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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lessons from a softball coach

My daughter played softball this year and I was inspired by her coach. I had a conversation with him about his great turnout and success rate. I asked him "How did you get all the kids to come to all practices and games and be so enthusiastic?". His response was simple. "Reminders and enthusiasm". This made me reflect on my teaching. I think I got the enthusiasm part down, but the reminders could be better. In the past, I've only reminded students during class time or if I see them in the halls. I think I could do better! In fact I know I could do better!

I remembered hearing about remind101.com. A simple system to text MSG your students reminders without giving out your phone number.

So I signed up all of my classes. On the first day of school I'm going to print the simple one page instructions and get them to sign up. Stay tuned for feedback on this process.

So with my classes on ANGEL, as well as: student driven assignments and assessments, flipping, remind 101.com I've already moved closer to 21st century learning. For me and for them!!

Stay tuned for more "Fun with Fitzee"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1 week to go... ideas flowing

Yesterday I spent a great deal of time working on my “Angel” (PDSB’s virtual classroom) websites for both of my courses: Grade 11 Accounting and Gr 9 Busin
ess. You can see a screen shot of this here… I’m excited. I have day-by-day lessons linked to my YOUTUBE channel and videos.

For my Gr 9′s, I’m going to experiment fairly early in the course with student driven instructions and assessment. They are going to come up with an assignment themselves and the assessment criteria… I’m planning on doing as much of this as I can this year! I really want to develop a “partnering stance” (Prensky) with the students and engage them fully!

Stay tuned for more “Fun With Fitzee”

1 Week to go - Aug 27

Here I am…. getting ready to go back to school. I have made almost the entire Grade 11 course in video’s. Now I am working on making my class site so students can follow along… Some things I am thinking about are:
  • Making a video for parents to watch so that they can understand what it is all about.
  • Forming teams with “roles” in each team for the students to play. ie. group leader to keep the group on task, scribe – someone to take notes.
  • Providing more of a “kit” to go with each video so that the students can organize their notes etc.
I have prepared two video’s however, one in conjunction with another teacher, to help the students think “about how to watch video’s”…. One video is called CP POWER and it is all about: putting cell phones away, paying attention, getting organized, watching carefully and wearing ear phones, becoming engaged and finally, re-watching and rewinding if necessary. The other video that I made is called TaSQ (sounds like TASK). I want the students to TaSQ while watching… which means they have to Take notes, Summarize the video and prepare a Question for the next day.

Hello World - July 7 2012

This will be the first of many posts.  I will be updating you on a regular basis on the progress of "flipping my classes".  If you are unsure of what flipping is.... watch this video that I made to explain a bit about it.
About me.... I am a high school teacher at a GREAT school in Brampton, ON.  We are on a mission to change our school to a 21st Century School.  I am interested in flipping for several reasons mentioned in the video.  I also was fortunate enough to visit The Flipped School in Detroit ( http://www.flippedhighschool.com/).  Where I learned a lot of stuff.
I plan to Flip my Grade 11 and Grade 12 Accounting classes next year.