Happy New Year, Monarchs!
I hope you all had a wonderful winter break full of food, laughter, and sleep! I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on first semester and planning for second semester, and I’m please to announce some exciting new changes to our classroom.
Change #1: We’re Adopting Google Classroom!
Since we’ve begun using Google Docs more and more frequently, I’ve decided that we will begin using Google Classroom as a more streamlined way to share Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Google Classroom also has a nifty Calendar feature that will automatically add all of your Google Classroom assignments to a Google Calendar so you can easily see when assignments are due.
There are many other benefits to Google Classroom, and we’ll explore those together as the semester progresses!
To join your class on Google Classroom, go to classroom.google.com and log in using your student ID number @aps.edu and the password you use to log in to StudentVue. So, your username should look like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you’re in, click on the plus sign in the top right corner or the page and select “join class.” Then, enter your specific class code from the list below:
1st Period: e6plv4
2nd Period: 90isqr8
4th Period: fmxr18
6th Period: q275st
7th Period: jfxvx84
If you enter your class code and it gives you an error message, make sure you logged in using your APS google account (email@example.com) and not a personal account.
Change #2: No More Weekly Priority Lists!
Since Google Classroom will automatically create a weekly calendar of assignments and due date, and since the descriptions for each assignment will be linked in the calendar, there is no need to have a weekly priority list on my website and on Google Classroom. I may still ask you to refer to my website to access other resources, so it isn’t going away completely.
Change #3: No More Vocabulary!
This may be the biggest change of all. While I still firmly believe in the value of vocabulary instruction, I feel as if the current vocabulary model is too time consuming. Rather than assigning weekly vocabulary quizzes, Mondays will now be dedicated to writing practice and instruction.
Change #4: Timed Writing Mondays!
Since we aren’t going to spend Mondays on vocabulary anymore, we will now have weekly timed writing prompts that you will complete on Monday instead. The weekly prompts will do two things: they will ask you to write about texts and concepts from the week before, and they will provide you with opportunities to refine your writing skills by focusing on specific skills such as embedding evidence, expressing ideas clearly, quality of ideas, etc.