We're hitting a positive stride now that the year's schedule and plans are set. As I look ahead, the following actions take priority.
Once homeroom students complete their math assessment today, we'll spend some time cleaning desks and organizing the room. There may also be time for some in-class free choice with building materials, books, games, and other choices.
Math Teaching/Learning: Unit Two
We're just about done with the deep and challenging math unit one, a unit with lots of new words, concepts, and learning goals. Unit two is a lot easier to teach and learn so that will offer students who got a bit stressed out by unit one a chance to apply learning strategies and efforts with more success. Xeroxing packets, introducing important vocabulary, and learning the concepts in a myriad of ways will lead us forward.
Our Math Response to Intervention groups will begin next week. Our efforts in that regard will be informed by this week's PLC meeting and today's student services meeting. Questions we'll answer include groups make-up, teaching/learning focus, coordination of staffing, enrichment and modification focus.
The challenge with teaching science has been time--time to read/study the materials, time to organize/set-up materials, and time to teach the lessons. I hope that I'll find that time in the week ahead so we can begin our science study of matter in earnest.
I have a curious group here and some planning to do as well in this regard. In the future, I wonder if we can make this a five-day a week effort instead to add consistency. We might be able to start this now using our 8:30-9:00 am time each day.
Field Studies and Special Events
We have a number of great field studies planned. The challenge here is to organize all the field trip forms and checks, work with office staff to get checks to pay the vendors, and confirm bus and field study reservations. There are also a few other field studies that need to be scheduled and organized.
There's a lot of paperwork to organize and submit. There's little time to complete this work during the school day, and sometimes by the end of the day, I'm just too tired to complete the many forms that require just enough attention and clarity that make them difficult to do at the end of the day. Hopefully I'll have the time to complete all those tasks today. Ideally most of those tasks would be required and completed prior to the start of the school year, but many are assigned after that time.
Professional Learning, Association, and Contribution
I'll discuss potential professional learning events with colleagues today, but it looks like this year may be a year of less outside-of-school learning just because the goals I have for teaching/learning this year are very classroom centered. In a sense I'm spending the year embedding the learning that I've done in the past few years. I like this kind of hand-on application, and I am learning a lot. I have a lot of paperwork to complete related to past learning and upcoming learning-related events however, and I have upcoming meetings related to the WTA, MTA's TPL and DESE TAC. I'll be participating in the MTA's Just for New Teachers Conference as well.
Like most teachers, there's a number of efforts in this realm that have been left undone during the busy weeks at the start of the school year. So I'll focus my attention in this direction too.