ok, this is not rocket science and i learn over and over again that i need to use my resources wisely, instead of trying to recreate the wheel. while some of my lessons are damn original, while some of my practices are cool, i am part of a body of intelligent, sentient beings who try daily to connect with their students, and i am not a genius, or a pioneer. anyway, one practice i want to persist at this year, to see how it affects my organization and my students', is to keep a master notebook, which contains all classwork, vocabulary lists, free writes, basically anything the students write... i'll write too. many teachers have done this before and it will be a challenge for me to really keep up daily... to do each free-write and assignment before them, to know how it feels to do the work, and to be able to estimate the amount of time that it will take them in a more accurate way. our periods have been cut short this year, so every minute counts and i don't want to waste them. I also want to be clear about my expectations this year, and their notebooks were not up to par last year. I want to see if me modeling this notebook will help them keep up with and organize their work.
here is my intro page for the notebook (which i won't really advertise, we'll see if they read it):
Hey there. This is Lauren, one of your ELA teachers. This is my fall 2010 notebook. Everything you do for my class in your notebook, I will also do in this one. I am doing this because I want to show you that I'm invested in the work I give to you. I also want to be clear about my expectations of your notebook work, so I will show you here what I expect. Please know that the freewrites will be different, because that's your writing time to focus on what you think, believe, dream or draw. i'm going to try to keep up, but there will be times when I might ask for your help, too. We can help each other become more organized. I 'll be the first to admit that I need some help sometimes.
So yeah, come look for this notebook if you're absent, to figure out what you missed, and please let me know if i'm missing anything. I'm going to try and record all freewrites, class activities, brainstorms, graphic organizers and grammar lessons/practice here. I'm so looking forward to learning with you, class of 2014! Love, Lauren
if only i could revamp my personal life the way i am my new classroom. i am chanting like crazy and praying for patience. i will need it, but life is beautiful and everything is perfect.