Thursday, February 27, 2020

Teaching Priorities for the Months Ahead

I have some travel time to think this weekend so this is a good time to think about the teaching days, weeks, and months ahead. What are the priorities?

Climate Change Fair
Climate change teams and directors have been busy preparing for our March 9th Climate Fair. At the fair each team will present an essential question and action related to mitigating climate change and protecting our local SUASCO watershed ecosystem. Students have been busy researching, creating action plans, working on those actions, and explaining their efforts via posters, presentations, and video. Then, at the fair, they'll share their learning and efforts with family members and students at the school.

We have a lot of fraction study ahead. This is a great unit to teach and the priority is making good time for this study.

Geometry and Measurement
We'll spend some time on geometry and measurement too.

Student Led Spring Conferences
We'll update portfolios and help student prepare to lead their spring conferences that will take place during the second half of March.

Symphony Math, Khan Academy, IXL
These are our three main math practice sites, and we'll encourage students to use these sites to solidify mastery of fifth grade standards.

Read Aloud
I am making more time for this in the weeks ahead as a way to build student knowledge related to multiple standards-related content areas and areas of student interest.

Theater Visit
I'll reach out to our school librarian who is also a theater expert to help us prepare students for our wonderful upcoming trip to the theater.

Global Changemakers Project
The writing teacher on our team will take the lead for this project, but once MCAS tests arrive, we'll all shift our homeroom time to this wonderful effort.

Fifth Grade Play
In short time, students will begin working a lot on their fifth grade play which is a wonderful learning event for all.

Middle School Transition
There's lots of paperwork to complete for the Middle School transition. I want to review those dates and make plans about when and how I'll complete that work.

Fifth graders take a lot of tests. Right now, all those test dates are set on the calendar. The challenge is to teach all the information included on the tests in the weeks ahead--we can do that.

Once the climate fair is complete, we'll move into leading many discrete science lessons including lessons about plants, composting, properties of matter, and Earth and Space science.

Expert Visitors
We have a science presentation about sound and another science presentation related to matter planned. We also have a living history presentation of Ben Franklin planned.

Field Studies
Students will attend the theater, spend a day in a beautiful natural space, and take a historic walking tour of Boston.

Field Day
All students enjoy this day of athleticism and fun.

Global Cardboard Challenge
During the final days of school, we'll recycle all the leftover materials in the classroom to support this creative STEAM project, a project when students create all kids of games and other creations out of cardboard, and then have a Global Cardboard Arcade on the playground during lunch recesses. This is a lot of fun for the whole school.

Celebratory Events
Parents are planning a fifth grade bash, pool party, beach party, and slide show to celebrate the end of fifth grade. Teachers will lead a yearbook signing event in the courtyard and a fifth grade fun day.

Professional Learning
There are a number of professional learning efforts to come including the final efforts related to our DESE Data Pilot. This includes surveying students and analyzing the results. I will also attend a Safe Schools workshop presented by the state department of education.

There's lots to come, and these are the priorities I will be focusing on.