Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Countdown to back to school day 8

Today we worked in the classroom, setup the Oculus.🙌 Went to yoga. I sent emails for ice cream social, that's a class advisor activity I'm responsible for. And I didn't get back to the chairs so those are to be continued...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 15

Took some time and outlined my 6th grade tech course with a quarter plan, the CSTA standards aligned, and additions and changes needed for a new group of students. Also made appointments, stopped at the grocery, and went to Yoga. Really starting to focus on classes I can do in the afternoon so that the gym works for me even after school starts back up. Really, the outline took a long time I guess because I don't remember doing much more.

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 16

Spent the day documenting as you could see from the numerous post-vacation posts. Documenting like the proving statement I made can be difficult. Staying on top of it and making it a routine is the only way to make it manageable. 

After documenting I took the CSTA standards and split them by grade level into an Excel spreadsheet and then felt overwhelmed lol. Then I designed a few shirts for back to school and indulged in a Counting On marathon. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 17

Tax-free day

We are home and went shopping for back-to-school.  I know if we wait too late into August the prices go up on supplies, there is not as much variety and so might as well take advantage of tax-free.

There were choices to make too.  What coupons to use, what sales to take advantage of, and when did tax-free matter?  I looked at planners something I have been considering all summer.  I generally use Google Calendar as my planner. See previous posts google-calendar-for-work-and-home & google-calendar-lesson-planning

I also though have this awful habit of writing things down in a monthly view and of course there is that detailed lesson plan for a sub or when you're getting evaluated. ;-) I'm trying to streamline the process and hope to have that worked out over the next couple days but my daughter and I decided step one would include printing our own pages on pretty paper instead of buying a planner so we are going to start here.

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 18


This was an interesting day of travel.  Another one of those moments where we cannot control everything or anything for that matter. 

We experienced an hour and half 6-mile backup in Virginia for West Virginia’s roadwork that isn’t even happening on the weekend and cones in Virginia in preparation for West Virginia is roadwork? And one lane —it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. 

Apparently they have to back up so far down the road purposely so that they can let the tunnel run freely so they purposely back you up and only let so many cars at a time through the tunnel. Still with that explanation I was confused about the math behind the backup location. 

We were warned while at the Virginia Welcome Center but here was the thought process. The scenic alt route was 20 extra miles but 40 extra minutes. The alt route you did was 47 extra miles. At the time we decided not to get off the alt route the backup was 40 minutes so either alt route was a wash. Issue...some idiot got in an accident added 20 min. Ultimately the backup took us an extra 20 minutes over either alt route. I used a timer and everything. When it came down do it though all that waiting was for NO construction on the weekend and they are only paving no adding a lane or anything. Seems extreme. And with all that said, we took an alt route in Savannah that ended up adding more than 30-45 minutes to our trip cause the alt route couldn't handle the extra traffic. Decided to chance it this time. 

On the other side of the backup we finally found a Welcome Center with a gift shop so we got some souvenirs and found a happy rock. 

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 19


On this day I don't have much to reflect on.  I spent most of the day driving.  We did go to the Dinosaur store in Cape Canaveral before leaving.  This was a suggestion of Sebastian our tour guide from kayaking the night before. The Waze app sent me on an unnecessary detour through Savannah, GA.  This leads me to the question of how much to trust technology.  We came up with several ways to improve Waze. For example, if you are going to alert people to a pothole, name the lane.  If you want to reroute someone, ask if they want to take the alt route instead of rerouting, and if you are going to announce there are police up ahead list if they are scanning traffic or if they have someone pulled over and again, what side. 

We used Expedia to choose a hotel for the night but the site was done.  Another issue regarding tech.  We had to call.  We found on the way down going up to a hotel at the last minute may not be the best strategy.

The negative to taking our time is we didn't have time at any of our hotels to enjoy any of the amenities they actually did offer whether it be the pool or popcorn in the lobby.

30-day Countdown til school starts -- Day 20


This post would have been very different if I wrote it on the beach during the day.  I almost did, but decided I needed to wait until the end of the day.  This was our beach day and we spent time playing in the water, and I sat under an umbrella for most of the day when everyone else went inside. After sitting on the beach, reading and writing it was approaching time to get ready for dinner.  Showers etc. We had plans at 7:30 to do a kayaking tour so dinner needed to be at 5. I stood up and looked at myself and thought "I don't look like I've been in Florida." I run into this a lot teaching.  I can say Bill got it and Jill did not. I watched them do activities but I dislike giving tests, I prefer application.  I don't like grading, I know I can automate it. But, none the less I need proof.  Sometimes I don't like to test because then a topic like directory may not be known and I think it should and that's frustrating and I know in a few weeks if they don't know what a directory is now they will soon.  And I don't want them studying for a test to get it correct but I have to announce tests so students can study but I know that does not mean they know anything because will they know it to use it in 2 weeks? 

Anyway, I wanted proof so 20-30 minutes outside of the umbrella should make it more obvious I was in FL.  Well, sure, all the sunscreen and tanning lotion has washed off.  So this is what it got me. More than a burn, pain and a headache. So totally worth it to prove my experience.  A perfectly good day ratcheted by the need to prove to others my progress. To look a certain way. 

3 days later :(
Now thank goodness we could salvage the day and have an experience and I kept pressing on determined to turn things around but there definitely was a down moment.

As far as proof in the classroom.  I've been working on a badge system so that students can earn badges when they successfully complete a skill i.e. save without help For me it's a way to celebrate skills instead of vocabulary. I'm hoping the vocabulary is coming through the skill reinforcement. Generally it seems to.