As an introduction, before I begin posting ideas and lessons that I've used in my classroom, I thought that it might be helpful to write a bit about my school (in case anyone reading is interested). I've been teaching for 8 years at a small, rural school in Indiana. The middle school (where I literally hang my hat when I wear one) is made of roughly 730 students in grades 6 through 8. The school is located in a very small town, but spans a very large geographic area due to immense farm land surrounding our area. We have a lot of Amish students enrolled (about 20% of our student population) which creates some diversity in our school. We genuinely have great students. I know that every teacher says that, but I TRULY mean it. We do have our challenges, but I couldn't think of a better place to hang my hat (or coat...this IS Indiana, after all).
I was recently selected to be a member of a group of educators with Microsoft called the Microsoft Innovative Educators. 800 educators were selected across the globe to be a part of this focused group (only 100 from the USA). I can't tell you how excited I am to have this opportunity! I will be able to access and share new and exciting tools that Microsoft is developing for education. One such tool that I've learned about and am SUPER excited to try in my class is One Note Class Notebook. This comes with the Office 365 that schools can now access. It allows teachers to create notebooks for their classes so that students and teachers can collaborate and stay organized. Here is an article announcing the tool. Stay tuned to this blog for tutorials and ideas for how this can be used!