Teacher Talk: Second Semester -- Refresh your semester with these three ideas.My favorite yoga teacher, Melanie, likes to say, “The left side is the side of wisdom.” Meaning that after you’ve held that grueling series of poses on the right side, you are now going to hold them on the left…and you know what’s coming!  Calling it “wisdom” instead of “dread” is certainly a more positive attitude!

This month’s teacher talk topic is about how the second semester of school is like “the side of wisdom.”  We know our students, we know what works and what doesn’t, we can see where we’re going (hopefully without dread!).  We have gained wisdom!

The second semester is the perfect time to try something new.  It’s not like implementing something at the beginning of the year that you are making a yearlong commitment to (like, why did I think collecting composition books each week was a good thing?!).  Trying something new for a short time is a refreshing experiment that will help you plan for next year.  If it’s a flop, that flop only lasted a few months!

Think about something you’d like to add to your class — and give it a try.  Just add one thing…and use it as an experiment.  It will help you decide if you want to add it to your plan for next year.

Refresh your semester with these three ideas.Some ideas:

  1.  Book talks.  I love book talks — there is nothing like it for creating a reading buzz in your class.  Think about how you can implement it easily into your lessons — once a month?  once a quarter?  Requiring that students create a Prezi or PowerPoint to accompany their talk helps incorporate technology skills AND speaking and listening skills that are always seem so difficult to squeeze in.  Need help getting started, check out the book talks lesson available on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
  2. Class blog/edmodo.  Please, please, please tell me that you are doing one of these!  Both are a blast!  If you are not, pick one and jump in!  Blogging with your class is lots of fun — and gives your students a real-world audience to write for!  If you want to read more about how I used a class blog, check out this post for more information.  You can also find a resource with 99 prompts for posts on my TPT store.

Edmodo is another great tool!  I cannot say enough about how much fun it is and how it extends your lessons!  Students can post assignments, take polls, find homework, view videos, take quizzes.  I love it!  It’s a lot like facebook, but your class is private.

3.  Flipping.  If you’ve wanted to try flipping your class, but haven’t or have been afraid to — this semester is the perfect opportunity!  It makes a huge difference in your daily class lessons!  I’m going to write a longer post about flipping later, but consider giving it a try. It works for ELA!  Here’s a short video I used to flip a poetry lesson.

I asked students to take notes on the video and gave them a task to complete.  The next day in class, we really dug into the poems — students had questions, notes, and worked with a partner to analyze and evaluate.  Instead of me talking, they were working!

Like Edmodo, flipping extended my class day.  The homework really prepared my students for the lesson the next day — and it was fun!Teacher Talk: Second Semester -- Refresh your semester with these three ideas.

What can you add to this semester?  Let your students in on the experiment and let the wisdom begin!!

Looking for more teacher insights?

♥ Happiness always!

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