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Changing the group name and heading back to school

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Started by Suzie Vesper 12 Jan 2014 1:18pm () Replies (5)

Hi all,

I know we've been pretty quiet with the end of year madness and then a well deserved break. I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday! I'm making the move from Year 7/8 to Year 5/6 this year so, as the group admin, I've rebranded this group to go from Year 5 to Year 8. I figure that we still all have a lot in common and this makes for a larger and more vibrant community. I hope noone has any objections!  

One quick question from me - what do you consider the most useful things to do in the lead up to starting back at school?  I'm heading back to school next week starting with afternoons only to ease myself back in.  I plan to sign up for Teacher Dashboard for Year 5 to 8 at the school and get Google accounts set up that way this year. I'm also planning to use Spelling City again this year. Of course there is the furniture dragging and student file reading. What else do you prioritise?


  • Candy Hart (View all users posts) 12 Jan 2014 4:33pm ()

    I like having samples of student work ready (name labels, desk mats), so the students can see straight away what is required of them.  I also will set-up Studyladder accounts and look at starting my class blog.  I have an example of a powerpoint that I like the students to complete for homework about themselves (can also do in Prezi).  http://animoto.com/play/pamZzBFUUWsBpcYVSiEZYQ?utm_source=blogspot.co.nz&utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player  This is an animoto that I made up for the start of last year. 

  • Susan Feron (View all users posts) 12 Jan 2014 11:03pm ()
    • I have been reading up on some of the ideas I want to improve on for this year.  So for reading:  daily 5, the cafe book, book whisperer.  Result of that lot is I am emptying my bookshelves of Childrens books and taking them into school.  Plus I have brainstormed how daily 5 might look in my class.  This needs more thought yet.  For writing I have reread bits of Lucy calkin and Gail Loanes book.  So this year I am going to try writers notebooks again probably using 3b1's initially then challenging students to buy something lovely when they fill the 3b1.  I have also added writing form notebook to daily 5 mindmap.

    • For inquiry projects I have read invent to learn.  Good idea but what authentic learning opportunities do I start with...
    • Registered for flat classrooms project.
    • Decided to start the year with bounce back social skills teaching.  One of the benefits of small communities is that I have prior knowledge of my students.  Skills in friendship, negotiations, assertiveness vs aggression are badly needed by some of the incoming students.
    • And then I need to do planning paperwork, have the new Principal around for afternoon tea, get start of the year assessments done, tidy up last years computer files and set up this years, get new tables made by my patient husband and a pile of other set up the learning environment stuff.  The great thing about a flexible learning environment is the lack of desks and seating layouts to sort out.  
    • Of course now I that I look at this list I wonder how to fit it around a new dog, quilting, making clothes, sewing next years Christmas presents, learning to code, !earning French (great free app called duolingo) and playing computer games.  I think relaxing and socialising is firmly at the top of my list for another week.  Thankfully school goes back on the 7th February so I have time yet.
  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 13 Jan 2014 8:34am ()

    Wow - You are both clearly well down the track with your thinking for the year. Candy, I got the kids to make an Animoto for homework last year to tell me about themselves. I had kind of forgotten I'd done that so that is a good reminder! Susan, I used the Daily 5 in my classroom last year and plan to implement it again but still thinking through what this looks like as well. I did a flat classroom project last year called DigiTween but found that it wasn't that well set up for the age group as it was a secondary project that they had reworked. I gave them that feedback though so they might have adjusted it. I did set up a website to support my lot with the project that you might find useful (if you are doing the same one):


  • Kristen Price (View all users posts) 14 Jan 2014 6:48pm ()

    Hi all,

    I have no objections to the change Suzie :) (I teach year 6-8 so suits me perfectly).  I've started by going through my emails (what a mission!!) and have reminders from Hapara to upload my 2014 class so I guess that will be one of the first things.  I plan on doing a little bit each day too and then maybe some full days closer to the start of school where I will go in and do the furniture moving and sorting of stuff etc. We are working with Louise Dempsey this year for writing so after reading The Writing book I am thinking about the things I want to implement and questions that I have for her.    I have also used the Daily 5 and Cafe strategies for the last two years in my class and am also thinking how I will update it due to the fact I am looking at having my students be more self-directed through out the whole day and choose what they do and when - need to get onto that quick smart so I can think about how I will get them to this stage as quick as possible.  

    In answer to your question, I don't prioritise anything - I just go off on tangents and then back again but it all gets done before the school year starts (ususally).

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