Every Friday I like to organize my thoughts for the week ahead so that I can relax a bit over the weekend. We all know that teachers that are all work and no play are not as ready to teach well. So with this in mind, I want to express my overall plans for school year 2020-2021 so that when school ends next Wednesday, I'll be able to take a break, relax, and have some fun.
As with every year, safety will be a first priority with school year next year. To prepare, I've organized the classroom well for a safe set-up. I've also ordered new masks, and will work with colleagues to think about a list of safe share routines that we'll use for online and offline projects beginning at the start of the year.
We'll use a Google form to collect important family/student/colleague contact information and preferences. Having that information handy from the start of the year really helps us to stay in touch with students, families, and colleagues from the start. We'll also update our website and continue our practice of weekly newsletters too. I want to talk with colleagues about our protocols for relationship building and communication because we know that good relationships lay the foundation for meaningful and successful learning.
We have to get to know one another in positive ways to build good relationships with students, and we'll likely start the school year with our traditional Three Words Project that is one way to get to know students well. We'll use other activities that build team and relationships too.
Learn the Tools and Protocols
The focus of the first days of learning will be to learn the main learning tools such as the class website, Google Classroom, Google apps, Screencastify, and more. Making the time to teach the tools well, sets student sup for terrific learning all year long. While students learn the tools, they'll make a TeamFive movie, set up digital portfolios, learn to make math models, write stories, choose digital books, and begin their book lists and reflections.
Special Projects and Events
We'll likely rethink the roll out of the year's activities to match the fall teaching/learning protocols and schedule. We have a great year of activities and learning goals. We'll likely teach the units that match limitations first and save the more active, collaborative learning experiences for later in the year.
Over the summer, I'll use multiple sources to hone my skills related to multiple tech tools. I'll also dig into the book, White Fragility, and think about how I'll use that learning to update the teaching/learning year's efforts in order to create a more equitable, inclusive, and teaching/connected learning community.
Now it's time to stay the course for the final days of school, and then take a break to energize and ready for a positive teaching/learning year ahead.