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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time to Ponder

Today marks the end of a month or so long set of deadlines and activity that was really, really busy. It is so nice to have a moment to ponder. It's always surprising to me at the end of busy periods like this that the end does come and life calms down. That's often difficult to remember during the thick of a busy period.

The conference period is especially busy since you are spending time talking to more than twenty families and often children too about the teaching/learning program, strengths, challenges, interests, and goals. It is a worthwhile time that lays a strong foundation for the learning that comes after it.

Going forward I want to match the conference time with a quieter, gentler teaching/learning schedule next year in order to reserve the energy needed for thoughtful, interactive conference meetings.

In general I want to look carefully at the curriculum map for next year and work with my colleagues to space out the high energy activities and events well while also making strong periods of time for deep study and learning. Overall our curriculum map this year has been right on target. There's been few to no dull periods and there's always a project or special event to break up the routine and add some spice to the learning.

Part of this effort also involves streamlining professional learning too so it's the right amount of time to invigorate and develop good teaching, but not so much time that you're exhausted.

Tomorrow begins the Test Leg of the school year in earnest as we prepare for the PARCC tests in multiple ways. It's a good time to shore up the learning that requires greater practice or more or different teaching.  After that comes our STEAM/Special Project time where we'll be spending days investigation inside and out, at school and away from the school, altogether, in teams, and one-to-one.