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Monday, August 31, 2009

New Way of Presenting Course Information

Yesterday, I was able to meet with all of the students in each of my courses for 30 minutes. In the past I would have handed out a course outline to them, talked AT them for who knows how long and bored them to tears!!!

Yesterday, I changed things. Instead of talking AT them I created a Keynote presentation that contained the key points I wanted the students to know. I placed some music in the background of the presentation and I had the students "READ". I also placed some interesting pictures in the presentation to help jazz it up.

Thanks to Darren Kuropatwa for sharing his "First Day" presentation. I have borrowed a lot of information from his presentation and mashed it up to my liking.

While my students were "watching and reading" the presentation I looked around the room and noticed that they were all engaged. I hope my first day with them was better than they experienced in their other classes.

You can view my "First Day" slideshow here.

First Day of Classes

Today marked the first official day of classes at Cold Lake High School. A number of our staff planned a much "different" first day for our students. It started off with all of our students meeting with their teacher adviser for one hour in their TAG (Teacher Adviser Group). Since we were opening a new school today and TAG was a new thing at our school there was lots to talk about in that first hour.

The second hour of the day were grade level assemblies led by each of our administrators. This where the students heard about all of the rules, procedures etc.. for Cold Lake High School.

From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. the students returned to their TAG and were given a tour of the school, received lunch (free), had time to socialize and walk through the displays that highlighted the teams and clubs at our school.

From 1 p.m. until 3:20 p.m. The students attended 30 minutes of each of their 4 classes where their teachers had a short period of time to meet with them and discuss their courses.

The day blew by pretty quickly. Before we knew it 3:25 p.m. had arrived and the students were on the bus home.

The kids LOVE the new school. Let's hope that, as teachers, we are able to instill a LOVE of learning in them during the 2009-2010 school year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Beginning

About a week ago our staff was allowed to physically enter our new high school, Cold Lake High School. At that point, most of us began unpacking boxes, thinking about how to arrange our desks in our new classrooms (It took me 4 different arrangements before I was happy)and beginning the new school year in a totally new environment.
The transformation for me is not only the fact that I will be teaching in a new building but that I will now have access to a cart of laptops to use with my math students and a fully wireless network to use with those laptops. I will be trying many different things with my students. Some of them will fail miserably but I hope, at least some of them, will work out truly spectacularly. As I begin this new school year I am a little anxious because I am going to be traveling down a path that is new to me. However, I am excited because I truly believe that the changes I will be attempting to make will engage my students more and help them learn and understand mathematics better. No matter how uncomfortable I am, if my students end up happier and better educated I am all for it!!! I hope that you will leave me comments related to my blog postings so that we can make this journey of change together. There will be days I will need your help and encouragement and other days I want to "blow my own horn" because I have just delivered the most kick ass lesson of the week. So the journey begins.

**The pictures are from my new classroom at Cold Lake HS.