Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2nd Semester?! Already?!

I am still in shock that we are only three days away from the end of the first semester. I can not believe how fast this year seems to be flying by! I absolutely love my kids, we have a wonderful time everyday, and I honestly feel as though I am teaching content better at this time in the year than I was last year (sorry to toot my own horn!).

Before we got out for Christmas Break I got a chance to meet with the wonderful members of my Pinnacle group. (Pinnacle is our Technology program in Gaston County..that I absolutely love. Pinnacle's purpose, from the application, is to:
1      Enhance existing 21st Century professionals to work in Gaston County Schools who will demonstrate the integration of proven technology into the Common Core and Essential Standards.
2      Train participants in creating learner-centered classrooms where technology is a common tool for instruction and learning. 
3      Create a cohort of teachers who will serve as technology leaders and mentors in their respective schools and assist the instructional technology facilitators in professional learning.
4     Provide enrichment for existing technology leaders in our schools.

I was accepted into Pinnacle in the summer of 2011 and am so thankful! It has taught me so much and definitely broaden not only my use of technology, but also the students within my classroom. Without Pinnacle I feel as though I could not have opened my students' eyes into the wide range of technology we use! (Not to mention the sweet technology use we get! Check out my bonuses below!)

At our Pinnacle meeting in December we were to relate the beginning of our school year to a Christmas movie. I picked The Polar Express. I felt as though the year was flying by and I was constantly picking up students, content, material, and other joys along the way! Thinking about the ending to The Polar Express and entering the second semester, I feel as though I would like to take a minute to smell the roses. I would love for things to slow down and allow some real exploration into some topics, ideas, content, and even technology that the students are interested in. My students absolutely love our conversations and content material, but there are times when they want to dive so much deeper and we are unable to. Due to time restraints and the speed at which our Pacing Guide is taking us, I would love for our Polar Express to chill out and slow down it's speed! 

One thing students really enjoyed was their timeline creation. Here is the guidelines and rubric for which students took Ancient Mesopotamia, India, Greece, and Rome and created a timeline of events showing five significant details from each. Students really got into the project and really enjoyed showing their creativeness through Social Studies. Here are some examples: 

They turned out great! Well it is about time for me to hop on that Polar Express again! Until next time..don't forget to follow me on Twitter for daily tweets about my wonderful class, my awesome basketball team, and just amazing Cramerton Middle! 

1 comment:

  1. Love your timelines and I love your laptop storage. Where did you get that? I know how you feel about wanting to slow down. I'm thinking that I am going to have to make some serious cuts to the number of pieces I try to do in a semester so I can explore the larger pieces deeper. The MSLs in the HS were really eye opening. The "passages" were long and the choices were interesting to say the least. I love your blog by the way! It is such a cheery place to read about your adventures.