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Sept 11/09 A long time and here it is again

September eleventh brings a rush of associations. We still mourn our loved ones in New York. We still quake at the reality of urban terror and know it could recur anywhere, anytime.

September 11th is also the birthday of some fine virgos: Wendy, Jamelah, Craig and Krista.

September 11th is almost getting serious. Almost getting Autumn.

In school, it’s jumping into new technology at a new hi-tech school.

Menu Bar of SmartBoard

Menu Bar of SmartBoard

We’ve got Smartboards in our classrooms and teachers bring laptops into class in order to maximize their use.

Laura approaching the menu bar

School’s been heralded off to this start with weekly staff instruction. Our English staff got its first private class on Wednesday. About half of us, or more, are already using the boards in class. We’re finding that the kids enjoy the sessions. Flashcards have never been so high resolution before. Our painstakingly prepared powerPoint presentations do their magic. For us it means hours and hours of prep. Theoretically, we’re building up a reservoir of materials.

As English teachers in Israel, we’ve always needed to put in huge amounts of creative time in readying our materials. We’ve had to adapt authentic materials so that our students can work on mandatory projects. We’ve toured the globe to bring them sound clips and interesting activities to stimulate their many intelligences.

We’ve investigated techniques to focus students with ADHD, and now the SmartBoard, I feel, will aid us in all of these components.

I feel the focus and I love it when students ask to go one more time through the vocabulary flashcards and I burst out laughing when a class of Special Ed kids finally all pronounce ‘laughed‘ correctly along with the magenta framed flash card.

So, it’s good.

The laptop is, however, heavy! And the distances between classes and the English Centre is not small. On Sunday, I strapped on a pedometer to measure the distance. Sunday I did 5,000 steps just going back and forth.  Tuesday was a lot less: 3, 695! Together with biking to school and back, I’m just about commuted into aerobic health. Unfortunately, it’s never enough.  A good walk around the fields is the best and I hope I’ll still have time when the clocks go back to Winter time and throw darkness on those precious early evening hours.

Qassams? We’ve had a few in this area. In Mifalsim, they had a Red Alert. We’re always reminded that the fortified school and the ongoing construction of home shelters is not for nothing.

May the weekend be quiet,

Judih

Sept.11/09

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