Halfway through Term 1 already and I thought it was about time I shared some thoughts I’ve had and tools I’ve been playing with.
My first and most important goal for the year, as always, was to be more organised. I’m a fairly organised person anyway or at least I start off that way but I’m not good at keeping track of bits of paper and needed to tackle the problem differently. Evernote is my saviour. I started using it a bit last year and could see it was ‘pretty cool’ (massive understatement) but, over the holidays, had time to concoct a plan to really get the most out of it. With the help of some of my PLN (particularly MissB6_2!), I’ve been using to organise the many different facets of being a teacher that have a tendency to get muddled.
- Anecdotal notes: I teach 400+ students every week and, while I’m really good at names and faces, it can be a challenge to remember details about their work, habits, goals and skills. Evernote and my iPad have meant I can roam the classroom, taking pictures of work which I annotate, save and tag. In four weeks, I’ve already managed to collect a great sample of student work and notes on their skills which has been really helpful for future lesson planning and will be invaluable come report writing time.
- Projects: I’ve well and truly got multiple hats this year – teacher, ICT coach, convenor of our eSmart accreditation committee, just to name a few. Having carefully thought out tags and notebooks has helped me organise myself and using the ’email to Evernote’ feature to send things straight to the right notebook has also been a huge help.
I could go on and on about it but I’ll save it for another post – I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it in the future! As ever, it’s also a resolution to blog more about my discoveries this year – perhaps my exploration with Evernote will be a motivating factor!
A couple of other tools I’ve returned to as part of my start of year activities…
- Sumopaint: My grade 3-6 students have really been enjoying this one with its plethora of brush shapes providing lots of inspiration and ideas for them when they were creating ‘The perfect ICT student’ robots in the first week of school;
- TES iboard: I’d forgotten how much I like this site until I pulled it out recently as part of my coaching role. Great for IWBs and many of the activities are beautifully open ended, allowing you and your students to shape them to match your program. I embedded a few in the Ultranet last year for my Preps and they loved them.