Emojis in the classroom?

I was unable to attend this presentation in Chicago at ISTE 2018 but the author of this blog generously shared his findings and presentation.

I am now sharing this article with you as well but also what I will try out in class. As an ESL teacher, I see lots of possibilities but also see possibilities for my other colleagues as well.

My favourites:

https://emojiscavengerhunt.withgoogle.com/

This game is played on a mobile device and asks students to quickly find the object that is named and place it in front of the camera. The artificial intelligence involved will determine if the article is the right one and if it is the case, show the matching emoji. The game is in English so it’s a great way to review vocabulary and have fun!

https://ifaketextmessage.com/

This site is not necessarily an emoji website but offers many possibilities in using them. It allows students to create a fake conversation that appears on fake mobile phone image. I see many possibilities with literature when students could be asked to imagine a text conversation. Students could also add to a story by adding a technology aspect to their writing. I will also check out how I can use this website as an exit ticket. I may ask students to imagine the conversation that would have followed what we have just done in class.

http://byrdseed.com/emoji/

This website generates random emojis that can be used as writing prompts. It can generate up to 280 emojis at a time! A teacher could project this site or students could use it independently.

https://emojitranslate.com/

This website allows students to type a text and see it transformed with emojis. Students could then send that version to another student and see if the text is still understood!

To introduce emojis, I created this presentation that I am sharing with you. Please note that the text included is not mine and comes from the article mentioned in the introduction and that the source is also cited on the last slide of the presentation.

 

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No Zero Policy: My personal reflections

I recently came across this article from a great website teachers should check out: Edutopia

Edutopia had sent out a debate question on social media asking teachers what they thought of No Zero policies. Here in Quebec, it is also an issue. Urban Legends that say the ministry’s program says that zeros are not possible or that a grade cannot be lower that a certain percentage have some teachers upset and saying that we are creating a generation of lazy, entitled students.

Photo by David Pennington on Unsplash

Zeros were no big deal when I was student. Well, they were to my parents if I got one but I don’t remember any student or their parents going to the principal’s office for getting a zero. After all, if a student did not complete the work, that’s what they deserved… or was it?

The first question is ask is why we grade in the first place. The objective of any evaluation is to see if a student has reached the objectives of a task, developed a competency or acquired the taught knowledge. The grade itself is based on a rubric or evaluation grid of some sort with specific criteria linked to each letter or number. Giving a grade a not a punishment for not getting the work done… but what CAN be done when the work is not completed.

When I started teaching, I applied the same rules I had seen as a student and gave zeros…but it did it not always feel right. There were always exceptions that made me feel like giving a zero was not at all the human thing to do. I have seen students struggle with family life situations, having to testify in court agains a parent on the day an assignment was due. I have seen students battle depression and just not be up to it… Adults would take a leave of absence from work, yet these students came in and were expected to battle depression or anxiety and still perform. An adult battling these issues would get a doctor’s note and would be prevented from being fired (at least where the law is respected and human compassion is present). Yet it was ok to ”fire” this student with a zero?

The equity argument always comes up: but other students had to do the work and hand it in on time. The equity argument can easily be answered by: and do the other students have the same issues to deal with? Students are not the sum of  a list of assignments. They are children and teenagers developing. If a competency is not achieved, teachers need to figure out why and find a way to help them.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

It can be frustrating when a student has the potential, is totally capable but is not doing the work. That’s when other methods should come into place… but grade as a punishment? Fairness is a tricky thing.

In my English as a second language classes, I have students who come in and already speak English. They had parents who spoke English or English speaking family in the States or Ontario and my English class is very easy… Should I give them a zero if they don’t make an effort for an assignment?  Would that be representative of their competency in English? Or should I take a look at how I can differentiate the task to motivate them?

I love this quote at the end of the Edutopia article and it speaks to me. I teach humans after all… not content, not English as a second language really… I teach students and I want them to like what I teach them and I want them to succeed…Giving a zero? It’s possible… but hopefully a last resort!

“If you hand me an essay that’s really lousy, do I say ‘F, do better next time,’ or do I say ‘I’m not going to grade this. I expect a much higher quality of work from you. I wrote comments on it. Come to my room at lunchtime, and we’re going to work on it together, and then I need you to turn it in next week’,” Duncan said.

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ISTE Discovery: Factitious

http://factitious.augamestudio.com/#/

At the ISTE 2018 convention in Chicago, I discovered a neat little website that teaches students to recognize fake news. The game on the site is very simple, after reading a text and checking out the source, students need to vote whether the text is fake or not.

