Saturday, October 25, 2014

Navigating Fifth Grade: The Path Continues

The year ahead is taking shape which allows me to plan my time better with regard to teaching children well.

There have been mishaps with planning and lots of revision as I settle into my new role, yet overall thanks to a talented and supportive team, the program has moved along as planned.

With keen attention on the fact that no teacher can be all things, and prioritization is the way to teaching well, yet again, I prioritize the steps I'll take to do this job in a way that's both meaningful and successful.

Starting the year with the Cardboard Challenge was messy, but served to build a great sense of team and community. This project also opened minds, developed creative confidence, and showed us that we can push through a big challenge with success.

So where does that leave me with regard to time and attention?

Professional Learning
I will direct this time and attention mainly towards the math curriculum including finishing the Stanford MOOC, completing grade 5 Khan Academy exercises, studying for and taking the State 5-8 math test, and attending the NCTM conference in Boston. A secondary focus will include reading and learning more about communication, planning and engaging in a number of science learning/teaching exercises with students, and continued attention to developing our classroom STEAM lab and activities.

Teaching Well
I will continue to apply learning design knowledge and information to designing blended, differentiated learning opportunities in science and math. I will assess often to determine success and needs. I'll engage students in the process.

I'll help out where and when I can with a focus on paying attention to the wonderful, new leaders who are emerging all around me. The educators in my midst are very talented and dedicated. I look forward to following their lead in many areas. I also plan to help out where and when I can through committee work, share, research, and collaboration.

Family and Health
The year, as usual, started with a burst of energy and activity. It's time to settle into a healthier, more realistic routine. This is always a challenge for educators, but it's a challenge I want to meet.

The Learning Environment
The unexpected need to move multiple materials caused a purge which resulted in a much roomier, more inviting classroom. I'll do another materials cut soon, and some rearrangement to continue this move towards a learning environment that's an inviting fit for the fifth grade science/math curriculum I'm in charge of.

I look forward to these moments of clarity, moments that spur my work forward in ways that matter.