This first week back was nuts. After days of meetings and heavy lifting, I finally had a chance to talk curriculum with the 8th grade team. It was such a thrill to listen to them discuss ways to integrate pieces of their curriculum, starting with the first project of the year and looking towards January: Apartheid and governance in Social Studies, To Kill a Mockingbird in English, the Empty Bowls Project in Art… It’s one of my favorite parts of my job.
Besides having way too little time to discuss upcoming projects, I had a crash course in TeacherEase, an online grading/communication tool we’re piloting across the middle school. It looks pretty powerful, as you can track grades, attendance, comments, send email alerts to students and parents, and log in as a teacher, student, or parent to access performance assessments.
I spent a long time researching iPod and iPad storage/syncing devices from Parat, Tribeam, Cambrionix, and Bretford. We ended up buying the 20-slot Bretford iPad cart, but I’m torn about what to get for our iPod Touches. I almost purchased a couple of docks from Parasync, but it won’t house the new iPod Touches without some retrofitting to accommodate the slightly different shape of the updated device. And while the Bretford case houses multiple generations of iPods, I prefer the look and design of the wireless Parasync tray. Suffice it to say, we didn’t make a decision.
In addition to physically and mentally preparing for Tuesday’s arrival of students, I’ve been emailing, meeting, and teleconferencing with other organizers of EdCampNYC (on 12/4/10) and TEDxNYED (in March of 2011) and finding hosts for my monthly NYCIST meetings. I find it remarkable I have a social life sometimes.
While I didn’t have much time to check out my Twitter feed much, I did forward a bunch of gems to my faculty. I’ll try not to have anxiety over all the resources I missed: