It’s back to school time in the United States, and teachers everywhere are making bulletin boards, taping down name tags, and laminating away! It’s also a time to start anew, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to try some new things. It doesn’t have to be big, but you never know what might make the most impact with your learners.
ClassDojo - If you don’t know what ClassDojo is, make sure to check out this interview with the founders on EdGamer – Episode 63: ClassDojo Part 1. It’s a great way to flip the behavior game on it’s ear. The focus of the site is on positive interactions with your students, and it provides an easy way to track those interactions across a class period or entire day. I have feeling that it will become a very integral part of my classroom this year!
Video Chat – There are so many cool ways to communicate these days, Google Hangouts and Skype are just a couple. Why not try and chat with a class in another part of the country or world. You can even call friends in other parts of your school. My kids love to use Facetime across the classroom on our iOS devices.
Project By Jen: After chatting with Jen during our latest EdCeptional Podcast (#36) I really suggest you take a look at the projects she has planned for this year! I know for certain I’ll be trying the O.R.E.O stacking project with my kids!
Learn more about UDL – I’ll admit, Universal Design for Learning is not really something you can try, it’s more of a change in the way we think about our lessons. I wrote a post that explains is more earlier this year for EdReach – What is UDL?. That will give you some background, but the real question is why isn’t this just the way we do things. We’ve spent years doing RTI, DI, and so many other acronyms, when we could reach so many more learners by adopting these principles into our classrooms. Please take a few minutes to learn more at Cast.org.
These are just a few small things you can try this year, if you aren’t interested in any of these, just try something new! Have a great year!