Sunday, August 28, 2016
Week 1: Welcome to Laguna, Where Everybody Belongs (week of 8/26/2015)
This assignment was assigned on Google Classroom. Each year, I challenge myself as an educator to try something new. Two years ago I challenged myself to forgo assigning homework. I give assignments in class with ample time to work. Any work in my class that makes it home is because class time wasn't used properly. I'm also more useful in person than I am via Remind or email. Last year, my goal was more student talking and better groupwork/projects. You'll see later this year that there's more structure when my students are working collaboratively, which then holds each student more accountable for their portion of the project. As there always is with group projects, there will be group grades and individual grades. However, the individual grade will be worth much more, so students who fail to complete their portion are more affected in their individual grade and the groups is only minorly affected.
This year's goal was to go paperless (enter Google Classroom). What I like about Google Classroom is that each students' Google Classroom account is directly linked to their Google Drive account (and mine as well). That means no worrying about saving documents; Google Drive does it automatically. I'll be able to receive, grade, and return assignments online. So much easier! I'm also going to try to not rely on printed documents as much this year, saving students time and the stress of waiting until the last minute to print and finding the library is mobbed by like-minded students. Students can access their Google Classroom account using their student email address and school password (provided on their schedules).
I understand that computers and internet are not available to all of my students. Please be aware that time is given in class to work. My classroom and computers are also available before and after school for work. Students who do not have tech access at home should make arrangements at school to complete their online work. These arrangements should be made prior to the assignment's due date. Waiting until the day is due to tell me that internet/computers weren't available will result in the assignment being late.
Lastly, we'll be spending Thursday and Friday of next week in the library with Mrs. Schwoerer. One thing I love about Laguna is that each English class takes students to the library for library orientation. Mrs. Schwoerer is an incredible asset to our campus and the students will see that first hand. On Thursday, we'll be getting a general library overview and checking out books for KBAR (kick back and read). This quarter, students will be reading fiction. Please check my KBAR page for more specifications. On Friday, we'll be getting a tech crash course and looking more in-depth at the Google Platform (Drive, Docs, Slides, etc. and Classroom), learning how to use our research databases, and looking at other digital resources that will make our lives much easier.
Question for the dinner table/drive home:
1. Which one of Mr. Laffin's classroom policies surprised you? Why?
2. What will be the toughest element of your seventh grade year? How will you make sure you're ready to face this obstacle?
3. What are you looking forward to during your first year at Laguna? Why are you looking forward to it?
Class website: https://sites.google.com/a/slcusd.org/laffin/home
Join my Remind classes to receive reminders and updates. Text the following codes to 81010:
Period 1- @laffin1
Period 2- @laffin2
Period 3- @laffin3
Period 4- @laffin4
AVID (Period 6)- @avidlams