A new year and just a few resolutions

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.


2 thoughts on “A new year and just a few resolutions

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing. I’m just having a look at TES iboard now and I’m liking what I see – just like you said, lots of open-ended activities which promote mathematical thinking and discussion.

    Thanks for the inspiration on a Sunday night!



  2. Hi Gill,

    Glad to hear 2012 is going well for you. I’m also taking on the eSmart Program this year so will be keen to read more on your blog about the experience. I have registered and orded the kit which arrived last week but am awaiting to hear more as there is supposed to be some PD session coming up soon within our region. Have you started looking at any of this yet ?

    Just wanted to ask you about Evernote as we’ve had a few staff look at using this as well as other tools like Google Docs, Dropbox etc… and ran into some issues re: privacy and information being stored in the cloud. I’ve posted it over at my blog if you want to read:

    Have you encountered similar problems\concerns within your school and if so, how did you work around it ? It’s proving to be quite a challenge for us and I’m keen to hear if others have a solution.

    Thanks for sharing those others sites also – I’ll add them to my ‘to-do list’ of ones to follow up 🙂


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