Google+ Badge

Monday, February 08, 2016

Setting Goals: School Years 2016-2017

I write a lot about goals because the landscape of teaching and learning is constantly changing as I read, discuss, and learn about new initiatives and ideas. So once again I set the course.

Note that I updated this post a year later in February 2017. It's interesting to look back on posts to see what actually happened. 

Classroom Efforts
I went in yesterday and updated the classroom organization. Now we're ready to embark on fraction study in depth using multiple hands-on and blended learning activities. We'll also spend some time reviewing all that we've learned this year so far for an upcoming systemwide test that will be given after February break. We'll reflect on ELA RTI this week and likely make new groups to help all students achieve with strength. I look forward to this collaborative discussion and work as it always serves to right our teaching/learning work well. There are many special events planned and there's paperwork to complete to support those events too. The schedule is set, and the work that remains is essentially paperwork, lesson preparation, student response, student/parent conferences, and lots of student-centered teaching.

Interesting to note that I'm at the same point in February 2017 as the new year pushes forward. 

Teacher Leadership Initiative
There's lots of detail work to do in this regard as I match the research, learning, and effort/idea collection with the specific requirements of the capstone project. I have the opportunity to work 24-7 on this over the weekend soon when the Massachusetts cohort meets to solidify our plans and writing in early March. As part of this initiative, I hope to present my work with my colleagues at a local or national conference this summer or in the fall of 2016.

Fortunately I completed the TLI work and did present our efforts with my grade-level colleagues at MassCUE in fall of 2016. 

ECET2 has inspired a group of educators and funders to apply for a grant to support a Massachusetts ECET2. We're in the planning process now in that regard.

ECET2 occurred in October 2016. It was a great success.

River Schools
Our school is part of the River Schools network. Our local WPSF foundation has provided us with grant money to support this effort and we're also profiting from the SUASCO grant funded by Nyanza which supports student learning and research related to rivers. Soon I'll meet with Audubon's Drumlin Farm's education coordinator, Robin Stuart, to plan this spring's related student project work and Great Meadows field study. During the vacation week, I'll process the related forms to receive the materials funded by the local WPSF grant.

We received the materials, had a great field experience, and will replicate the same field trip again this coming June. 

Local Union Work
As part of our local union, I am studying the question of how the Union can support efforts that empower teachers in ways that result in better teaching and learning. This effort overlaps with the TLI work and a possible other MTA effort.

Thanks to the support of my local Union colleagues, I was able to update our website including helpful professional learning and opportunity links and information. This year I became secretary of our local union and worked on our salary and working conditions committee as we prepared for contract negotiations. I continue to work with my colleagues in the system and the union in general mostly in the areas of professional development, learning, and the promotion of advantageous teaching/learning systems.

I continue to co-moderate the Tuesday night #edchat from 7pm-8pm. It's a great educational Twitter chat that profits from the voices of educators throughout the world. If you're interested, please join us.

While I enjoyed my work as co-moderator of #edchat, I stepped down from this activity this year due to the number of other professional endeavors I became involved in. 

Mathematical Mindsets
I continue to read and study Jo Boaler's fantastic book. I have written a couple of posts about the initial study including What is a Mathematician and Myths and Facts. Over vacation I'll complete the book and list questions for our real time discussion on Monday, March 14th at school for interested colleagues and our online #edchatma discussion on March 22 from 8pm to 9pm. Jo Boaler has said she'll join us for the online chat.

We had a good Twitter chat with Jo Boaler as well as a small gathering of colleagues in real time to discuss the book. I continue to consult Boaler's work as I develop my practice with regard to teaching math well. 

2016-2017 School Year
Colleagues and I are beginning to think about next year. With spring conferences starting, parents always have questions about next year. Also, we know it's the time to make summer plans and think about the learning and study we need to do to plan for next year. Ive drafted an initial schedule for next year, one that eliminates some of this year's challenges. Colleagues have ideas about changes too. I also reached out to leadership to find out what goals and vision they are thinking about for the year ahead as I like to keep my goals aligned with there's. To do that now means I have the time to match summer study with the goals.

STEAM Theme Days
We have a number of new STEAM Theme Days planned. We have been given an overview of the projects and some of the materials. The efforts remain to research the project, find related learning/teaching materials, gather the remaining materials, embed the Science Practices, and plan the days. I also plan to study this during the vacation week.

Last year we met most of our STEAM expectations and I hope that this spring will give us the time to complete these projects with greater depth and interdisciplinary perspective. 

I suspect I'll add a few more items to this list, but for now, this is the latest guide.