Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Digging In: Standards Focused

Yesterday's start back was a bit more rocky than I expected. A project that I thought the students would easily complete was more challenging than I anticipated. My colleagues and I talked about it, and they came up with ways to make the project goals and activities more accessible--ways I'll introduce my students to when we return to the project in a few days. When I mentioned the issue to the principal, he mentioned, in a positive way, that we are always learning as educators, and that's something I agree with.

We received some system-wide test results which were very favorable pointing to a lot of positivity with regard to one aspect of the teaching/learning program. I was happy to see those results which inspire me to use a somewhat similar preparation approach for the spring MCAS tests. I also noticed some ways that we can improve learning with regard to students who didn't score as well--we've been looking into that situation all year. One way that I think we can serve these students better is to identify them early in the year, and create realistic, meaningful goals and program for those students--a program that doesn't expect students to jump multiple grades with regard to skills, concept, and knowledge, but instead a well designed program that's created to move students up with more thoughtful, engaging, targeted activities that students will embrace with enthusiasm, interest, joy, and success.

During math today, teachers will introduce students to the fraction story project during RTI and then give students a chance to start this project. In class we'll step back into fraction study and begin to review, study, and learn each standard and concept with a deep look at model making, language, and number work. The exercises are designed so that each lesson will include an explicit introduction, individual practice/teacher support, and then independent work/choice with regard to multiple learning options.

It will be good to be back on track with our typical learning schedule now that our homeroom days and vacation have ended. There is both a sense of peace and accomplishment with regard to following the routine we carefully put together early in the school year. Onward.