Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And we're off!

So, school has started and life is busy again!  My students will be writing a weekly blog...as soon as I set up the classes once the kiddos stop moving around.  In the interest of trying to motivate my students to study their weekly vocabulary, I've set up Quizlet groups for each of my "preps".  The students can not only utilize online flashcards, but can also use various Quizlet features to learn their vocabulary, test themselves, and compete against one another in a couple of vocabulary based games.  My next big step in integration is setting up my senteo classes to not only take their weekly vocabulary quizzes, but to also perform pre-reading surveys to assess what the students know before we read certain selections.
Since it is the beginning of a new year, I'm of course struggling through learning nearly 85 new names.  Instead of assigning a specific introduction project, I've left the decision making up to the students.  I gave the students a list of information that was required to show up in their presentations, a rubric, and some suggestions on where they could go for presentation mediums.  I found that several students used Prezi for the first time and LOVED it.  (I had used it for my introduction.)  They loved finding obscure places to place information.  Other students used schema bags, posters, and PowerPoint, but a few tech savvy students created videos.  As I sat among the students during the presentations, I heard students comment, "Wow! That was cool!"; "That was smart, she didn't have to talk at all"; and "I'm going to use that next time." Finally! Introduction presentations that aren't boring or repetitive!