Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wrapping Up the First Semester

I have been very excited this year because our new Head of the Upper School has been requiring more formal reflection from all of us about how we teach. To be thinking about teaching is right up my alley, and it can so often be pushed to the wayside by the day to day needs of managing a school.

So I completed my self-evaluation a little early because I had a few free moments before a college evening presentation I was giving. I thought of two ways that my teaching could be improved, and technology can actually help them both. First, I am not a visual learner naturally. I can walk into my office on any given day and not see something someone left for me -- I just don't see things naturally. So, I would like to push myself to use more visual learning in my classroom -- to teach outside how I myself learn. I have already adapted a short lesson I use at the start of the second semester by adding a series of pictures to show a progression of writing in a different light. Thanks Google images! It is so easy to be visual with laptops and technology -- I am going to work hard to remember this all semester.

My other area of focus for improvement is helping my AP Lit students manage the multiple choice sections better on the AP exam. I never give multiple choice tests, so I struggle with how to prepare them beyond doing some practice AP tests. Google docs is what I am going to try [Could Google actually save the world as well as my teaching?? :)] This also fits with an earlier goal to use every technology at least twice. So, my students are going to post short excerpts from a book and work together on dissecting them to pieces. Then they can from home reflect on the Google doc on the meaning they discovered with each other. We'll see!