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 demonstrate this work?
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.
Social Emotional Learning
Early year focus on social emotional learning competencies and goal setting will set the stage for this learning. We will also focus on this learning as an active part of our academic program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In addition to current assessments, portfolio efforts, and learning projects, I will add and develop the efforts above as one way to closely monitor and develop students' learning in ways that matter next year.