Dear: New Students
Hello! It is the night before the first day of school and I am sitting in my living room, a little excited and a little nervous as I think about tomorrow and the up coming year. I have so many questions. What will you, my new students, be like? Will I do a good job guiding you through your learning over this year. Will I be able to help you think about the world and help you ask critical questions about the ideas we will explore? The new year is a time of possibilities and risks, opportunities and challenges. The whole year is ahead of us and tomorrow we will take the first step together.
Each year I try to be a better teacher than I was the one before. If you have visited room 19 before you may have noticed that I have changed it around a bit. You are a big class and I wanted to make sure we were able to move around the room and use the space in the best ways possible. Our room has a library where I keep books, a couch, three tables a computer and a desk area. These are all open to you at the appropriate times. Please respect the space by keeping it neat, picking up after yourself and being sure not to write on or deface any of the tables, books or desks. Each year I am always frustrated by the amount of students that leave garbage around the classroom or who don’t put back books borrowed from the library. It’s everyone’s space, don’t we want to work in a clean, organized area?
This year I have many great plans. Each year I run a Learning Skills Economy in room called Baker Bucks. If you’ve asked former students you may have heard of it. Soon I will give out your Baker Bucks and explain how they are used and how you may gain or lose them. This year I am exploring another interesting thing called Class Craft. I don’t yet know a lot about it but am learning and will soon introduce you to it. It is a video game we play as we learn together. Also this year I hope explore using more movement in my lessons to help those of you who like to use your body when you use your mind.
Also new this year will be a bigger emphasis on blogging. I will be using this blog to write personal thoughts and feelings on ideas we are exploring together in class. Over the next few weeks I will help you set up your own blog where you too can write about your understandings and questions. Blogging is an interesting way of reflecting and it is through reflection that we think deeply about concepts. This blog is my personal writings and reflections, don’t confuse this with the room 19 blog where I may post classroom materials, video and other media through out the year. Listen carefully in class to be sure you visit the correct blog.
Blogging is one of many things we will do on a computer or tablet this year. If you have a computer at home it will be useful this year and if you do not, be sure to be in close contact with me so that I can help make sure you are getting time outside of class to complete and submit assignments. I believe a firm understanding of new technology and its applications is very important to your future. I will make sure you know your school email address and we will use several programs regularly in our learning.
One very nice thing about technology is that it allows you to get a hold of me outside of the classroom. The following are two ways you might be able to get a hold of me many nights after school. (One note, I am often not available to answer until close to 9pm as I have small children)
Rm 19 Blog (although, I don’t check this unless I’ve got something specific up): http://rm-19.commons.hwdsb.on.ca
I’m sure I have so much more to tell you about the year and the kinds of things we will do together. I am very excited to begin this journey with you. I hope that you are also excited. Keep checking in on this blog and feel free to ask questions or discuss ideas in the comments section below! See you soon!
Ms. K. Baker