Saturday, April 27, 2019

Coaching myself forward: the last leg of the school year

I'm reaching deep this morning to gain good energy and focus for the final leg of the school year. I'm reaching to gain a positive focus for these final weeks, a focus that steers me towards the children and grade-level program and a focus that moves me away from the extraneous, organizational events that bring you down, dampen your spirit, and deplete your energy.

What do the children need? This is a question that helps me to gain good focus. I really care for each and every child at our grade-level, and it brings me great joy to work with my colleagues to serve them well. This is the center of my work as an educator. Too often organizational issues that have little to do with the children's needs and interests pull us away from that focus. We have to watch out for the drain that can be, and one way to do that is to redirect our energy fully to the children.

With that in mind, I want to focus on the question: What do the children need? I'll keep this list handy in the days ahead.

Math test prep and success
Students will take a big test this week. We'll review for the test early in the week using a variety of exercises. Then I'll share apt test strategy with them and support their successful test taking and accommodations.

Biography project
Students need time to read their biographies, take notes, ask questions, and get help. We'll make time for that.

Play practice
Students need support during play practice--we'll take the music teacher's lead and support her efforts to direct the play with all the fifth grade students.

STEAM Survival Series
Students need to be prepared and have the supplies to create three STEAM projects in ways that give them experience with hands-on exploration, the engineering/design process, and related science standards.

Science test prep
Students will need support as they create slide shows and play related science games as they prepare for the science MCAS.

Field Trips
We'll be there to support students' fun, exploration, and learning during a couple of upcoming field studies.

Climate change projects
We'll help students complete their climate change projects and make a grade-level movie about the climate change efforts. Students will share the movie with the whole school at a June Assembly.

Global Cardboard Challenge
Students will need support with regard to learning about and creating their Global Cardboard Challenge Arcade games for our school Global Cardboard Challenge playground celebration.

Middle School Transition
Students will have the chance to visit the Middle School and we'll also host Middle School teachers at our school. We can support this transition by answering students' questions, reassuring them about a successful transition, and doing the work needed to prepare for a successful transition.

Sexual Abuse Awareness
Students will view the sexual abuse awareness program and we'll be there to answer questions and support their learning. This is a valuable program run by our guidance department that helps to keep students informed and safe.

Changing bodies lessons
Students will view films and discuss changing bodies and puberty via a number of thoughtful presentations. Parents will have a chance to preview materials prior to the presentation and opt their children out of the program if they choose.

Field Day fun
We'll be there to have fun with and support students at our annual Field Day celebration.

Fifth Grade Fun Day
We'll have a day to celebrate students k-5 experience at a special fun day, slideshow, and clap-out.