Scrolling through Twitter this morning reading all of the updates from my teacher PLN who were heading back to work today to start the 2018 school year.
Today was the 29th of January – the first day of school for many, but at my school, our first official day was January 19th. In the last 10 days we’ve had:
- 2 weekends
- 1 public holiday
- a return flight to Melbourne for a school conference
- a collegial team-building Escape Room experience
- a First Aid refresher course
- meetings…timetable revisions…meetings…planning time…room set up time…meetings…more timetable revisions
As mentioned in this post, I’m teaching every student from Prep-10 this year across various Year Levels. I’m also the eSmart Coordinator & Digital Technology Mentor. I get asked by teachers to help with student iPads & passwords (luckily I’m the second-in-line for this task, thanks to our official IT guy), asked by office staff to help them develop a Google Form to collect data on this, that and the other, or to help update the school website…plus I run the school Facebook page.
This year, I have to learn to say NO.
- No, I wish I could help, but I don’t have the time.
- No, I don’t know how to do that.
- No, that’s not a priority for me.
Or….can I just say ‘No’, without needing to justify it?
As I scrolled through my Twitter feed, I saw this tweet from Pip Cleaves:
I saw this, saved it to my desktop and printed it. I walked straight to the photocopier, picked it up…and pinned it to the wall at my desk.
If you attended my DigiCon17 or EdTechSA workshop, please find my presentation below!
This last week I attended 2 seminars at my local TAFE – one on Dyslexia and another about supporting readers through the use of phonics.
Both sessions were filled with scary data, thought-provoking questions, numerous definitions and last but not least, lists of apps and websites.
Yes, like always, there are a few different aspects to consider when given a list of resources to use with students:
A) Is it free?
B) If it costs, is there a free trial where I can access EVERYTHING?
C) Does it suit the technology I have available to me?
D) Is it actually going to benefit the student?
There are 2 (so far – I’ve barely had time to check any out!) that I rate quite highly.
- Oxford Owl is a website that provides free eBooks for students, at various age levels and genres. Yes, they have provided audio (with expression!) and the books are actually interesting! I discovered this site through the Spelfabet website, under a list of decodable book resources.
- ReadTheory is a website that I also heard about at the seminar (from the girl sitting next to me, rather than the presenter!) – free, online, engaging comprehension texts, with questions to match, based on the Lexile Reading Scale. It does refer to Common Core, but Aussie teachers can still benefit! The girl next to me said her students in Year 4 were loving it, as it strikes up a bit of friendly in-class competition while still being matched to each child’s ability. I did a little bit of extra reading about ReadTheory here.
Double bonus, both of these resources are iPad-compatible! Yay! I’ve linked QR codes to both of these sites, printed them (along with student log-in details for ReadTheory) and popped them up in the classroom I worked in today.
Can’t wait to hear the feedback from the students!