Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Home Stretch

It’s the last week of school. Exams are the next two days. Friday is an early dismissal day. The students are getting antsy. They know vacation is coming, and they are impatiently waiting for it to begin. These last few days are always hectic. Between field trips (side note: who schedules a field trip the last week of school??), county assessments, exams reviews, and finals – it’s no wonder many of us have countdowns going.

Amazingly, I’m caught up on grading! That’s never happened before! I told the kiddos I would have their grades by today so that they’d know what to expect before exams. But I said that with a lot of doubt. I’m never good about keeping promises when it comes to grading deadlines. Not this time! This time I was done early! It feels so good. All that’s left is to wait on the county to upload the assessment scores online and then grade semester exams.

And I’ll be done!

That is such a good feeling! You have no idea. Or maybe you do. I don't know. What I do know is that this is a feeling I probably won’t feel again until this time next year. Because next semester I’m anticipating craziness. Next semester is going to be hectic. It always is. Next semester, I have two session of Advanced Placement. And that’s never pretty.

Late nights. Early mornings. Stress levels maxed out. That’s what AP usually means for me. I’m hoping since this is my 3rd year teaching it, it’ll be a little easier in terms of planning. But who am I kidding? The work load and pace is intense! Thirty one chapters in 4 months. Who does that? This girl. And her students. I like to call it boot camp. AP Boot Camp. I tell my kids if they can make it through this course, all of their future classes will seem much easier. They think I’m joking. I wish I was.

I'm trying to convert some of my course to online. All of the AP kids are going to be given iPads this semester. So I'm planning on using an online classroom software (provided by the district) to administer tests/quizzes. I'm still playing around with the idea of having them upload assignments and participate in discussion forums. We'll see. Not sure how involved I want to get. Especially when it took me nearly 30 minutes just to create a 10 question quiz. Time is not going to be my friend. Regardless, I'm excited to play around with some new technology.

I really don't know where I was going with all of that. And I hate to keep rambling on about school stuff. So.... Basically, all of that to say, I'm really looking forward to my Christmas Break!

Anyone else going to have a nice, long holiday vacation? Any tips or advice on how to incorporate iPads into the classroom? Maybe you have a favorite app you like to use with your students?

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