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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What's On The Teaching/Learning Menu?

I am always interested in the goals and direction of the school system. As I think of the focal areas, I have the following thoughts, ideas, and questions.

Health and Wellness
As I think ahead I want to think about how I can support the development of a healthy heart, healthy mind, and healthy body with regard to my students. There's lots we can do in this regard, and I will continue to collect ideas and spend some summer time thinking about this.

Closing the Achievement Gap
In this regard, I want to start with the work I did to untangle powerful words. I want to embed this analysis into my classroom work.

Technology
I want to continue to advocate for one-to-one for my elementary school students. The time has come. I also want to advocate for a more open, fluid system for piloting new software and tech use. I have many ideas and experience as to how to integrate technology into standards-base units and I will look for ways to do this well in the curriculum areas I will be responsible for next year.

Math Scope and Sequence and Teaching 
I want to consider the State's decision with regard to PARCC and students' scores and work related to the chosen test service for next year before analyzing our math scope and sequence. I also want to think about the blended program I implemented this year and analyze what worked well with relation to student surveys, scores, and project work. In this regard, I also want to think deeply about our successful RTI efforts including what worked well and what could still be improved to engage, empower, and educate children.

Writing Curriculum
As everyone knows, I love to write--it's a sport for me. So I'm very interested in the system-wide thought and ideas related to writing. There are so many ways for students to build writing knowledge, concept, and skill. Most of all, the more you write, the better you write. And one-to-one is a key ingredient when it comes to invigorating a writing curriculum which actually is better named a "communications" curriculum today since good writing is part of the overall need to teach children to communicate well with words, action, speech, and multimedia composition.

Science, Tech, and Engineering (STE) Standards
I studied these standards last year and created a website, Sensational Science, to host related research, projects, and efforts. Students love science and the subject lends itself well to interdisciplinary study. I look forward to greater work and study in this area.

Anchor Texts
Good literature and text matters. Identifying a varied palette of online/offline books leads student to deep and rich learning. Over the years, I've used many deep texts for student learning, the kind of books that are life-changing and life-enriching. This too will be a wonderful and positive area of study.

The system I work in always has a timely, worthy list of curriculum goals and mission--that's one reason why I've remained in this school system for so many years. For now, I'm looking forward to the learning ahead.