Last week was rough for me. I feel like no matter what I do, I cannot get ahead. I did make it to the Twitter chat and I still really like that format for class discussion. I enjoy hearing the perspectives of my classmates and contributing to class discussions. I have had several classes with Mia and I thought she did a great job hosting our chat session. One questions that resonated with me was about having a classroom place for students to hang out. It is something that I thought about all week. I’m trying to figure out a spot for my students. I also made a really great connection with Sunshine about how we both enjoy playing games. She specifically wants me to teach her how to play Cribbage. I think that sometimes it is hard to make lasting connections to my classmates in an online class because I don’t actually “see” them on a regular basis. However, I felt a real connection to Sunshine and I am hoping we will become friends. I also haven’t played Cribbage in a while, so it would be fun to get back into that.
I also connected with Ali this week. It helps that I know her from her work in our school district. She introduced my students to PuppetPals last year and they still love it. I just had several students playing with it last week. I think the fact that Ali is in the same district as me makes it a little easier for me to connect with her. I completely understand her hesitation to try to explain allowing her students so much “play” time. I get some really disapproving looks from other teachers as they walk down the hallway and see me in it allowing my students the space needed to see whether they can make their latest Fiddle Stix creation fly. However, I also catch other students being drawn into our “creative craziness”. My classroom is right across from the bathrooms, so there is a lot of foot traffic outside our door. I hate having to shoo students back to class when I can tell they want to make things too. I also responded to Chris this week about students finding the excitement or “creative chaos” too overwhelming. I have one student with autism and another who gets very anxious and overwhelmed with loud voice levels. I shared with Chris that I allow my student with autism to choose whether he wants to join a building center or draw/create at his desk on his own. I allow him to go back and forth depending on his mood each day.