn’t. As far as the embossing lesson itself, I’ve seen done before with embossing dragons (which I think I’ll do as a lesson next year) but this was a great application as well!
Naturally . . . I took some pics of the Art Project as well 🙂
We finished the day at My Favorite Muffin and Bagel 🙂 In all, a very fun little excursion into the city. I just hope the kiddos had some fun with it as well.
Now . . . it’s time to travel. And I think I’ll write more on my “Photo a Day” deal 😉