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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Keep a Log

So much happens in a school day, that it's important to keep some kind of log which lists the important matters.

The log can be a simple daily list of important events, or the log can be a book that is categorized by specific areas of school life.

As I mentioned before, my partner teacher and I kept a website last year that included all the year's pertinent information. That became a helpful log of school events and information that any one on the teaching/learning team could refer to when looking for specific information.

As we embrace our new, shared model for teaching fifth grad next year, we've made a new website to host all the team information. We've also made a website that hosts information specific to our teaching decisions and that makes room to keep track of the model's story as it unfolds. Tracking the model's story with important details will provide us with good information for analyzing and revising the model as needed.

As you think about the school year to come, what categories of information might profit from keeping a log? Here are a few possibilities.

Student Notes
First, I think it's important to keep important notes about both positive and challenging student actions. Write the notes in a factual, objective way that lists what happened and perhaps follow-up questions and response. Date the notes. This can be very helpful when working with children as the notes may demonstrate important trends, and those trends can inform responsive, supportive action.

Personal Journal
You may want to log your own personal reactions and feelings about school life. Similar to the student log, your own notes will help you to see trends with regard to your own teaching/learning challenges, interests, and growth. Also, your reflective action results in better effort with regard to your school community responsibilities.

Tracking Initiatives and Goals
You may want to clearly track an initiative. This could be a simple chart that lists the date, action, and a few notes for each stage of an initiative. This will help you to analyze and share the initiative's success at points of reflection and at the end of the initiative. You might also want to track goals. Start by clearly expressing the goal and then chart each step using Hattie's full-circle goal process as a guide. This will help you to reach your goals.

Keeping a log profits from creating an online or offline template and building the work into your daily or weekly routine.

As I think about this myself, I will keep the logs noted above in order to teach each child well, reach the year's teaching/learning goals, contribute to our new shared model, and reflectively develop my craft.