Monday, February 15, 2010

Gallery Walk Reflections

Our second annual teacher gallery walk went pretty well today.  My AVID "Goal Setting" trifold board gave me the opportunity to remind our faculty about the program and discuss it at length with a few people.  I even found an AVID student today... well, she wasn't an AVID student yet, but I do believe she will be one next year.

The young lady was there to help the tech team display their polycom application and she gave me a demo on it (not like I needed to hear it, I used to set those up at a company I worked for, but I love talking to kids - especially when there are too many adults around!).  I asked her if she was a senior because the other young lady was, she said, "Oh no, I'm a sophomore."  So I figured she must be in Pre-AP classes.  She was not.  But, then she said, "I will be in AP next year in History and English."  My mouth dropped open.  It's really difficult to make that jump.

So we talked AVID and how that could help her.  Turns out that she does not have parents who attended college either.  Perfect fit so far.  She is going to talk to her counselor and fill out an application.  That would be wonderful to get a new student like that.  You never know where an AVID student might be.  I have met and recruited several just from walking around school and being talkative.

The Gallery Walk was pretty good though.  Saw some really great uses of Assessment for Learning.  Also saw many projects and cool uses of technology.  Our World Humanities group displayed something called Jing that is a screen capture program.  It's free, but limited.  The teachers used it for tutorials on some application process things that they had the kids do.  I could see some uses for it, but not entirely sure I have time to jump into it now.  Maybe this summer.

I also saw a great idea from our World Geography Honors teacher who published a book of pictures and work from her students last year on Japan.  I would love to pull together a project and capture it in a book some time.  Maybe my castle project or something similar?

There were plenty of "Unit Plans" and targets - much like I did last year.

Overall a good use of the day.  I had a chance to talk AVID with our Superintendent.  It was so cool that he stopped by to see all the good work we have going on and to be supportive.  We are very lucky to have him.

In the afternoon I had a chance to get my boards cleaned and ready for tomorrow morning, put my Human Rights Posters up on the wall (I'll take some pictures and post later this week), finished my outline handout for our next project on Leaders, and wrapped up my notes for tomorrows class.  A productive day.  Best part of all?  Aidan and Norma came in and we went for lunch at Carinos.  :)

Looking forward to seeing the kids tomorrow for Chapter 14 - Absolutism and AVID tutoring.  Watched Elizabeth last night and enjoyed it.  Although I'm not sure what I could actually use in class.  Pretty much rated R.  Good story though.

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