As an ESL teacher, I see lots of possibilities! The text could be projected and read to students and students could vote as a class. With multiple devices, students could be placed into groups and could discuss and come to a consensus before voting. Students could also take time individually to read and then vote.  Since the website works directly on the web, it works with any device. A great way to teach students reading strategies but also to help them acquire 21st century skills such as critical thinking!

 

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ISTE discovery: Listenwise

Another great discovery at ISTE 2018 in Chicago: Listenwise.

Really useful for ESL teachers but also for language arts teachers, this audio resource is updated regularly and in link with current events. The free version allows teachers to share audio recordings with students with a link or by sharing it on Google Classroom. The premium version allows teachers to create groups and add assignments to the audio link. When you register on the site, you will receive a 30-day trial period that will allow you to check out the premium features.

Whether you use the premium or free version, the audio resources are varied and offer many interesting options to teachers and students. It is possible to slow down the speech and it is also possible to read the transcript. The transcript can be even be downloaded. It is therefore very useful for teachers who do not have access to technology in class since they can play the audio for everyone and print the transcript. If students use it online, they can choose to slow down the speech or use the transcript as needed.

The free version suggests discussion questions on the audio recording or comprehension questions. The premium version allows the teacher to add different types of questions such as multiple choice, short answers and even allows to customize the questions. Graphic organizers are suggested to help students take notes as they listen.

It is possible to search for recordings by theme or by lesson and the current events section allows you to find up-to-date items. The favourite section allows you to save audio files for later use and you can also share your findings using social media.

This tool reminds me of Newsela, another extremely useful tool, but with audio recordings. It is definitely something to discover so that we can offer students various types of texts!

 

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ISTE discovery: Tools for Pedagogy.com

I recently came across this website at ISTE. Someone gave me a nice-looking sticker but ISTE is such an overwhelming experience, that I can’t remember who did. After the buzz of ISTE wore down, I saw down and started checking out this website.

This database of tools available for teachers is visually interesting and easily to navigate. The different categories allow you to search for tools and gives you information about them such as the rating (on 5) if it is free or not and a link to the actual website. I really like the fact that you can sign in and add the tools to a bookmark section.

There is a section to suggest tools, one for teachers and one for companies. If it keeps growing, this website could become a really interesting resource! Consider adding your own favourite tool to the site!

Check it out!

https://toolsforpedagogy.com/

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My Simple Show

Belle découverte!
https://www.mysimpleshow.com/

-on peut importer et animer nos PPT
-peut servir de storyboard pour la planification d’un texte narratif 
-connexion avec compte Google possible (pour prof et élèves) -tutoriels simples qui nous guident pas à pas -suggestion d’images selon les mots clés de notre texte
-possibilité d’importer nos propres images
-sélection de voix et de vitesse de lecture
-possibilité d’importer sa propre voix ou musique
-partage facile lorsque la vidéo est terminée
-certaines options payantes, mais possibles avec la version gratuite.
-version classroom: gratuité pour 50 élèves

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Ditch That Textbook- Une critique de livre

J’aime les livres… eh oui, je suis une accroc à la techno et j’aime encore lire des livres en format papier.  Ce n’est pas que j’ai quoi que ce soit contre les livres numériques, mais avant de faire le grand saut, je dois terminer les quelques centaines de livres papier ,achetés ici et là, qui m’attendent. Je suis une ramasseuse de romans et de livre de développement personnel et professionnel et j’ai une très grosse pile de livres directement à côté de mon lit…qui m’attendent patiemment. Chaque année je me mets au défi de livre un certain nombre de ces livres. L’an dernier mon objectif était de lire 30 livres en tout. Je n’ai pas atteint mon objectif puisque je n’en ai lu que 28…ce qui n’est pas si mal. Un de ces livres est Ditch that textbook de Matt Miller.

Petite anecdote sur le livre: J’ai commandé le livre il y a un peu plus d’un an sur le site d’Amazon. Je l’ai acheté avec deux ou trois autres livres intéressants que j’ai probablement voulu lire suite à une conférence où on les a mentionnés ou parce qu’un ami ou amie me l’avait recommandé. Je les ai achetés et ajoutés à la pile à côté de mon lit. Lorsque je suis arrivé au livre Ditch That Textbook, j’ai remarqué que certaines pages étaient blanches. J’ai tout de même débuté ma lecture en me disant que c’était peut-être un concept de prise de note ou quelque chose du genre… mais non. Plusieurs pages étaient tout simplement manquantes. Lorsque j’ai contacté Amazon, on m’a dit qu’il était trop tard pour retourner le livre et j’étais donc bien triste de ne pas pouvoir lire le livre. J’ai contacté l’auteur…et devinez quoi? Il m’a envoyé une copie gratuitement! Une copie signée en plus… il a même ajouté quelques autocollants. Quelle chance! Je tenais à le souligner ici, car ça vous démontre un peu à qui nous avons affaire en tant qu’auteur. J’avais encore plus hâte de lire le livre.

