Skip to main content

End of year reflection #1

Since we're just a few days away from 2008 I feel compelled to write this post before the year ends. This is has been an incredible beginning to the school year for me as a teacher. I ask myself what it is that has worked so well this year that didn't work well last year. Is it because I have a different group of kids, maybe with fewer behavior issues? Or is it because I have more supportive parents this year? Or is it because now I have doors in my classroom rather than an open pod? Maybe it's all of these things put together that have made the difference but over which I have no control. However, I also want to think that I had a little hand in our coming together as a classroom so far this year. So, what am I doing differently this year? First of all, I have implemented a morning meeting that is sacrosanct. The kids expect it and when we miss a part of it they notice. I am taking baby steps when teaching procedures and demonstrations before expecting the kids to plunge in and show proficiency and independence. All in all, I think that I am a better teacher this year because I am taking the time to make sure that my students are more caring towards each other than the group I had last year. As a result, they are more willing to do the "right thing" rather than waiting to be told what to do. They are more willing to take risks and try things out. We are a community of learners that cares about each other.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…


Today's post is short and sweet because I just got back from a night of playing Bunko with friends. 

I share some questions I'm grappling with in my classroom. 

No answers. 

Just questions.

(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!