|This will be my personal focus next year.|
There is great satisfaction in teaching well. To work with a team of colleagues, students, families, and administrators to prepare and implement good work to elevate students learning, self-concept, happiness, and capacity is a terrific way to use your energy and focus your time.
As I think of prioritizing and targeting efforts for the 2018-2019 school year, I'm thinking about the work I will do to support students' learning paths, paths that lead to success with learning-to-learn strategies, social emotional learning, collaboration, communication, and academic standards.
What efforts and evidence will foster this work in the days ahead?
Social-Emotional Learning and Team Building
- The Language and Behavior of Learning Early year portfolio efforts will introduce and review the language of learning and learning-to-learn behaviors and attitudes with students. Together we will examine what it means to be a successful learner and community member.
- Community Building We'll begin the year with a focus on what makes a great community. We'll focus on the attributes of good teamwork and the school handbook which includes the policies and protocols of being a good school and community citizen. We'll also use the new social studies standards as one way to build community with a focus on a class constitution as compared to the process/content of the U. S. Constitution and we'll focus on the phrase, "All men are created equal" with regard to its historical context and how that phrase is interpreted today. Further I'll use Boaler's suggestions in her book Mindset Mathematics for grade 5 to set up norms for the math classroom.
- Relationship Building Students will engage in a good number of relationship building activities at the start of the year so everyone gets to know one another in comfortable ways. A start-of-the-year timeline activity will help students to tell their story while also learning about the social studies standards concept that our past affects our future. Marshmallow-spaghetti tower building and note card tower building activities will provide enjoyable ways for students to work in teams, understand teamwork, and get to know each other too.
- Reread SEL book and embed the specific lessons and language into next year's teaching/learning program with lessons, guiding posters, and other efforts.
- Review last year's portfolio and orientation/start-of-school materials and update appropriately with particular attention to embedding the new social studies curriculum.
- Math Mini Prove-It Projects These projects will be standards-based, collaborative activities that pull students into the heart of each standard and foster student problem solving and application of standard skill, concept, and knowledge. Students will need to use and practice the Math Practices to complete the Prove-Its, and I will be available to edit students' prove-its in ways that helps them revise, perfect, and redo in ways that deepen students' understanding, application, and explanation/presentation of the standard information.
- Math Reflection Journals Students will practice composing explanations, questions, and models that use math vocabulary, concept, knowledge, and skill. I will respond to students' reflections on a regular basis as one way to assess and support their math thinking/learning development.
- Read Boaler's grade five mathematics book and apply to next year's math program.
- Science Lab Reports Students will use lab reports to lead and respond to their science learning. I will collect and respond to these lab reports as one way to assess and support students' science learning and study.
- Review Science Study documents: Reread the physical science curriculum and update the website and lessons.
- Environmental Education: The team will meets with Drumlin Farm education coordinator and grade-level team to plan next year's environmental science efforts in August and September.
- Look for ways to embed SEL into the science program particularly with regard to collaboration skills.
- Study the reading list and apply that information to next year's teaching and learning.
- Study advocacy at MTA Summer Conference.
And I think to future paths, I am thinking about how to infuse creativity and writing more into this menu.
School Year Prep and Planning Chart
Spring/Summer School Prep for 2018-2019
Teacher Prep Days at end of August:
First Six Weeks of School Year
School Year Focus: Big Events
Professional Learning for School Year 2018-2019