cheesemonkey wonders

cheesemonkey wonders

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Week 1 - "very much like being shot out of a cannon" #MTBoSBlaugust

Week 1 is in the can and I wanted to blog one of my best ideas from my first week back.

I should start out by saying that Week 1 was very much like being shot out of a cannon — much more so than usual. My classes this year are huge — 36, 37, or 38 students per class — but my room is the smallest in the school. So it took a lot of clever angling and arranging to ensure that we could have enough desks in the room and that everybody could more or less see from their given position in the room. I always mark on the floor with a Sharpie so that it's easier to put the desk clusters back into their optimal positions. Once upon a time, I would have considered this a form of vandalism, but now...? Hey, that's just common sense.


SEATING CHART MANAGEMENTI had a major conceptual breakthrough with seating charts this August. I always use OmniGraffle to set up my basic seating chart/management chart template that I use on my clipboard to take attendance and make notes. This year, it occurred to me: instead of using those stupid little name card tags with names to make a wall chart (which takes up an unreasonable amount of time), why not just make a board with a sheet of vinyl across to hold blank copies of the week's seating charts?

So now, I  can just print off two copies of my updated charts — one for my clipboard and one for the wall pockets. And voil√°! Easy to change the seats around.

The stapled blob of paper charts makes it super-easy to make notes about collaboration or mathematical successes during group work. It also makes it easy to enter attendance on the computer each class because I just look for the 0s or 1s. My scribbled comments make it easy to enter "Professionalism" scores or comments, or to send e-mails to students or families. My working copy of charts gets stapled together and placed on my clipboard. When the week is over, I archive it in a big binder.

[visualize the dazzling photo of my wall chart that will be posted here on Monday]

There's a lot more to say about Week 1, but I'm still recuperating. More soon!

Hey, Megan, Here's my
handouts hanger in situ!

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