How are you improving you teaching this summer?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Joy, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2013

    This summer I have already gotten certified in Orff Level II. I got Level I a few summers ago. Orff is a music education process that uses speech, movement, recorder and barred instruments to teach music to children. The course was two weeks long from 8:30-4:30. We had to compose music for barred instruments making sure to follow certain rules, vocally improvise in the modes, learn and test on the alto recorder, improve soprano recorder playing, teach a movement lesson, write lesson plans using the process, and peer teach. It was very intense!

    Right now, I'm half way through Kodaly Level II. Kodaly is another process of teaching music to children that focuses a lot on music literacy and the correct sequence. It primarily uses singing. This class is two weeks long from 8:00-5:00. We have to analyze folk songs, prepare concept plans, lesson plans, listening lessons, and a year plan. We had to teach a folk dance and next week will teach a preparation lesson. We also have solfege class where we have to take dictation (write a song's melody and rhythm after hearing), sight sing in solfege, perform ostinati while singing in solfege, and sing and sign in canon. There is also a conducting portion where we have to teach a canon to all of the levels (about 45 people) and then conduct it. That's the part that I am terrified of! I do it on Monday and already feel like throwing up! I can't wait until all of this is done!

    The courses have been very intense. I think I've lost about 6 lbs so far and shouldn't be wasting time on here today but I have greatly improved my teaching!

    What are all of you doing this summer to help your teaching?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm going to be a better teacher next year by returning to school revitalized and re-energized, having spent my summer having a good time doing things I like to do. :)
     
  4. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Exactly! :thumb: I am traveling, working a part time job that has nothing to do with teaching, having fun with friends and enjoying life. This way I'll be refreshed and ready to go back when its time.

    Oh, and I'm finishing my masters degree as well - took the comp exam last week, have a research paper left to do.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Flipped Classroom Workshop (Online). It lasts a month I think. This was the 1st week.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    By finding a different school to do it in.
     
  8. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Jul 13, 2013

    I agree with Caesar, ha ha, but I'm also doing lots of planning, reading, etc. I'm excited about the new year, and I'm super excited I don't have any PD to mess with this summer (except for the in-house stuff at school right before school starts). I'm doing it on my own (which is way more useful).

    I've already mapped out the first semester material wise (generally--major literature, etc). Specifically, I have 9 weeks of daily grammar plans finished; I've chosen poems for "Poem of the Week" (but I'm still trying to figure out which ones to use when);
    I've chosen speeches and articles for informational text; I've listed a ton of new writing prompts and figured out what types of essays all classes will have to write (still working on topic ideas); and
    I've been googling, checking out Pinterest, and TpT for all sorts of new assignment ideas.

    Basically, I'm driving myself nuts (too many ideas and not enough time to implement them).
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2013

    Applied to and got into a math collaborative. It pays but I have to take 100 hours of math pd over the next year. I will have half of it done by the end of the summer.
     
  10. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I finally got around to reading the Harry Wrong book and regularly watch 'Supernanny' and 'Tabatha Takes Over' for classroom management/demeanor tips.
    Also, I'm reading "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison. I thought, what a great book to read with my CR class, but that was before I came across some four-letter words. :eek:
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I'm taking tons of PD classes through my district. I will be paid for none of them, but at least I won't have to scramble for PD hours when it is time to renew my certificate :) Seriously, I'm taking courses on using iPads in the classroom, Google Drive, Collins Writing Instruction, a 4-day Kagan workshop, interventions, differentiation, Edmodo, you name it. I'm changing grades this year, and I figure anything I can do proactively will help my students. This is especially true, because literally 1/2 of the incoming 3rd graders basically had no instruction in 2nd grade.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm rereading Teaching with Love and Logic for classroom management. You might want to try that one as well. It works.

    If you're looking for CR ideas, there is a Common Core index of suggested books for each reading level. That way, you won't have to make a huge change down the road.
     
  13. MrTeach11

    MrTeach11 Rookie

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  14. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm starting a new job this school year which is still in education but not teaching. I have a whole list of PDs that I'm going to during the rest of this summer plus the first few months of school. Looking forward to it!

    cat~I second Teaching With Love and Logic.
     
  16. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    I'm taking several MOOCs related to science and teaching, working on curriculum for my school's new proficiency-based approach, attending a summer institute to prepare to teach AP Bio, and reading education books.
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh great!
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Neat! Maybe we can start a thread to discuss some of the ideas, once the course starts (this Monday).
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm currently reviewing the curriculum for the new class I'll be teaching. Once I get some down time, I'm going over Animal Farm with a sharp eye and the current assignments to see if I can improve them.
     
  20. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I signed up for several professional development trainings and ordered 2 books to read on my own.
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I read The Book Whisperer- LOVED it!

    I am also rereading Teaching With Love and Logic. I bought a copy so I can write in it! (Last time it was a library book)
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am reading the book, Building Self Esteem in Children.
     
  23. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I wish I could do these! I'm not trained in either, but am interested in Kodaly. Hardly any professional development for music comes to Hawaii. I go when it's offered, but it's usually just sessions for a few hours.
     
  24. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Well, to be honest, when I left school in May I was SO ready for a break that I promised myself I'd have the best summer ever. As part of that, I would lay out in the sun, go to the pool, take a vacation, have picnics, go camping, and just have fun- NO WORK!

