Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Keep the mission of your work up front

Goals, vision, and mission can be lost if you don't keep it upfront in all that you do? It's easy to forget what you prioritized particularly if that priority spells change.

I'm thinking of that today as I consider my main goals of the year, and how I want to energize those paths and prioritize to meet the success criteria created.

Bettering the Regularity, Quality, and Response Related to Student Math Practice
The first goal was to develop students' regularity and quality of practice to support mastery of the math standards. So far students have mostly learned the typical routine of a weekly at-home study packet, weekly in-class study packet, an online learning menu, and online homework exercises. I've been working on the length, depth, and content of those study packets in an effort to make the practice useful, engaging, differentiated, and just right in length and time.

The next goal is to solidify the check-in and response routines. Since not all weeks are the same, a typical weekly routine is sometimes difficult to maintain. Also absences, student pull-out, and rate and fidelity to practice variability challenges the routine.

From now until the holiday break, I'll check in with students frequently to help them keep up with the routine and get the practice they need to master the standards. Then at the start of January, I'll have students assess their efforts to date, make new goals in this regard, and then start them on a new folder and renewed routine for the second half of the year. I'll assess my own efforts as well in late December to better the process and attainment of the goal set.

Developing a Standards-Based Environmental Education Program
The second big goal is to develop an engaging and informative standards-based environmental education program. We are fortunate to have the support of a naturalist coach from Mass Audubon's  Drumlin Farm to help us in this regard. There's work to do to reach this goal.

Students overall did not give our fall hike a glowing report so I want to learn more from them as to how we can improve our outdoor education efforts. While I know that some felt there was too much listening and not enough exploration, I want to learn more from them about how we can better this event, an event we'll do again in the spring.

Students have enjoyed the in-class environmental lessons which included making watershed models and playing a climate change game. We will continue to employ related lessons in the days ahead, lessons that include standards-based information and hands-on activities.

The classroom needs to be revised somewhat to support environmental education too. I need to make environmental education tools more accessible for student exploration, play, and study, and I need to update many science lessons to connect to this theme.

I'd like to read a good updated book and/or articles about teaching students in the environment as well. A first article I will attend to is this one.

There's work to do to meet these goals in the days ahead, and having a reflection list like this will help me to get there. Onward.