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New year, new project


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Planning ahead and Prezi

I discovered Prezi about six years ago at a PD-instead-of-a-staff meeting session. One of my colleagues shared resources to use with PowerPoint, and another introduced us to Prezi. I'd never seen it - I don't do a lot of in-class presentations (by students) so it was a cool new tool for me at the time when it didn't give me vertigo.

I still use it sometimes... I have Prezis that I like (and some that I don't). I prefer Prezi for teaching single topic or concept - anything that would take multiple days in class, I veer towards Google Slides more often than not. Here's one I use for introducing IB diploma programme courses to our grade 10 students:

There are a lot more built-in templates than there were when I first used it, and I recently received an email from the developers with a "school planning calendar for 2017".

It looked good for highlighting key dates in a month, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The only thing is... everything we do at school …

Do you listen, or just read?

When we were on strike two years ago, several of my colleagues listened as they walked - podcasts, audiobooks - but when I tried it, I couldn't focus on the storyline, so I chose to just walk and talk instead.

Fast-forward to this year, and the latest version of the "26 books with Bringing up Burns" reading challenge... one of this year's prompts was "a book you listen to". So I tried it again.  I couldn't get a paper copy for last month's book club choice, so I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and tried listening again.  I found it went well if I was listening while doing another task, like washing the dishes or folding laundry, and I was able to do lesson planning but not marking with a story running through my headphones.  It was slow going until I found I could make it go faster - 1.25 speed sounds a little more robotic, but it sure cuts on listening time.  I actually finished listening to that book as I drove to the book club meeting - …

Has it been 10 days yet?

Yup.  I just counted from my first post, and it was on January 16, making today day 10.

I missed a couple of days - both times I had begun writing, but didn't finish or didn't publish the draft - but I also double posted a couple of times, to try and catch up. Still, this is post number 8, on day 10.

Not bad for a rookie, right?

We started exams today, and since my first class doesn't write until Friday, I'm trying to be productive and mark their major lab reports before I have to start marking their exam papers.  It's going slowly... #BellLetsTalk day is in full swing, making my phone buzz and my computer bong with alerts as people tweet and re-tweet. Yes, I am easily distracted when faced with a task I don't always enjoy.  I also wrote a reference letter for a former student who is applying to the SickKids Summer Research Program, and its deadline is before my mark-entry deadline, so I justified writing it before grading papers, too.

Just imagine if I was &qu…