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Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Students-First Environment

I continue to work towards building a students-first environment.

As I learn, I continue to revise efforts and practice.

Indoor Lunch
One issue that has risen up is the "indoor lunch" dilemma. Students love to have lunch in the classroom. It's a relaxed "cafe-like" atmosphere for eating with friends. Like Starbucks, the students settle in all over the room and eat as they engage in a number of activities they enjoy.

Yet, when I invite all in, I don't have the time to focus on a few.

Students desire that small group attention and care, and our current job teams provide a good structure for that. Other students benefit from an academic lunch meeting as well.

So, I'll talk with students, and probably create a routine that includes some days for "Cafe Lunches" for all, some days for lunch meetings, and other days for "teacher-only" lunches.

Design and Scaffold Learning for Success
While I  have differentiated throughout the year, I'm read to create greater depth in this regard. There is still need to differentiate more and with better effort in some areas. I need to make sure that all learning experiences offer students opportunity for successful step-by-step learning. In this regard, I need to look carefully at the content of the differentiation efforts to make sure that the content is meaningful and relevant in ways that "pull" the learner in.

Upcoming Special Events
I want to work with the grade-level team to sensitively play for the many special events coming up. I want to plan these efforts with inclusivity and positivity by anticipating the events' needs and issues ahead of time and planning well so that everyone is happy and engaged.

Parent Conferences
I want to work with my partner teacher to plan for parent conferences in ways that help us present similar information at the parent conferences. I also want to solidify our second half of the year learning/teaching map as I expect families will be interested in that at upcoming conferences.

I'm sure I'll add to this list in days to come as I think of ways to boost a students-first environment during the second half of the year. What would you add?