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Saturday, February 21, 2015

School Year Journey: Next Chapter

I like the way the school year breaks down into chapters or segments of learning.

The many weeks-on-week(s)-off pattern helps to shape the learning efforts in positive ways.

The weeks off are needed breaks for reflection, catch-up, and life outside of school.

And so as the February break comes to an end, I'm thinking about what's ahead and how we'll begin the next eight-week chapter.

Organization/Routines
We'll begin the time with a focus on organization and how to learn in the newly renovated room (The room doesn't look that different, but there are some significant organization changes that will help everyone.). That discussion will serve to bolster students' responsibility and independence including the following points:
  • Supply area introduction, responsibility, and routines:
    • Pencils/Pencil Sharpeners
    • Shared Supply Caddy
    • Paper Place
    • Pass-In Box
    • Sign-in Routine
  • STEAM area protocols and efforts
  • Classroom Library
  • Desks and Coat Rack responsibility and routines
  • Daily Schedule
  • Star Classroom Points
I'll revisit the "learning-to-learn" mindsets and behaviors we've discussed all year at the start of each learning experience to remind students of actions and attitudes that matter when it comes to successful learning.

Servant Leadership
I'll make the time for students to voice their needs and concerns for the next chapter of learning. We've got some leftover efforts to catch-up on including student jobs, lunch meetings, and star classroom efforts. I'm sure there are other items that the students will remind me of too as well as new needs and interests. We'll make a plan together to meet those needs.

Learning Focus
I'll share the learning focus with students which includes math standards study/review, multi-step math problem solving, performance based assessments, showcase portfolios, and our Rube Goldberg STEAM project. 

Professional Focus
Beyond the main goal of teaching children well, my focus will continue to center on finding good home/school balance, continuing a regular routine of professional learning, and contributing to the school/system-wide goals and initiatives as needed. 

I'm looking forward to the new leg of the school year--it's a fine time of teaching since it's a time when I know my students well and we're working to solidify so many concepts and themes already rooted strongly in the year's learning journey.