Monday, July 27, 2015

Organizing your day

As I'm on the topic of organization, I wanted to share with you what I've been doing.  I am not very good with time management and tend to get sucked into the TV.  This is especially bad during the summer as I have no real structure in my day.  I have been reading a lot of blogs and watching a lot of YouTube videos about planning.  Who knew there was a whole planning community out there?!  It seems like a very expensive hobby as these people decorate each page with about 20 stickers.  That is a little too much for me!  It make the page look too busy. 

In my searches I came across the Erin Condren planner.  People seem to love them, but they are so expensive.  They do look great though!  If you do want one, this link will give you $10 off your order.  I had a small 3x5 planner from several years ago, so I took all of the old pages out of it and put in some new ones.  I want something where I can plan my time for one day at a time. Below is what I came up with.

I set it up so that I could do time blocking.  I don't need a planner to tell me when events and appointments are; I have my phone for that.  I want something where I can get into the nitty gritty of my day and plan things out hour by hour.  That is pretty much the concept behind time blocking.  I don't have a lot of lines, because I am just going to time block my time when I get home from school  During the school day, things are already pretty outlined for me.

I am hopping that if I plan out things for when I get home, such as time for blogging, time for cleaning, dinner and things like that I won't get sucked into the tv trap as much.  To help me out with that I'm actually trying to cancel my TV service as we speak.  I say trying because it's always a run around.

Are you a fairly organized person?  What are your strategies to stay organized and not waste time?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lesson Planning - getting organized

I have mentioned online planbooks before on my tech blog, and for the past two years I have really committed to PlanbookEdu.  At the end of the year they were running a special for a 6 month premium subscription (normally I just use the free subscription), but I figured I'd give it a try.  It was very helpful this past year as I was able to roll over my plans from last year to this year (of course only one course that I am teaching is the same as last year's but at least it's a little time saved).  In addition, I was able to share my planbook with my co-teacher so that she could stay up to date on what I was planning.

I have science classes with labs on various days as well as rotating period for project based learning.  I am able to make it so that planbook automatically grays out the days that I don't have the lab and labels the ones that I did.
Here is a screen shot of what my planbook looks like.  Only two of my four classes are shown because it was just too big to fit on one screen.

What do you use for planning? Do you have any good planning methods you can share?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BrainFlex - summer practice for students

I just received an e-mail from CK-12 and wanted to share it with you. Being that our school's are already out for the summer (at least in my area), I don't know if you could get students on board with this, but if you are a parent this might be good for your children. I might share this with my parents of my previous classes as there are some who are asking what their kids can do over the summer (especially those who have failed)

Here is the information sent to me by CK-12:
"CK-12’s BrainFlex tool is a great way to help prevent the “summer slide” or supplement year-round learning. It’s a great way for teachers to provide students with areas of focus over the summer, or even a preview of some of the concepts they may see next year. We’ve developed a customizable letter that teachers can share with students and parents.

It allows students to build their math and science skills with daily practice. Here are some highlights:

  • Free to join
  • Self-paced. BrainFlex features a series of tools and lessons students can take whenever the mood strikes
  • Versatile. BrainFlex covers a wide range of math and science topics for students of any age
  • Customized. Pick the subjects you want to study, practice anytime & anywhere, use unique tools to track your progress
Teachers can invite students to join here:"
Do you think this is something that would help students or is it something that kids won't want to do?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

videos from the Museum of Natural History

I previously mentioned that the American Museum of Natural History had created an educational series called Shelf Life.

Since I last talked about it there have been many new episodes.  The latest episode " Voyage of the Giant Squid" is embedded below.

Other episodes include: The Language Detective, The Tinest Fossils, How to Time Travel to a Star, Skull of the Olinguito, Six Ways to Prepare an Coelacanth, Turtles and Taxonomy and 33 Million things.