If I had all the time in the world, I would make all these dreams for next year happen. As it is, I’ll probably have to pick & choose. But here’s my dream list right now.
Literature Circle Matching
Two of my local teachers borrowed ASK kits for The Breadwinner this year and did a literature circle project together. They met several times via videoconference. I would like to take what they did, ideas from this project I learned about at NECC last year, and materials from our language arts consultant to make a teacher packet. Then use some kind of a matching system to match my teachers together and/or find partners for them elsewhere.
8th Grade HistoryQuest
We’ve talked about doing a HistoryQuest or MysteryQuest U.S. History for 8th grade for a few years now. Maybe this is the year to make the materials and get the project going!
One of my local teachers wrote LiteratureQuest last year, and I’d like to expand this project widely so all my local high school English teachers who might want to do this can find a partner and can do the session during their class period(s).
One of my local teachers wrote this project two years ago. The first year we ran it, we turned away so many classes interested. This year that building had bandwidth issues, so we didn’t get it off the ground. But I’d like to make this one happen for all my local classes that want it.
I Spy with Google Earth
This idea from Paul Hieronymous has been on my todo list for a while. I like to see our in house Google Earth expert, Kevin Clark, run this for our students. Kevin and I have talked about it before, just haven’t made it happen yet.
Mrs. Claus Reading to Students
The couple of classes who participated in the Mrs. Claus sessions with CESA 7 last December loved it. One of our staff members came in during one of the sessions and said she’d love to do that for our kids. So of course I’m going to take her up on it! Our K-2 buildings with videoconferencing equipment will definitely enjoy these sessions and I need to offer more content for them!
So many of my buildings tried to dial into my office unit this year and got a busy signal. Our usage has doubled since last year, and last year doubled from the year before. The growth is phenomenal! So one idea I have to help my buildings is to partner them together for mentoring, testing, doing projects together etc. This idea is still very new in my brain, so I haven’t thought about the details of how I would do it yet. But the few buildings who have already done several connections with each other gives preliminary evidence of the power of this idea.
One of my new building coordinators has an idea to partner all the teachers in the building next year with another class to do their Friendly Letters lessons. Imagine pen pals plus VC! This of course has lots of potential and I want to make sure that their idea comes to fruition and that it’s documented in a way that can be replicated by other teachers/buildings.
The Michigan high school graduation requirements now include a required Online Experience (see also the Companion Document). I would like to see one or two videoconference + online experience activities developed to help our schools meet this requirement in an engaging way. I’m thinking of the ASK Deluxe programs we’ve done with Jim Stovall (ASK plus blogging). There may be other ways to tie high school curriculum to online experiences to interactive videoconferencing. Some brainstorming needs to happen!
When we connected with Taiwan for Read Around the Planet, we found out that their class is actually a Videoconferencing Club. I would love to get a club like this started for our high schools. I think it would increase exposure and understanding of videoconferencing at the high school level.
I really want to get some help from a Canadian media specialist/librarian on a good book for our 6th grade students who are studying Canada and one that we could talk to the author or a specialist related to Canada studies. This idea has been on my list for a while and I still have hope that someday we’ll make it happen.
Constitution Day comes so quickly after the start of the school year. Last year we thought we’d pull something together but it happened so quickly. Planning will have to start this summer. I’m thinking maybe interviews with local legislators might be a place to start. It needs to be an activity that doesn’t take much preparation since it’s so soon after the school year starts.
So many ideas, so little time. What’s on YOUR wish list for next year?
Truly, the sign of a passionate educator is someone that is dreaming about the possibilities of next year instead of just wishing for this one to be over with.
I’ll do my best to get some Open Source VC in my district next year, if not the earl deal, and perhaps offer you another building or two to connect with. That’s my dream at least 🙂