Monday, 8 December 2014

Organizing the New Year.

New Year Organization

You have read that correctly. I am thinking about the New Year already. As most of my readers know I have been off on Maternity leave for the past ten months. (Canada is a great place to live!)

After Winter Break I am back to work. My schedule looks a bit different this time. I not only have the grade eights but the grade one french immersion for their English Literacy. I also have the little kinder tots for one period! I will have the youngest and oldest students in our school!

I have just started to officially wrap my brain around it all. I am so excited as you know how much I love teaching (see post here) but I have rather enjoyed being a stay at home mama. I look forward to working with my coworkers again and the challenges we will conquer, the creative collaboration shared and the small iinappropriate  hilarious moments.

I always have a goal to be more digital then the previous teaching year.  I have been tossing around a few ideas in my mind.

1. D2L: Online learning platform. I have used it very briefly before and I found that I was limited. A few years have passed and I see lots of improvements. However, I am also unsure of how much access my students have to the internet at home. I think I will put this one on hold until September of 2015. I am looking forward to hearing what @gr1and2bkwrms  will share!

2. First Class: I currently use my First Class website. This platform is the one that my school board uses. I like it....but I find that it is "basic". I am limited to what I can do. You can check it out here. Be wary the site has cobwebs as I am still dusting it off.

3. Class Blog: I think I would like to start a class blog. It could keep track of our daily learning. It would be a good reflection tool to look back upon. There are a couple of great examples that I will use to model:

Check out Miss Dunsiger's class blog here. My favourite part is her Daily Shoot.

Check out The Graffiti Bench here. She has not updated this year as I believe she is not in the classroom right now but you can see so many great ideas there.

I have yet to find a great intermediate class I haven't found a "model".

I have started to build the "bones of the blog". No posts yet but you can check it out and get ready to follow if you are interested.


4. Class Twitter and Instagram: I am excited about these ones as well. Since I teach mostly intermediate it is not only for the parents but for the students as well. The students tweet/post pictures of things that are important to them. Including their lunch pics! I want them to know that I feel what we do in the classroom is important. I want to share it with the world but they and their learning means that much to me. Posts will begin early January.
Follow us here:

Twitter: @Pheonix7_8

Instagram  Instagram: pre78

5. Day Book: I have started to build my day book. In September this is another goal for the next school year to be digital for my day planning...however there is something therapeutic about writing my plans down and it helps me remember.

I have created my calendars for January-June of 2014. I have included the day rotation in the calendar as it helps with my planning.

Two pages so it lays out in my day book and I can see a month view with the cycle days better.

Do you want a copy of it for yourself?

Help yourself!
Here it is here:
This is an open office file. You can download and edit.

A pdf version is available here.

What do you use for organisation?


  1. It's very interesting to read about your thinking as you prepare to go back! I'm just wondering if you plan on keeping the website as well as the blog. How do you see these as being different? How might they be similar?

    I tend to create my daybook plans in Word, and it's the one thing that I print off and keep in a binder (everything else seems to be electronic). Student work samples are kept through the blog as well as through Evernote. I'm considering transferring over to Google, as we have Google Apps for Ed. I'm curious to hear what others do.

    Thanks for getting me thinking!

    1. I do plan to keep the website as well as the blog. I hope it is not too much to take on this year. My vision is the website would host the items that are covered more monthly. Such as curriculum that we are covering. The blog would be more informal day to day review. A window into our daily learning.

      I too usually type out my plans and then print them off. I try and do a week at glance. The monthly calendars help me with big vision thinking.

      Google classroom is new to our board this year so I am interested to hear how others are using it as well. I am sure I will blog about that too!
      Thanks for pushing me to reflect even more on the reason why I am doing what I am doing!

  2. Just hit publish and nothing happened so I apologize if this posts twice!
    Maria, you inspire me. How I wish we worked together again!
    I hope I will have lots to share about D2L. The e portfolio component intrigues me!
    As for your day book have you looked at planboard? I love it!
    Can't wait to follow your class on twitter!

  3. I just found Plan Board as well. I was checking it out last night. I think it might just be a potential to use in the classroom.
    Thanks for your reply!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm! What a great opportunity to create some leadership opportunities for your older students and valuable connections for the littles! I am teaching Kindergarten for the first time this year and am loving every minute of it - well, those that don't involve bodily fluids, anyway.
    I have "continued" to use my class website from years past and also have a blog. As I seem to loose a few hours every day (I just don't seem to be able to accomplish as much as I once could), the only thing that seems to get published with any regularity is our class Twitter feed. Now that my kidlets are more familiar with all things Twitter (and are teaching their parents and older siblings how to tweet at home), my plan is for the Star of the Day to tweet something exciting at the end of each day.
    All the best for your return to the classroom! I can't wait to read all about it!


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