En tant qu’auteur de cahier d’activité, je dois admettre que le titre du livre m’a fait peur un peu. Après tout, j’ai écrit quelques cahiers d’exercices et je sais qu’on y retrouve de très bonnes choses et de la très bonne pédagogie. L’idée derrière Ditch that textbook n’est pas de présenter un éditorial contre ce genre de matériel du tout. Ce n’est pas non plus un exposé sur l’importance d’être une classe sans papiers et entièrement technologique.  C’est plutôt un livre qui parle de l’importance d’être passionné en tant qu’enseignant, d’être créatif et surtout d’innover! Pour tout enseignant motivé, c’est un livre qui vous fera dire: ah bon, je ne suis pas le seul à être comme ça!

En lisant le livre, j’ai pu venir confirmer certaines de mes pratiques de pédagogue, j’ai trouvé de nouvelles idées et j’ai réfléchi et retravaillé certaines de mes pratiques.  Bien sûr, certaines idées m’ont moins rejoint et certaines suggestions ne s’appliquaient pas dans le contexte de mon cours.  L’auteur nous met à l’aise avec tout ça en nous faisant sentir que c’est tout à fait correct de ne pas embarquer dans chaque idée et qu’il faut choisir ce qui nous convient. Je me suis senti, en lisant cet auteur, comme si je jasais avec un autre enseignant motivé et passionné par l’enseignement.

L’idée d’utiliser des appels mystères avec Skype m’a beaucoup intrigué et c’est quelque chose que j’aimerais essayer en classe. Les problèmes techniques possibles dans mes différents locaux me font peur un peu, mais innover c’est aussi surpasser ces peurs et essayer quelque chose de nouveau pour ensuite s’ajuster. Je vais aussi regarder comme Twitter pourrait prendre une place plus importante dans mon enseignante. Je l’utilise déjà pour mon développement professionnel, mais des possibilités d’utilisation en classe me sont venues à l’esprit pendant ma lecture. Ces deux outils aideraient mes élèves à communiquer avec d’autres que moi et leurs collègues de classe.

La suggestion d’utiliser le clavardage avec Today’s Meet lors des périodes de lecture en silence en classe fut une des premières choses que j’ai essayée en classe et c’est génial. Mes élèves peuvent poser des questions et ne pas rester bloqués à cause d’un mot ou d’un passage du livre, et ce, sans devenir une source de distraction pour les autres élèves. Je n’aimais pas ces longues périodes de classe ou je regardais mes élèves lire en silence…bien qu’il est rare que mes élèves soient silencieux et lisent des cours complets. Je me sentais inutile lors de ces moments. Maintenant je peux communiquer avec eux et les guider pendant  leur lecture. C’est quelque chose que la technologie me permet de faire et qui serait impossible sans elle.

Avec le livre Teaching like a pirate, ce livre est un des incontournables que je recommanderai à mes collègues et à mes élèves en stage à l’université. C’est un livre que je devrai également relire à certains moments. 

Je vous invite à suivre l’auteur de ce livre sur son blogue ici, ou de le suivre sur Twitter. J’ai aussi eu la chance de participer au Ditch that textbook summit qui était super! C’était ma deuxième année et ce fut, encore une fois cette année, très pertinent!

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Ditch That Textbook-A Book Review

I love books… and yes the tech geek that I am still reads paper books. Not that I have anything against reading online but before I make the switch, I have to finish reading the 100+ books that are waiting to be read. I pick up novels, professional development and personal development books mostly and they become this huge pile of books next to my bed. Every year, I set a goal to read a number of books. Last year, I did not reach my goal of 30 books but read 28… which is not that bad. One of those books was Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller.

Funny anecdote about the book: I ordered this book over a year ago through Amazon. I bought it with two or three other interesting books that were most probably mentioned at a seminar or by friends and put them on my to-read pile next to my bed. When I finally got to it, I noticed that the book had a printing issue. Some pages were blank. I started reading thinking maybe this was a concept where we were meant to take notes but no… pages were missing. When I contacted Amazon, I was told it was too late to return the book for a year had passed… I was so sad. I contacted the author… and guess what? He sent me a free copy. A free signed copy and send some cool stickers along as well. What a great guy! I really wanted to mention it here so that you know what kind of person we are dealing with here. Made me want to read the book even more!

