Monday, November 04, 2019

Focus. . .Focus. . .Focus

Sometimes in schools people talk at us, and sometimes in school we may talk at people too. It's rarely, if ever, positive to be talked at or talk at others. And, when you're talked at, you may lose focus.

As I think about this. I'm thinking about how I want to avoid this not-so-positive behavior. First, know your audience. You are less likely to talk at people if you take the time to know them--talking at people often arises from one's projection about others rather than taking the time to get to know people and talking with them.

So as I think about focusing on what's important, I'm thinking about vetting the talking at me and the avoiding of talking at others.

At fifth grade, we have a lot of positive teaching and learning going on. So it's not a time for new, but instead a time to dig in to what we're focused on.

Good learning routines
Students mostly are eager to do well. For the few that are not eager to learn, we're working on that as we try to find out what's getting in the way. To help our eager and not-so-eager learners, we're focusing on the many ways we can help students access helpful practice/learning information and get support for that learning. The more we know students and work together as learning team members, the better we are able to support each and every learning with positive learning routines.

Math mastery
Students know the math routines now, and the next focus is on mastery. We'll talk about what it means to master skills, concepts, and knowledge points and how we can help each other as we start a new unit.

Science explorations, labs, and mastery
We're deepening our science teaching and learning in multiple ways this year. The ways we're developing this work includes the following:

  • participation in a statewide evaluation pilot to identify if we're on track with the goals we've set for science teaching and learning.
  • creating routines and patterns for the procedural work so that we can focus more on the deeper study.
  • expecting greater depth, precision, and attention to lab reports.
  • mastery of content displayed via assessments, projects, and hands-on explorations
Social emotional learning; community building
Developing a strong, caring, helpful learning community with all members of the learning community including families, students, teachers, administrators, and community members. 

These are the main goals for the year. Good goals to focus on, and goals that take precedence of being talked at or talking at others. Onward.