A Little Loose Change…

Hey y’all. Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve written. Really it hasn’t been too long but a lot has happened over week or so.  Changes have happened.

Change. Change happens. Changes with friendships, those can suck and sometimes I’m last to know which really sucks. Changes happen with time, summer is now coming to an end and school starting. Changes happen to our health, can be quickly like throwing a back out or slowly like rehabilitating. Some changes can happen as quickly as the weather here, sunny and hot and literally storming and flooding and within 15 minutes.

So my change for this year is that I no longer will be teaching science. Last 4 years I’ve been teaching 6th grade science at McAdory Middle School in McCalla, AL (I never mention my school name here but it’s needed for what I’m going to ask for in a few paragraphs). Well I’ll still have one science class a day but the rest of the time I’ll be teaching a ‘technology elective’ for 6th grade. Kinda cool, huh? It’s going to be fun but from time I found out until time school starts is a week and half window. And no I don’t have a curriculum to go by nor has this class been taught at my school to look at way it was in the past. It’s really exciting to start from scratch.  I’m lucky because I have a PLN to turn to during this. So many sent me curriculum maps/scope and sequences of what they have done or what is done at their schools. I’ve had invites to schools not far from here to see what they are doing. I’ve had others give me fantastic ideas for lessons or reminding me I can now do things I was afraid to slip in my class due to curriculum requirements & time limits.

So I’ve got an outline. Who knows how closely I will stick to it, but I’m going to try. I may get a wild hair and go off on something, but these are the basics and not only cover things I want to them to learn but the state technology course of study as well. So here it is:

1st 9 weeks: (The Basics)

Class expectations (with input from kids), rules, district AUP, setting up Edmodo accts, etc. (1 week)

Digital Citizenship – social media will be then as well (3 weeks)

Parts of a computer (1 week)

Basic computer usage (1/2 week)

MS Office Basics (3 to 4 weeks)

2nd 9 weeks: (Internet, Web 2.0, Apps)

Search and Research – Google, Nettrekker, online libraries (1 to 2 weeks)

Web 2.0 Tools  (4 weeks)

Apps (I hope…Need something to run apps on) (4 weeks)

3rd 9 weeks (Getting Fancy)

Website building and coding (4 weeks)

Photo and video editing (5 weeks)

4th 9 weeks (Engineering) (I need help for this y’all!)

Design thinking

Makerspaces

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT (or if someone is feeling really generous EV3)

Also I plan on starting having a genius hour some time during the 2nd 9 weeks, depends how long we take to get to that maturity level, they are 6th graders. 

I know there is a lot more that could be added to this, but this is what I am comfortable with so far. These are things I already are comfortable with and pretty good at. Yeah there maybe a different robot out there but I’m really good at LEGO and if I don’t have a learning curve then I can focus more on instruction.

So here is the bummer, I do not have many of the materials needed for most of this. I know most of you are teachers and can’t just go out and buy but I know many of you are parents or professionals. Do you know a company or a person that can help with a donation or need a tax write off and can supply some of this. Just one thing can make a huge difference. I do plan on posting on some of the donation sites like Donors Choose and will post links as soon as I do, but they have a minimum at first. I keep wondering if there is a place that lets schools “check out” or “rent” these things. People keep telling me “asks local companies or corporations” and that is a great idea thank you, but do you know how many of those are out there?? Birmingham is a pretty large city believe it or not. I don’t even know where to start. A lot of you leave me comments/messages on this blog asking me to use your product, if you can help me get the hardware, I will try your product and kids will use it and review it. We will put it out there for the world to see! Do you know of grants I could apply for? Send me the link. I’ll also have a donation form on the class website once it’s up. So here is my list:
So here it is, all out there. I’m terrified about not being prepared (having drowning dreams already). I’m terrified we will not have what we need to actually get to do this. I’m sure we will have fundraising, if we do, I’ll post it! I am not good at asking for things, I never could ask my parents for money growing up, it’s hard for me. But this time I have to ask. I need help. I would welcome feedback on my curriculum map, just remember I know how to do the stuff above, I don’t want a learning curve. I’ve been asked the students will have eportfolios, yes, we’ll keep everything on edmodo & then post public during website building unit. Also, I will be journaling everyday. It will not be live/public but there will be a lot of data and information by next May. One thing I am good at is research and going to school so I will be treating this as a learning experience and recording what I learn. Living the case study! If you can help me or have questions, email me at amandacdykes@gmail.com! Ok off to bed, 6th grade orientation camp bright and early!

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Day says:

    Congratulations on your new assignment!

  2. Debbie Fucoloro says:

    Technology elective for 6th graders! That is so awesome! I taught a digital video ‘elective’ (we called it EXPLO for exploratory) to 6-8 graders for nine years. It was a blast!

    I feel your pain on the short notice! I just accepted a new position as technology coordinator at a PreK-8 school on Sunday and started on Monday, and I’m feeling a bit unsure, as well. I know you will be awesome because you have thought it all out very carefully, and you know your fabulous PLN will have your back. Your 6th graders are very fortunate to have such a creative, caring, and enthusiastic teacher. I can’t wait to check back in and read how you are doing. Good luck!

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