That being said, I am grateful for surviving to the end.
- hottest opening day ever (93 degrees!)
- first video assignment: How to Watch a Video (that turned out to be a good idea)
- postponed teaching historical content in favor of SHEG activities about historical thinking
- two middle-of-the-week Jewish holidays interrupted the calendar (no 5-day weeks!)
- field trip on Friday Oct 2 cancelled by big cold rainstorm
- had to 'tread water' for 3 weeks until we could re-schedule the trip to the 30th
- I think video assignments were too long and heavy on details
- disconnected in-class activities didn't help, but my mid-October plans hinged on the field trip!
- then I got sick on the day of the trip (a respiratory flu)
- slogged through the first week while sick...
- then the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays busted the calendar
- I don't really remember this month, but I think it was when I first heard the Hamilton soundtrack album! So that wasn't not a total loss.
- end of the 1st grading term, so I gave a structured reflection assignment
- got some helpful student feedback that I blogged about afterward
- re-arranged the Declaration of Independence rewrite task to give variety of output options
- still one of my best videos....
- got some very good projects, especially the song lyric rewrites
- the teaching assistant I had for 2 of my 4 classes quit to take a long-term substitute teaching job ....
- .... her replacement was much less effective -- I was basically on my own for the last 6 months
- We made the Leutze painting re-enactments that made me semi-famous on the interwebs this month
- I got philosophical and reflective, inching toward a rabbit hole this month.
- shook up my assessment procedure with very encouraging results ... but after two more rounds it was clearly impractical
- I became even more alone (after the TA departure) when my content partner got pneumonia at the start of this month. She was knocked out until March!
- now things really went off the rails:
- an unexpected snow day on Friday the 5th ... and then another on Monday the 8th!
- Stoopid 4-day weekend before the scheduled week-long vacation.
- Better than the previous winter's snowmageddon, but still had a big impact on my planning
- Here I was on Valentine's Day trying to convince myself it's gonna be okay. Sad boy.
- Disneyworld on vacation week! That was the only 5-day stretch of no work since ... um .... probably 3 years ago.
- still kind of flailing after the vacation, because I saw the year's end rushing toward me with just 11 teaching weeks left to go
- finally, though, I think we got the 19th century unit under control
- I used a set of Hamilton songs to help us zoom through the tumultuous 1790s, with mixed results but I know how to fix that next year.
- The 19th century key was a set of thematic timelines, which I will probably blog about later this summer.
- big highlight for students: the 2-week Pioneers simulation -- it's like a real-life Oregon Trail game
- I made some significant changes, but the core is what I blogged about in 2015
- This time, though, I flipped the groups' trail decisions so they could consider and discuss the choice outside of class time.
- However, a big consequence was losing the skill focus. In 2015 it was discussion participation; in 2016 it was.... nonexistent. Oops.
- another blur of a month, with standardized testing in the morning of 7 days
- got back to skills with a pair of decent research activities which were pretty well-connected to the flipped videos (19th century reformers, American slavery)
- the long good-bye for 8th graders, with Step-Up Day and a 3-day out-of-state trip punctuating the month
- the "working for stickers" Civil War mini-unit was at least as successful as in 2015 -- maybe I can start the school year with something similar in September/October?
- last day: Thursday June 23 --- byebye for now, room 212!