A Year Full of New “Stuff”

As I spend a few minutes reflecting about the past school year, one word comes to mind – NEW.  I don’t know that the there have been very many constants this year at all.  I look at this with mixed emotions – there are positives to change and some negatives.  I know that many of the changes I’ve faced this year are, or will be, positive changes.  However, there have been so many times that I’ve begun to feel overwhelmed with the changes.  I know that implementing any change is a journey and I need to remind myself of that . . . on a regular basis!  When I think back to what I didn’t know in September – I’m happy to find that I do know more now so I guess I’m headed in the right direction!!

NoteMaster Lite

This is an app I saw on tv that has actually turned out to be quite useful!  NoteMaster Lite (the free version) is a word processing type app that syncs with Google Docs.  I’ve found that when I’m wanting to create a document on my iPad or my iPhone, its can be difficult to use Google.  Although you can’t share your NoteMaster Lite document with others until you sync it with Google Docs, it is more user friendly for creating the document.  I’ve shared with app with some of my students and they’ve told me that they like it for taking notes in class and creating documents that they want to keep but don’t necessarily have to share with others.

Old Dogs and New Tricks

Oh – have you heard about the latest, greatest thing that will make your life easier?  Very often I choose to ignore these claims and stick with what I know but last year I decided that this was going to the year that this “old dog” learned some “new tricks”!  Everywhere I turn now, it seems that I’m hearing about something new – this leaves me with many thoughts and emotions.  Relax … take a deep breath and remember you can’t learn it all at once – I say to mylself again.  What, another new app – I haven’t figured out the last one yet.  How do I keep up – or do I even try?  Everyone must feel this way at some point – right?  Learning is not always easy – that’s what I tell my students and yet I feel like I need to be told that too.  Maybe I’m not the only one feeling this way though – I would feel better if there were others.  Each journey must begin with one step and I believe I’ve made that first step in the right direction.  Does anyone else ever feel like me . . . . . overwhelmed?

A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words

Recently, we had Grade 8 students working in small groups create cyberbullying presentations to share with our Grade 5 and 6 students.  While they presented to their own LA classes, I recorded their audience particpation on my iPad.  It was AMAZING!  At first students were “performing” for the recording but eventually they forgot I was there.  The data I collected was fabulous.  For the vast majority of our students it reinforced our perception of their listening skills but for some it was eye-opening.  When I shared some of the recordings with individual students they were unaware of their behaviour – they really did need to be able to see it to believe it! A picture is worth a thousand words!!