Tuesday, May 19, 2009

boredom

it's about this time every year that i begin to get bored with the things that i have been doing all year long and i begin to think about ways to tear apart the classroom experience. it isn't that i haven't been trying new things and new innovations all year, i have. it's just that i have tried them and used them and now i want to try something completely new. the problem is that everything still seems too teacher centered. i really want my students to be responsible for their own learning. but what does that look like in a class of fifteen year olds? how do i tell them what they need to know without telling them what they need to know? i could come up with multiple approaches for each lesson and i could turn them loose. or i could ask them what they want to learn and we could learn some things together. maybe i could have them teach me something new about the world. i just don't know.
the point here is that i know that things need to change and i know that education will not change unless people are actively thinking about it. but who is actually doing something about it? what does it look like? what does it sound like? i've got questions and i want answers.
why do we keep talking about the classroom of the future? i want the best classroom that i can have now. and are we even sure that the best classroom is a classroom? someone tell me their dreams and we'll see if we can't make it happen.

background music

as my world history students are working on answering questions about the marshall plan, I have some nice and relaxing tunes playing in the background. I set up a pandora account a while back and i have managed to spend enough time tweaking my stations that i now have several stations that i can play in the classroom while my students are working. I have found that there seems to be less off task talking when there is music playing. I already let my students listen to their mp3 players when they are working on answering questions. Sometimes i play them some of my music, sometimes i let pandora play. The station that we are listening to today is a calexico station that i enjoy because it plays mostly instrumental. This keeps the kids from singing along but it gives them something to listen to in the background.
i know that i have blogged about music in the classroom before, but today it just seemed like the music was setting the mood. and that's all right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

national board assessment day

today is the day that i take my national board assessment. i'm getting ready to head out of here and make my way to charlotte for the day. four hours of testing in front of me. after this, it will all be over except for the long wait until november when i find out if i passed or not. if i didn't, i'll get to do it over again.
anyway, it has been quite a while since i have blogged and i just thought that i would check in. i haven't really decided the direction i want to go in with this blog. if i decide to keep doing it, i want to do a redesign. i want it to be a little more dynamic. a little more engaging.
anyway, just thought i would stop by blog land and say hello. time to go get some breakfast. anyone know any good brain food?