Thursday, September 12, 2013

Schedule Revision

As noted, the year met its first unexpected pothole this week which resulted in lost time and a revised focus and schedule. The more specific I can be about the focus, the better chance I'll have at meeting the goals and maximizing my teaching/learning efforts.

Assessment, Review, and Response
There's no choice but to set aside weekend time for thoughtful student work and assessment review. I simply don't have the time blocks and energy necessary during the week to carefully look over students' work with care and an eye on future learning needs, differentiated teaching, and the tools needed to review, practice and teach skills. Hence I'll set aside Sunday mornings for this effort. As Hattie suggests in his book, Visible Learning for Teachers, Maximizing Impact on Learning, assessment, review, and response is an important key to successful learning.  Classroom teachers work with multiple children each day, children who produce a large number of wonderful projects and papers--more than any teacher could review.  In a perfect world, there would be time set aside each week for this thoughtful student review and response, an effort that serves teaching and learning well, but it's not a perfect world.  Hence, each Sunday I'll choose a few important papers for each child to review with care.  I'll use online assessments and in-class response when I can to help with this process.  I'll also put aside my thoughts that we need more skilled time-on-task professionals with regard to this process as that's outside of my impact at this time. However, a quick audit of staff with regard to who has responsibility for large quantities of at-home work and who doesn't would shed an interesting light on school roles, possibility, and potential.

Lesson Planning
I'll continue the practice of planning the week's lessons a week in advance, and sharing that plan with other teaching professionals and assistants that work with my class.  I'll leave room in the schedule to change plans as needed to respond to student need and interest.

I'll update websites, documents, tech lists regularly, and send out a learning community newsletter once a week.

Unit Planning
Similar to lesson planning, I'll prep units about a month in advance, leaving time for material acquisition/prep, scheduling, and research if needed.

I'll continue my daily a.m. practice of research, writing, and detailed prep related to the day's lessons and expectations.

I'll continue my weekly #satchat and #edchat which feed my teaching/learning spirit. Thanks PLN!

Each month I'll engage in one professional learning activity.  October will find me at the MassCUE technology conference.  November brings NCTE.  December--a focus on writing.  January: Educon. February: RETELL.  March: the finishing touches on NBPTS.  April, May, and June?

Next summer I'll make room for a curriculum review with respect to the efforts this year to integrate all the new standards into worthy learning design and teaching.  I'll also leave room for the unexpected learning which most often leads the summer learning effort.

I'm sure this routine will continue to undergo change as I meet the unexpected, but until now this provides a framework with which to move forward to teach well.

Do you create a similar framework to meet teaching/learning expectations and needs?  If so, what leads this effort and do you have any tips to share?  This is one area of the teaching/learning life that remains a challenge as factory models continue to stay strong in most schools.