Yesterday morning, I wasn’t feeling well. I suspect it was the change in my diet. I’m back on my strict version of the Daniel Fast and eating primarily raw foods…fruits and vegetables. I can already see a difference in my waist line, YAY, but what’s more important is that I feel better mentally.
As such, my innards are adjusting…crying foul, if you will…missing the Chick-fil-A French fries I’d been feeding them, with the excuse of “needing carbs.”
I stayed home from church because I didn’t want to up and leave in the middle of the preaching.
I made the most of my time, however, and was able to finish two weeks’ worth of lesson plans. I’d done most of the work the evening before, but my brain had gotten tired, and I’d become uninspired.
The new morning brought fresh ideas, excitement, and energy, making it easier to finish what is usually a difficult task.
The reason why it takes me soooo long to make my weekly lesson plans is because I create a SmartBoard file, alluded to yesterday, for each week.
I don’t know what I’d do without my SmartBoard. I group my pages by each day of the week and include everything I need for each lesson.
Putting the information in the SmartBoard software keeps me on track and acts as visual cues to my students…most of whom learn better by seeing than just hearing.
I thought I’d share one neat thing that I began doing after the school year began.
While I’d always created an agenda for each day and briefly reviewed the agenda with my students at the beginning of each class period, one of my classes mentioned that they would like to have the agenda out where they could see it.
What to do?
My mentor was in my classroom teaching a series of lessons when my class mentioned this, so she and I discussed the idea after everyone left.
I came up with what I now consider a brilliant idea…
To buy 4×6 frames and put the agendas in them.
I have a Macbook Pro…have had it for eight years now…and it can do things that a Windows-based computer cannot. One of the things I can do fairly easily is, after exporting my SmartBoard file to an Adobe format (.pdf), select and print just those agenda pages…in a 4×6 borderless format!
Here’s one of my agendas…
I wrote this post ahead of time, so I can’t take a picture of the agenda in the frame. I’ll do that and post in a day or two so you can see what it looks like in the frame and on each table. I have five student tables in my room, so I make four copies (the original makes a total of 5) and place one in the center of each table.
My students love this! Some students will run by my classroom hours before their class, take a peek at the agenda, and then run to their other classes.
At first, I didn’t include the Essential Questions; however, I later began adding them. I refer my students to them daily as a reminder of the “whys” of what we are doing…the relevance of each task.
While it is very time-consuming to create these SmartBoard files, I will continue doing so. This is the second year I’ve done this, and I’m beginning to be able to copy previously-created pages and dump them into my current files.
A bonus of exporting the files to .pdf format is that I can send them to parents each week. They are amazed at what we do each day, and I have never had a problem when I’ve called a parent to explain that his/her child is missing standards-based work when he/she is tardy.
I also upload the files to Google Drive, where my students can review them for tests or if they’ve missed days due to vacation or sickness.
It was with great pleasure and a lot of relief that I placed my school bag in my car yesterday morning. Although I’d rather not be getting up at o’dark thirty, seeing the faces of my students always brings a smile to my face.