One advantage of having a less-than-packed schedule is the freedom to take on new projects. I've got three new ones.
One of my new projects was not by choice. The teacher's curse is the unreasonable parent. Luckily, "my" parent's contention is not really with me, but with the school administration and district policy.
This means that I have a bit more paperwork and a few more meetings, but the brunt of this "new project" is being borne by my administrative superiors. Administrators/managers generally get paid more. This is why.
Another new project I've begun is creating online vocabulary flashcards for students who are behind, but want to catch up.
I noticed a willingness lately of some students to practice map puzzles at home for no academic credit. It was just fun.
I've also had a few students who have been asking me for blank flashcards lately as they are trying to master material using the strategies of stronger students.
Because of their interest in improving recall memory via flashcards, I searched out some good online systems, such as FlashcardDB.com.
Earlier in the year I got the school to purchase a vocabulary improvement program that consists in part of grade leveled vocabulary. If students can master this key vocabulary, they will be better positioned to comprehend grade level textbooks, literature, and other academic materials.
I've finished creating flashcards for all of the first grade vocabulary, and the first quarter of second grade. Rather than a traditional set of flashcards with a word on the front and a definition on the back, I'm creating short sentence flashcards that use the vocabulary.
At least at the lower elementary levels, most of the words are in the student's spoken vocabulary, they just need to learn to recognize them in text.
There are about 800 words per grade level. That's 200 words per quarter, or 100 sentences if I succeed in getting two words per sentence. (Sometimes I get three!)
So if I'm blogging less, it's because I'm "sentencing" elsewhere. (If you have a struggling reader, or just want a fun site for kiddos, you'll find my cards by searching the site for "VIP" -- Vocabulary Improvement Program. I've created a naming convention that will group my flashcards, ie "VIP Grade 2 Q1.")
I've spent today fine-tuning a third project: "Project Wellness." This self-chosen project involves creating goals, plans, and measurements for losing more fat and gaining more strength. Over the last two years I've lost 10% of my weight, now it's time for the second 10%.