Hello, and happy Saturday! Now that my daughters are both out of school, Christmas break has officially started! We’ll be heading to my parents’ house this morning for our annual Christmas cookie baking extravaganza, which really means my sister, my daughters, my mom, and I will destroy the kitchen while my dad sneaks cookies and comments on the mess we’re making 🙂 This year, my almost one-year-old nephew (he’s pure perfection) will get to join in the fun – that is, if we can all stop fighting over who gets to hold him long enough for him roll some cookie dough or sneak a piece of candy!
In addition to teaching high school Social Studies, I’m also an adjunct instructor of Educational Technology. I LOVE teaching this class because it gives me the opportunity to fulfill one of the goals of my book, Illuminate. I want teachers everywhere to know that technology is a tool that can be used to enhance student learning and NOT something that will or should be intended to replace teachers. I also want teachers to remember that technology integration is not another “thing” that teachers have to “do” in their classrooms or something that they should add to their already too long list of expectations and requirements. It’s not about the tech; it’s how you use it!
One of the assignments in my class requires students to write a blog post on our class blog that describes their perfect classroom. What does it look like? What resources do you have at your disposal? If you had all the money in all the world, how would you design your classroom to best meet the needs of your diverse learners? Since I require my students to communicate and reflect using technology, I thought I should probably do the same! Also … my daughters have been making and editing (seriously, three days until Christmas!) their Christmas lists, and it’s putting me in the wishlist-making mood!
Here’s my classroom Christmas list:
First and foremost, I want to make sure I’m clear on the fact that I am VERY blessed in my classroom. I teach in a 1:1 environment with a flexible seating option and am able to flip my Government classes, blend my dual credit classes, post YouTube videos of “raps” my students and I create to help them remember course concepts, play games that normally include me standing on a table, etc. It’s pretty great. However, if I had, as I tell my students, tons of money to spend on my classroom, I would probably start by adding more flexible seating to my classroom. I would love to have bar-height tables to accommodate students who would rather stand when they work. Sometimes when I’m blogging especially, I find myself standing by my kitchen counter instead of sitting at my desk or on my couch. Other times, I’m writing to you from the comfort of my recliner, snuggled up with a blanket while Harry Potter or a presidential documentary gently hums in the background.
Continuing with the flexible seating topic – I’d like to one day have loungers for students who would rather lay back to work. Again, sometimes when I’m working from home, I’m propped up on pillows in my comfy bed … if I’m in bed, Outlander or Once Upon A Time is probably on my TV providing me with some wonderful background noise 🙂
This year, I had the opportunity to include bungee type chairs in my classroom. I’ve noticed, though, that when students sit in those “comfy” chairs as they’re called, they’re not able to reach our tables comfortably. This limits their workspace – while it doesn’t seem to bother most students, I would love to be able to offer them something like a coffee or end table option for their Chrombook, notebook, and other materials.
As for me, I would REALLY like some sort of mobile laptop cart/podium contraption that would allow me to roll around the room, helping students when they need it while providing feedback on instructional videos, assignment submissions, etc., with my laptop. Something like this maybe? Do you have something similar?
Of course, and this probably goes without saying (or typing), I want my students to be healthy, happy, safe, and know that they’re accepted and loved in my classroom. This is at the top of my Christmas and daily list 🙂
What’s on your classroom Christmas list?