As a textbook author myself, I have to admit that the title kind of scared me. After all, since I wrote a few textbooks, I know that there is a lot of good stuff in there. The whole idea behind Ditch That Textbook is not to present an exposé against the material. It is also not about making sure your class become completely paperless and uses technology. It’s about embracing being a teacher, being creative, being innovative. For any motivated teacher, this is a: I am not alone kind of book.

As I read the book, it sometimes reaffirmed that what I was doing was good, sometimes gave me ideas, sometimes made me rethink things that were going on in my own classroom. Of course, some of the suggestions did not apply to me but the message always did. The author made me feel that it was absolutely OK to try things… but also to choose and not use some of the ideas presented. His reflections felt like talking to another motivated teacher and having someone understands what this passionate teaching is all about.

The Skype Mystery calls really intrigued me and I would love to try it in my classroom… The possible technical issues in my classroom(s) scare me a bit but innovation is all about getting over the fear, trying something new and adjusting.  I will also check out how I can incorporate Twitter into my teaching as well. I already use it for professional development but could use ith with students so that they communicate with others and not just me or the other students in the class.

The suggestion to use the chatroom Today’s Meet during silent reading was the first thing I tried and it is just great. My students can ask questions and not be stuck because of a word or certain passages and yet, are still silently reading and not be a distraction to other students…not that my students are silently reading every class! I just hated those long classes where students read in silence and I was left out. What a great way to still communicate and guide them! Something that technology allows me to do and that I could not do before.

With Teaching Like a Pirate, it’s one of the other must reads that I will recommend to colleagues and to the student teachers I supervise! It’s a book that I will have to schedule to re-read from time to time as well!

I invite you to follow the author on his blog here, or follow him on Twitter. I also participated in the Ditch That Textbook Summit which was amazing! It was my second year and was such a valuable professional development opportunity.

 

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Bien gérer son temps, en classe et dans la vie! (2e partie)

Dans mon dernier billet, j’ai parlé de mon utilisation de minuteries en classe lors d’activités ou tout simplement pour m’aider à être plus efficace en classe avec les élèves. Les enseignants ont aussi beaucoup de tâches connexes liées à leur travail qui ne sont pas nécessairement de l’enseignement. Nous avons des périodes dédiées au travail administratif dans notre horaire, des journées pédagogiques et nous travaillons aussi, bien évidemment, de la maison (quand ce n’est pas dans nos pauses et sur nos heures de dîner!)

J’entends souvent des enseignants dire à quel point ils sont débordés par toutes les tâches à accomplir et il est très facile d’être distraits lors des périodes de travail dites ”administratives”.  Vous est-il déjà arrivé, en tant qu’enseignant, de terminer votre journée pédagogique et de vous dire: mais je n’ai rien fait aujourd’hui!? Je suis certaine que vous avez accomplit plein de choses, mais les distractions constantes de la journée ont fait que les choses essentielles n’ont pas été faites. Et que dire de travailler de la maison! Entre le mari/chum et ses questions, les enfants et les distractions du genre manque de motivation (encore un épisode de Stranger Things et je débute ma correction…) il est facile d’avoir le sentiment de n’avoir rien fait de la journée!

Ce qui m’aide? La minuterie, oui, oui, encore elle 🙂

Utiliser une minuterie au travail

J’ai de temps à autre dans mon horaire des plages réservées au travail de type administratif. J’ai donc une heure et 15 minutes pour faire ce que j’ai à faire… mais ce travail se fait très peu si je suis constamment distraite. Des courriels entrent dans ma boite de réception, des collègues viennent me parler d’un cas d’élèves… et lorsque la cloche sonne, je me rends compte que je n’ai rien biffé de ma liste! C’est donc là que je sors ma minuterie. Je commence par choisir 2 ou 3 tâches que je dois absolument compléter et je fais une estimation du temps requis pour chaque tâche. Par la suite, je me mets mon casque d’écoute sur la tête (oui, je deviens complètement antisociale), je mets ma liste concentration sur Spotify (en voici une que j’aime beaucoup) et j’attaque les tâches choisies. La minuterie m’aide à me concentrer sur la tâche et me fait travailler plus vite puisque je dois terminer avant que la minuterie sonne.

