Monday, October 29, 2012

EveryMan/EveryWoman? Prioritizing

Most elementary school teachers must feel like they are called to be "everyman or everywoman" as our tasks are broad and deep, hence the need for continual prioritizing of our goals and efforts so that we are making the most of our time with students and our prep/pd time after hours.

What are your current priorities and goals as we reach or near the first quarter of the school year?  Here are the goals and priorities that will consume students' and my  days from now until the holiday break in December.

Reading/Writing Fluency and Comprehension
  • Poetry reflections, poetry reading both silently and aloud, Halloween poetry contest and our poetry project/celebration.
  • Personal narrative reading and writing. Picture book study and Fig Pudding Interactive read aloud.
  • Asking Questions: Comprehension Strategy
  • Non-fiction mini research projects, reading and discussion.
  • Blogging, Google sites' Writing Books, reflective writing.
Math Concept, Skill, Knowledge and Fluency
  • Individualized math fact paths.
  • Place value and rounding.
  • Large number addition, subtraction and estimation.
  • Factors, multiples and large number multiplication.
  • Related problem solving and projects.
Social Studies and Science
  • Native American Culture Studies
  • Animal Adaptation
  • The Presidential Election
  • Just Like Me Program
  • "Creativity Days"
  • Global Education Presentation
Professional Development
  • Research and presentation related to the new Common Core Math Standards for fourth grade.
  • Reading books and blogs related to The Intersection Event in preparation for my participation in that event. 
Woven into all of these goals and priorities is the number one focus which is engaging students in "learn to learn" mindsets and activity.

After the December holiday, efforts will shift to many new concept, skill and knowledge units including family history and immigration, persuasive text, written response to short text across genre, division, line plots and geometry.  The pd for that leg of the journey will be NBPTS recertification (Have you done it--any tips? I'm interested).

Recently an educator challenged my laundry list of goals and activities. I thought about that challenge, and decided to move forward with it for the following reasons:
  • It's an easy way to share with the many colleagues I work with.
  • This list keeps me on track.
  • My blog lets the world get an inside view of a classroom teacher's life at the elementary school--a view that is often distorted and minimized in the media.
  • This is a fine way to elicit response, ideas, debate and help, if needed.
Hence, thanks for listening, and as always debate, ideas and questions are welcome.