The room is set up and the students are set to arrive! I’m going to lay out my goals for the 2013 – 2014 school year.
1) Renew my commitment to reducing paper use. At our first staff development day, we learned we have 1400 computers for a school with 1050 students – we are now MORE than a 1:1 technology school. As such, I’m feeling guilty just thinking about making a lot of copies. We have lots of electronic options, I have a cart of netbooks in my classroom, and all students have a Google Docs account. I will manage electronic portfolios and make use of the one notebook that students come in with.
2) Make it a priority to create a culture of high expectations and trust. The students need to know that when they have a job to do, everyone will pitch in and do their share of the heavy thinking. I will start with this expectation and have the students set goals and evaluate their progress on it.
3) Weave technology in thoughtfully. 21st century math skills are computer-heavy and we’ll emphasize the use of programming, spreadsheets, and apps not just for the sake of using technology, but for building conceptual understanding! My ultimate goal with this is to have an integrated pre-algebra / programming class that really mainstreams computer science. I really can visualize this in the not-too-distant future.
4) Honor my students’ differences. I’ve got wildly diverse classes this year, and they all deserve access to higher math – I will use all the differentiation strategies I know to help them grow.
5) Let it go at home. I need to acknowledge with the busy schedule I have taxiing two young kids (and myself) around, very little is going to get done for school in the evenings. I’m breaking my own rule by blogging while my girls watch tv 🙂 but I do need to free up my mind at home and really be present in my family’s life when I’m here.
So with that, I’m signing off.