La minuterie peut être réglée pour 10 minutes, 30 minutes ou même une heure! Lors des journées pédagogiques, j’aime séparer ma journée en section. Je regarde ma liste et décide de ce que j’aimerais accomplir d’ici la fin de la journée. Ensuite je me cache. Je trouve une classe vide ou j’utilise mes écouteurs et je m’active. Je m’assure de réserver des plages horaires pour socialiser et bien sûr, je prends une pause pour le diner. Par le passé, je travaillais sur mon heure de dîner, mais j’ai appris que de prendre une pause me rendait en fait plus efficace. Je prends donc le temps de mettre la minuterie hors fonction et je relaxe avec des collègues ou avec un bon livre sur mon heure de dîner.

Gérer les distractions

Une des distractions les plus fréquentes lorsque je tente de travailler est mes courriels. C’est pourquoi je réserve toujours une dizaine de minutes à ma routine ici et là dans ma journée pour répondre à mes courriels. Je me mets une minuterie d’une dizaine de minutes, je réponds aux courriels les plus urgents et par la suite, je lâche prise! Je me concentre ensuite sur les tâches à faire et j’ignore les courriels. Voici à quoi pourrait ressembler ma ”programmation” d’une heure de travail.

  • Minuterie 1: 10 minutes: courriels
  • Minuterie 2: 20 minutes: correction des productions écrites du groupe 32
  • Minuterie 3: 10 minutes: pause et lectures d’articles ou d’un livre
  • Minuterie 4: 20 minutes:  correction des productions écrites du groupe 32

Je ne terminerai peut-être pas toute ma correction, mais pour 40 minutes j’ai corrigé et je me suis donné une pause. L’important c’est de mettre à l’horaire la tâche la plus importante ou la plus urgente. J’ai remarqué que je suis beaucoup plus efficace pendant ce 20 minutes que si je m’étais assise pendant une heure pour corriger… j’aurais trouvé des façons de procrastiner! Les pauses m’aident beaucoup. Je ne suis pas distraite pendant ce 20 minutes intense puisque je sais que lorsque la sonnerie arrivera, je pourrai faire mes autres choses. Je ne me retrouve pas non plus dans une correction biaisée. J’ai remarqué que si je corrige pendant plusieurs heures sans pause, les notes des élèves se ressemblent beaucoup ou je deviens frustrée plus facilement (mais nous l’avons vu en classe trois fois et ils font encore cette erreur grrr….). Je préfère être plus reposée en prenant des pauses et je suis donc plus juste et équitable dans ma correction.

Utiliser des minuteries à la maison

J’utilise aussi des minuteries à la maison. Il y a plusieurs tâches que je déteste… comme vider le lave-vaisselle ou nettoyer la litière du chat… Ces tâches peuvent facilement être reportées lorsqu’elles ne nous tentent pas! Elles ont pourtant besoin d’être faites! Je divise donc les tâches qui doivent être faites et je me mets une minuterie d’une trentaine de minutes pour 3-4 choses, par exemple. Ensuite, je me mets une liste de chansons motivantes (j’aime beaucoup celle-ci sur Spotify) et je me mets à la tâche. C’est fou comment on arrive à réaliser un bon nombre de tâches rapidement lorsqu’on a un délai à respecter. Cette idée de mettre une minuterie pour faire des tâches ménagères me vient d’un système qui m’a beaucoup aidé à m’organiser. Flylady n’a rien à voir avec l’enseignement, mais m’a beaucoup aidé à organiser ma vie personnelle et ma maison. Lorsqu’on s’abonne à l’infolettre, les courriels journaliers nous aident à reprendre le dessus sur le chaos qui s’ingère si facilement dans notre quotidien.

Se mettre à l’horaire

Avec toutes ces tâches et cette longue liste de choses à faire, j’ai deux choses qui sont très importantes à ajouter: me mettre à l’horaire et accepter que la liste ne soit pas toute complétée! Je mets à l’horaire du temps pour l’exercice physique, la méditation, la lecture et je sais aussi que je ne pourrai pas tout planifier. Un de mes voyages préférés est celui où nous n’avions rien planifié du tout. Aucune réservation et des choix de destinations à l’aide de pile ou face! C’est bien parfois de ne pas tout minuter, ne pas avoir de liste et de décrocher!

L’autre chose que j’ai dû travailler est d’accepter que ma liste de choses à faire n’allait probablement jamais être vide et que parfois, je dois accepter de remettre au lendemain. Je préfère me concentrer sur tout ce que j’ai barré de ma liste cette journée-là et d’en être fière. C’est beaucoup plus motivant!

