Saturday, September 01, 2007

Planning for the Next 180

My spirit lifts its wings to catch the gentle breeze as the last day of summer's freedom come to an end.

September...A new beginning.
Fresh with energy and hope.

What new adventures lie ahead?
Who will we meet?
What will we discover about others...about ourselves?

Each year is so unique. Whatever this year holds for it, it most definitely will not be the same as last year. I have the luxury of continuing with students from year to year, sometimes for as long as their elementary career. This enables me to build upon their previous years' experiences. In addition, it offers me the challenge (which I love) of continually having to develop new questions and to find new avenues for them to explore.

So what are the possibilities?

Perhaps remembering where we have been and what we experienced last year is a good starting point.

I definitely want to have my students engage in a collaborative project with other classrooms again this year. Last year, we jumped in with both feet, finding collaborative projects to join across a range of topics and curricular areas. They were involved in several projects including:

Megaconference Jr. - an amazing twelve-hour worldwide videoconferencing event
The Global Warming Student Speak Out - a collaborative problem solving project giving students an opportunity to collectively brainstorm strategies to fight global warming using Google Docs & Spreadsheets
Global Warming - Race for the Tipping Point - a Magpi sponsored project about Global Warming
Read Around the Planet - a pairing of classrooms to celebrate "NEA's Read Across America"
Holiday Card Exchange - One of several collaborative projects developed by Jennifer Wagner as part of her TechnospudProjects.
Global Sun Temperature Project -a scientific exploration of how geographic location affects the average daily temperature and hours of sunlight.

i also want to continue to reach beyond our classroom wall through the use of videoconferencing and virtual field trips. Last year we participated in Operation Montserrat- an eMission simulation from the Challenger Learning Center. We also participated in several Ball State eField Trips including a visit to Hawaii for the Eruption trip, a visit to Philadelphia to explore Freedom in America, and a trip to the Indianapolis Speedway to study the Science of Speed. We followed the migration of shore birds through Migration Science and Mystery and joined another class posted through CILC for a literature discussion of the book Bridge to Teribithia.

Wow! Seeing everything we did listed all at once is powerful.

The possibilities for this year...are limitless. I had better get cracking on this year's list.

Any suggestions?

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