As I think of the grade-level program development, I know the following elements serve us well:
- Curriculum standards and framework: This includes solid, thoughtful goals and scheduling
- Planning, Assessment, Analysis: We make time to plan, assess, and analyze the program with care.
- Inclusion of Multiple Voices: The program is analyzed by many. Parents provide feedback through email and meetings. Administrators meet regularly with us to provide feedback. Students provide feedback and ideas during regular class meetings. We share our own ideas and thinking as a team regularly.
- Reading and Research: It's essential to stay abreast of new ideas and research via reading, conferences, and coursework. It's important to reflect on, analyze, and embed new ideas and research into the curriculum regularly.
As I think of the past year's program, I believe we hit many goals. We'll be able to better assess this in a few weeks when the year's standardized scores are in, commentary collected, and an overview of the year shared with one another.
The one overall area I'd like to improve is giving all children equal attention with regard to teacher-time and interest. I feel that we can make this more equitable with the use of a simple check-list of time-on-task with individuals making sure that every child gets sufficient small group time and one-to-one attention.
I'd also like to better embed our science standards and teaching throughout the year--finding the time will be challenging on top of the many other goals we have to reach, but I think we can do this if we give it good thought during the summer planning process.
Further I'd like to look at the opportunities we provide for student support and enrichment--how can we deepen and enrich those experiences in ways that matter beginning with our efforts to employ a thoughtful multi-event orientation for students--one that builds strong relationships, a sense of belonging, and clarity about the year's expectations and opportunity.