Saturday, November 20, 2010

920 soon to be 985

So this week has flown by in the usual fashion...
Running back and forth between buildings, trying to get everything up and running while keeping track of around 120 students and all of their assignments and work. Monitoring student projects and posting thoughtful comments to every photo that my students turn in across all of my classes, including photography, which entails at least 160-200 photos per day depending on the assignments that have been given and the progress the students make.
It is one of those things, the more work you give to the students, the busier they are, and in return, the more work you have created for yourself to respond to.
I have taken to creating elementary style progress monitoring to help the kids stay on track and be motivated as well as independent... This entails creating 6 pages of class rosters with a colored star for each step in each project that is achieved. This serves as a detailed instruction graphic that tells all the steps required in each activity... and ends with me starring at a screen with a clipboard for hours each week, checking off each comment and image that students have turned in.
Of course this takes forever, and I update it on a weekly basis...
It's my way of helping the kids keep track of all their work and showing them that I notice all the effort they put in each day in class...
Yesterday was the last day of the term, which means I have this weekend to post grades, get ready for conferences, and plan for the next term of new classes... I will be doing advanced levels of all of my courses in the coming term, which means new projects, new assessments, new examples, tutorials, screen casts, and accounts for all of my students.
We set up a great system that allows students to turn their work in directly to me and share their work with the class. The system works perfectly, and allows students to give constructive feedback on the work being turned in... But again, with the additional opportunities, comes more fun for me, as we have a system that has me approve each comment that students make... This is wonderful, as it ensures I can help students learn about appropriate and constructive feedback and help students that need assistance with these comments, but it also means that I need to approve each one, and with classes often posting 3-5 comments each (across 120 students) each day, I end up having to approve them at all hours of the day just to keep up.
I am still getting the hang of the system and soon will figure out a schedule that allows me to stay on top of all the work and not end up spending all of my time outside of work working...
But it seems that the demands of what I do are just part of the plan.
I really enjoy it for all the extra time it requires.
I just hope that I can continue to keep it all up and keep giving the crew a memorable experience.

In other news, I did something brilliant today.
I ended up driving on an expressway at around 55 mph with my emergency brake on...
Needless to say, I was surprised to find my back tires on the brink of bursting into flames when I got home.
The brake accidentally got set when we were moving cars around at the new house, and I was so tired and focused on getting home to go back to sleep that I didn't notice the little red light on the dash, right in front of me.
So I headed over to Les Schwab, ready to accept my fate and take the news like a champ.
This after having just getting my brakes redone only months earlier.
Turned out that they said everything was just fine, but I was halfway through looking up the bus schedule for the area just in case...

So the car is fine, next week is all half days and we are off to Thanksgiving Break, where I will be putting my things into boxes and mentally rearranging my kitchen.

Good times.

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