This year I am the luckiest teacher in the world. I get to teach at the best school ever – International School of Morocco, with some of the best, most creative, teachers ever. Each time I walk into someone else’s classroom, I get inspired and we just seem to spiral great teaching ideas off of each other. It’s a wonderful place to teach, and since we are all collaborating, it’s a wonderful place for our kids to learn – a teacher’s dream, right? I have tried and tried to convince the other teachers to create blogs of their own to spotlight and share some of their amazing ideas, but everyone is super busy. Instead, they have each agreed to let me spotlight some of their ideas right here on Raki’s Rad Resources. So, each Friday night, I will be posting an ISM Spotlight.
This week, we are spotlighting Meredith Achlim, the amazing superwoman behind ISM. Mrs. Achlim teaches 1st and 2nd grade, but she is also our pedagogical director. All of the wonderful ideas at ISM are spawned by her direction. ISM was her brain child and she does such an amazing job running the place and teaching at the same time. Because we teach next door to each other, Mrs. Achlim is also my “partner in crime”. She is the one I brainstorm with, and I’ve never worked with a teacher who inspired me so much. Every time I think my ideas are ‘just a little out there’, she comes up with something even better!
Today’s spotlight is a technology tip that Mrs. Achlim taught me. In the International School environment, we often don’t have access to many of the educational videos that are easily accessible in the US. For example, the videos from PBS Kids are blocked for us, as are many other websites. Since we also can’t go to Target and buy these videos on DVD, we have to get creative. One of the best substitutes for us is the amazing content available on YouTube.
Mrs. Achlim and I both use YouTube frequently to provide our students with educational videos. However, Mrs. Achlim has it down to a science. Her kids watch 4 – 6 quick videos each morning and each afternoon. Each video is only a 1 – 3 minutes long, but they provide her students with counting songs, phonics songs, calendar words, parts of speech and other key pieces to her daily routines. When I asked her how she kept track of so many different videos, she introduced me to the wonderful concept of the YouTube playlist!
She has put all of her videos into playlists labeled with the day and time they are to be watched – ie. MondayAM, TuesdayPM. Then, she doesn’t have to do anything. One of her students opens up YouTube and can click on the right playlist to get the class going. It’s simple ideas like this that make the day flow so much smoother, and Mrs. Achlim is the queen of them.
Come back next Friday to find out what the other ISM teachers are up to.