A good four hours and several barrels of trash and recycling later, the classroom is cleaned up. As I cleaned up, I prepared for our new reality--school that requires greater blended learning and social distancing. I got rid of lots of old, rickety cabinets, cracked plastic bins, and outdated posters, assignments, and teaching materials. I must say that I am looking forward to working in this clean and lean classroom next year. As I cleaned up, I thought a lot about the lessons we'll forward at the start of the year, lessons that teach students how to work in the classroom and use materials thoughtfully. Some of the initial lessons will include the following:
I have many books in the classroom. I want students to assess which ones we should keep and which ones should be retired. That will be an initial lesson as students get to know what's in the classroom library.
Math Model Making
I have countless materials for math model making, and we'll learn how to make multiple math models at the start of the year using those materials.
Math "Guides on the Side"
I have many charts and models that help students with their math work. We'll review those and learn how to access, use, and make these guides to assist math learning.
We'll spend considerable time learning how to use the prioritized digital tools or intelligent assistants, both software and hardware.
In general, the first weeks of school will be spent empowering students to know about the multiple tools they have access to and the many ways they can use those tools on their own and with others to learn.