Et puis, votre première minuterie est pour quand? Quelle tâche réaliserez-vous en 10 minutes aujourd’hui?

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Time management- in class and in life! (part 2)

In my last blog post I talked about using timers in class to organize activities and manage time effectively for students. As a teacher, there are a variety of tasks that we need to complete outside of the classroom as well. We do have time here and there to do it: during pedagogical days, during a scheduled ‘’work’’ period in our schedule and, let’s be honest, during our lunch hour and our breaks! We also work from home at night and during the weekend!

I often hear how overwhelmed teachers are with everything they need to do and it’s so easy to get sidetracked during those hours dedicated to administrative work. Ever had a pedagogical day where you left and said: ‘’I did nothing today’’? I’m sure you did a lot. You maybe just did not get everything done like you expected to because of distractions. And what about working from home! Between the husband, the kids and the motivational distraction (just one more episode of Stranger Things and I will correct those copies), it’s easy to feel like nothing ever gets done.

One thing that helps me focus is to use timers, yes, again.

Using timers work

I have some blocked time in my schedule here and there. For an hour and 15 minutes I can work on anything that needs to get done… but it rarely happens if I get distracted. Emails come in, colleagues talk to you… and then you realize that your to-do list never got done. So, I like to use a timer. I will decide on 2-3 or more tasks that absolutely need to get done and estimate how much time it will take to do them. Then, I put on my headphones (yes, I’m anti-social like that), turn on my focus playlist on Spotify (here’s one I really like), and then attack the actual task. The timer not only serves as a reminder to focus on the task but makes me work a little faster since I want to finish before it goes off.

Timers can be used for 10 minutes, 30 or even an hour. During pedagogical days, I like to separate my day into sections, look at my list and decide what I would be satisfied being done with at the end of the day. Then, I hide… I find an empty classroom or I use my headphone and attack. I make sure to count some break and socializing time for my day and I make sure to actually take my lunch hour and socialize. I used to work through lunch and I don’t anymore. I find that the actual break makes me more, not less, efficient! I can focus better when the timer is on.

Dealing With Distraction

One thing that distracts me big time when I am online is my email. That is why I always keep a little 10 minutes in my timers for checking my email. I answer what seems urgent and save the rest for later. 10 minutes, that’s it! Then I go back to the tasks at hand and ignore that email. What could one hour of work look like? Here is an idea:

  • Timer 1: 10 minutes: Check emails
  • Timer 2: 20 minutes: Correct essays for group 32
  • Timer 3: 10 minutes: Take a break and read some interesting articles
  • Timer 4: 20 minutes:  Correct essays for group 32

I may not get all of my correction done, but at least for 40 minutes, I corrected and gave myself a break. I may repeat this same schedule later on and get the correction finish. The important thing is to choose the most urgent tasks and get them done. I will get more done in those 20 minutes than I will if I sit for an hour and procrastinate. Those breaks help me as well. I don’t get distracted during the set correction time because I know I will have time to do other stuff and it helps me not to be stuck in a correction pattern either. I find that if I correct for hours, I start to have similar grades for students, I get frustrated with their mistakes (but we saw that in class 3 times!!!!) and it just does not make me an efficient evaluator.

Using Timers at Home

I also use timers at home. There are so many tasks that I do not like… emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the litter box… Tasks that can easily be pushed to the bottom of the to-do list but actually need to get done. I will divide those tasks and set a timer: 30 minutes to do 3-4 things. I put on my favourite motivating playlist (here is one I really like on Spotify) and just go for it. It’s crazy how much faster things get done when you are working against the clock. This idea is something I have been doing for years and comes from a wonderful system by Flylady, which has nothing to do with teaching but helped me become someone with a clean house and helped me organize my life! When you sign up for the daily emails, you can take over the chaos in your home if that’s something you need.

Scheduling Time for Yourself

With all of the tasks and the endless to do on my list I have added to things to my getting things done philosophy: add some time for yourself and accept that not everything will get done. I schedule time for exercising, meditating, reading and can also not plan at all. One of my favourite vacations of all time was travelling with no reservations, nothing planned and using a quarter to decide of our next destination. It’s good to sometimes not use timers, not use a list, not use anything and just relax.

My other challenge was to accept that not everything on my list will get done and that it is absolutely OK! I prefer to look at my list and be proud of everything I have done rather than look at what is not done, it’s a lot more motivating!

So, what will you first timer be? What task will you give yourself 10 minutes for?

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