Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summer InnoVACAtion

As we approach the end of another school year, many educators will use the summer months to refresh and recharge their batteries. They will also use the time to begin planning for the next year. Interested in trying something small in the fall that can lead to enhanced learning for your students?

Give yourself at least a few weeks of downtime, and then here are a few ideas to chew on:
  • Learn how to make a video in order to co-teach with yourself, so that you can differentiate in the classroom. For this and other creative ideas on how to use video, check out this list of suggestions. In our district, we have provided teachers with access to TechSmith Relay. Find out if your district has a similar option. Interested in flipping? Check out a quick video or this longer one.
  • Re-imagine the space in your classroom. How much of the "real estate" is learning space? If you're like me, your teacher desk and surrounding area may take up a lot of space; I've heard some designers refer to it as the "teacher fort." Think about how the space might be used differently in the fall, to intentionally design learning space based on student needs. This short video shows how to do it "on a dime." For a more generalized discussion of the why, this TED talk is very interesting.
  • Explore how to begin or expand use of student-led inquiry. This short article details one 4th grade teacher's journey. You can also investigate specific examples in math, science, social studies, and ELA
Once you've picked something that interests you, find a like-minded co-conspirator. Meet outside, in a park or on someone's deck. Just talk. Laugh. See what you might want to take to the next step. Keep it low stress. If you decide to pursue it, you can shift to a higher gear in August.

Join the conversation...
What are you interested in exploring this summer? Have ideas you can post for other teachers? Please share!

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