Friday, July 8, 2016

Reflection of 2015-16!

With only a few days left I began that ever so UNPOPULAR task of packing up my room.

As I was taking things down and packing boxes I started to think about what went right this year and what went WRONG!

First the RIGHTS....

I did much better organizing things this year!  Everything had a place and I threw anything away that I didn't use in the last year!  HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT!

We did MUCH more writing.  We wrote every single day about the books we read and what we were doing in math.  I could see huge progress in their writing skills as we put the finishing touches on our writing portfolios.

Some of my favorite writing prompts....

Pick a character in the story.  What did you like about him/her?  Is there anything you would change?

What was the BEST thing we did today?  (or if it was Friday - this week?)

How can you solve this math problem?

What is something that you are wondering about?

What is something that you are noticing about your learning?

I created a Focus Wall.  Each week I hung 2 anchor charts that highlighted our BIG skills for the week.
It really helped the kids focus on learning the skill and they referred to the chart during our lessons.  I used a big bulletin board - covered it with fabric and border.  Above it I made the words - Focus Skills...  And that was it.  I didn't get a good picture before I took the room down, but I will be sure to get one for my class reveal.

We focused on understanding numbers in depth!  This was a goal for me.  We worked every morning on ripping a number apart.  It was a random number each day, but we worked it over with fact families, place value, number lines, arrays, and writing story problems with it.  I can tell that it made a difference when I listened to our last math task of the year.  The way the discussed their ideas and the use of so many different strategies let me know it was time well spent.  We used my Number of Day packets and the only thing I am going to change is that I'm going to make them over the summer this year so that I don't have to make them each grading period.  Anything to save time during the year.

My school is HUGE into AR.  I did terrible with it in the past, so it was a goal this year.  We kept track of our progress on our board and moved our pieces every Friday.  We did AMAZING!  So much improvement over my past years kiddos.  We had a BUNCH that made it to 100 POINT CLUB!  I haven't had any in years....  HAPPY TEACHER!

Point values to 300!  
 A sweet buyer asked to points from 1 to 10 to help her lower kiddos.  I'm going to add these to my board next year so they can move a little faster.  

We built a better sense of community.  These kids really do care about each other.  One of my kiddos has been with me for two years.  It was hard to say goodbye to all of them, but especially hard to say goodbye to him.  He has made so much progress over these two years and I will truly miss his sweet little face each morning.  Something tells me that he will sneak down our hall every now and again!

Now for the WRONGS!

I didn't use the Remind program this year.  I wanted to try good old email....  EPIC FAIL!  If you haven't used Remind yet, sign yourself up now!  Texting parents reminders is so much easier than running to the computer and sending an email that you hope they read.

Reach students and parents where they are.

Send quick, simple messages to any device—for free.


My class library was a DISASTER!  I've already begun researching some new ideas and when we go back it will be organized leveled and BEAUTIFUL!  I'm going to divide it into leveled bins.  On each book I am going to put the AR quiz number, level, and a colored sticker to keep them organized.  I can't wait to post the pictures.

My biggest wrong....  enjoy the kids even more!  It is so easy to get caught up in paperwork, curriculum maps, and all the crazy stuff that you forget why we do what we do.  We love kids!  We care about our kids!  We want the best for them.  So my number #1 goal.....  enjoy my kiddos even more!

I hope everyone is enjoying SUMMER VACATION!  Time to recharge and get ready for the best year ever!

Happy Teaching!