I am a fan of developing teaching/learning programs with a holistic approach that includes all stakeholders. I am also a fan of developing programs in equitable ways beginning with areas and children that are underserved, and moving up and out from there. As I think of this with regard to the grade level program and what I can do, I recognize that there are the following areas for growth:
Social Emotional Learning/Emotional Intelligence
I also want to revisit the book I wrote with colleagues over the summer, and look for ways to embed the social emotional learning activities and emphases into specific parts of the curriculum program.
Deepening and Bettering the Math Program
The addition of online assessments and math packets helped to improve the math program this year. Next year I want to focus on adding more project/problem based learning as well as the math writing process with regard to problem solving, presentation, tech integration, and debate/argument. I would also like to discuss using RTI more to build a strong computational foundation beginning with a deep understanding of math facts at the start of the year. The greatest challenge in all of this is time since we simply run out of time to present all the concepts with the depth I think is best. I will relook at this during the summer with greater reading, research, and plans.
Bettering the Physical Science Program
We have substantial materials and lessons for great science teaching. The challenge similar to math is time. I'll review the efforts we put into place this year and continue to work on the approach to better the program for next year. We definitely made a good start this year, but we still have room for growth.
Developing Environmental Science
At the end of this year, I'll work with local environmental organizations to develop this area of the curriculum with a generous grant that we received. We will build on the good efforts we put into place this year.
Once again we'll look at ways that we can use orientation activities to welcome all students and their families to the learning community in ways that matter. We will also look at ways to improve the Curriculum Night approach in conjunction with the fourth grade team who will also present a shared model. Further, we'll try to identify an arts event that builds greater cultural proficiency and community amongst all learners and continue to develop our curriculum program to be welcoming and inspiring for all.
Teaching Every Child Well
Good start-of-year meetings, assessments, introductions, and community building helps to set the stage for teaching every child well. Regular home-school communication and personalized learning furthers what we can do to support every child. Clear expectations, policies, and protocols help too. Attention to the learning community as well as single children matter. Our showcase portfolio efforts are one way to keep abreast of how each child is doing and what each child is thinking as well as his/her needs and interests. We will continue to build this personalized approach.
Field Studies, Expert Visitors, Special Events
We'll build in these efforts to in order to make the program interesting, beneficial, and energizing.
My focus of professional learning this summer as it stands now will be my reading list. I applied for an NEH Institute, but have yet to hear about that.