    So, all I have done that pertains to my teaching was to read Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness, Classroom Instruction that Works, Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading, and Role Reversal. I'm currently reading Teach Like a Champion. I'm also going to APL Training for 3 days and Common Core Training for one day. I have mapped out my curriculum for the whole year, created my Weekly Overviews for the year, and created Scientist of the Week PPT's for 18 weeks. I have organized all my digital files for easy access and put them into folders by school months. I have purchased a Learning Styles Inventory packet, as my P suggested we start the year with one [hey, I'm flexible- whatevs lol] and made detailed plans for the first couple days. I've researched learning styles, common core, the workshop model, collaborative learning, and project based learning- still plan on finding out more about DBQ's. I have also stocked up on more books, magnifying glasses, measuring tapes, and nonfiction magazines at yard sales and thrift shops! :dizzy: It's amazing how much more you can get accomplished when you decide to take a break and do nothing :p

    Fortunately, I have found that I have truly enjoyed my Summer as well: Although I have not done any tanning or made one trip to the pool, I had a wonderful vacation with my family (state capitol of Va, zoo, science museum, beach, family arcade, pirate mini-golf, etc.!); I visited our local art museum; I've been to the library several times- once for a book sale (which I LOVE); I have gone to so many yard sales; I've taken up fishing again (last time I fished was the summer before my baby brother died 20+ years ago); have fed geese and carp at our local parks; camped out and fished for trout in a beautiful place I've never visited in my own state; went to several movies with my family; had several picnics; took up walking (for exercise!); and gotten my house clean and organized. :angel:

    So I've done a LOT in a short time, now that I think about it. My Summer has been FULL of things beneficial to me as a person and as a teacher. Thanks for asking- I feel so blessed now that I've thought about it :hugs:
     
  25. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Do this! I signed up too. :)
     
  26. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    "How are you improving you teaching this summer?"

    By helping people with their grammar. :p
     
  27. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I remapped the curriculum right after school was out, and that's it. I've found that going back rested and relaxed helps me more than anything.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Um. The Bluest Eye is so inappropriate on so many levels for K-12, not just a couple of four letter words.

    I was given five books to read and then present in workshops when we go back in August. I'm slowly but surely working through them.

    I also take a lot of naps :D
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Oh, and I'm spending LOTS of time on AtoZ!!! That's always sooo beneficial to my teaching!!!
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I also had lunch with my mentor teacher so she could give me advice on how to run my own team. I've been her lieutenant for four years, but I've also been in her shadow. It's a little frightening.
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :yawn:
     
  32. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I spent the first week of vaca getting Orton trained and certified. I'm excited to use the methods in my classroom next year.
     
  33. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I sat in my new classroom and mentally worked out how I want to set it up, got my personal desk and computer ready to go, cleaned out digital files on my school account and on my thumb drive, read the Matched trilogy since so many of my students were reading it last year, spent a couple of days in NC and NJ. Before school ended I'd started going through the state provided lesson plans correlated to our state standards to see which ones I'd like to play with.

    I am far from efficient during the summer. I don't copy plans from the previous years for the most part. There are several activities I do every year, but the pacing is always different. I get bored easily, so I work hard to come up with new, more engaging lessons. To that end, I've perused pintrest, as usual I've spent boo-koo time on atoz, and just browsed thru the internet. Four weeks till I go back, so I've got to settle in and start working. I've done no pd and don't need any more points for my recert which isn't until 2015!

    Naps? Definitely - every day!
     
  34. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Oh, the naps!

    :wub: :wub: :wub:
     
  35. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jul 15, 2013

    This is really my first 'real' teaching job where I start the year, and I have a summer off, but I'm already learning how to make it work.
    Having time off and away when you can't really go in and spend time at school is great. Right now I'm in Hungary, (for 3 weeks), so I can't do anything, which is great. I can't and won't plan lessons here, but did bring a print out of the CC standards, and some other paperwork my P gave me. I will have some downtime, so I'll look over them, figure out which standard I'll start with etc.
    I also browse some websites, for example Sharemylesson.com is great.

    So I am vacationing and relaxing, but mentally slowly getting it all together. By the time I get back, I'll have a plan in my head, and then I can spend a whole week just on school stuff.

    If I would have stayed at home, I know I would have gone in to school a lot, but it wouldn't have been very efficient or productive.

    I also subbed in summer school a couple of days and about a week off and on in juvenile hall: I saw a lot of my students in these settings and it was very interesting. They acted totally different, even in summer school it was a different mix of kids. My worst students knew how to act right. The kid who could never sit still for 2 minutes, and was the biggest problem was a little angel in juvie. The kids who would cuss up a storm, and even the teachers accepted that it's just how it is, was one of the most respectful kids in juvie. So it was really good for me to see them how they can be if they want to, so I won't take ANY excuses next year.
    It was also great that they saw me, because they realized that I am for real, they couldn't make me quit, I wasn't one of the 4 teachers and countless subs who taught them and left (quit or got transferred)

    So by Aug. 12th, I'll be more than ready.
     
  36. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I've read Pathways to the Common Core and Notice and Note. I really loved Notice and Note, and I'm about to reread our first novel with an eye to the six signposts discussed.
     
  37. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    I've been trying to do research on the curriculum since it's new...but that's been challenging with the little info on the internet.
    Oh and sleeping....A LOT. :)
     
  38. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I went to a materials science camp and thought of ways to incorporate some of those activities into my current classes. I also just finished my first POGIL workshop and am excited to begin utilizing what I learned in my biology class next year!

    Now I am going to read "The China Study" for myself. And golf....lot's of golf.....and cheap romance novels...definitely.
     
  39. First School

    First School Rookie

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    I have also found an another source to improve teaching in this summer. GTA is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. It is being produced by CUE. During the training participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Pinteresting... :whistle:

    I've not attended a single voluntary PD. I've gone to school a few times but some issues prevented me from being there as often as I planned. I've lesson planned from home. I've browsed ideas and such online.

    But mainly I've just enjoyed my summer. My summers are never full of PDs and things of that nature.
     
  41. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2013

    Me too! :D
     

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