Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back to School

So, I've taken a bit of a break over the two weeks of school holidays. I've read, played computer games, read some more, gone shopping, slept in, taken my ballet classes and generally had a great time. But, alas, it is time to return to school.

I'm both excited and a little nervous about the coming term. Basically, I'm making the biggest change in my teaching since I began three and a half years ago. Fed up with the size of my classroom and filled with an urging to 'do things better' I've reconfigured my classroom, making it less centralised. Basically, this means that the attention has been drawn away from the blackboard. Instead there are small groups of seats, some individual learning areas, even a couple of desks set up to enable cooperative computer work.

My moving the attention away from the blackboard, I've been able to move my desk to a better place, where I have access to the power for my computer. In my old set up, it would have been at the front of the room, which I didn't like, but now it's just part of the room.

Other changes include extending the classroom library, creating a bigger sitting space, and giving better visual of the door (too many polite visitors wait near the door and we couldn't see them).

Of course this change means I have to change the approach to teaching. No longer can I bring all attention to the blackboard. I have already allowed for this in reading and writing with readers and writers workshop, but I'll need to continue to think about this when working in maths and other subjects.

This change also meant I needed to think about how to use this blog. The best way I can see is bringing it along on the ride with me - focusing on some successful lessons, reflecting on where things could work better.

What changes do you make when you come back from holidays?

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