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Monday, June 8, 2015

Reflect & Refresh: Part One - Looking Back

Welcome to Reflect & Refresh, a two-part linky party where teacher bloggers share their reflections on the 2014-2015 school year and ways they are planning to refresh their teaching in 2015-2016.

There's no better time than now to reflect on the past school year. Personally, I love thinking about what went well and what kinds of things I am going to change when it comes to my first grade classroom. While I am definitely ready to relax and enjoy my summer vacation, I am also looking forward to using some of that free time to prepare for the fall.

Communication: I love to plan. I think it's all part of that perfectionist-y, type A personality deal that I was born with. My first year teaching, I had time set aside to plan with my mentor teacher. This year, I was off on my own, enjoying doing my own thing. But another teacher from my team suggested that we set aside one day a week to discuss what we are planning in our classrooms, thus increasing the communication and collaboration within our first grade team. I don't know why I didn't think of this fabulous idea and I am hoping we can stick to a good planning routine this upcoming year!

Organization & Management: I also love to organize. I really try to stress how everything has a place in my first grade classroom. This year I amped up the amount of labels on student materials and it seemed to help. Next year, I plan on increasing the amount of labels (especially when it comes to my early finisher activities) and also explicitly teaching students where things go with my beginning of the year procedures. This way, I am hoping my students are overall more independent when it comes to getting the materials they need, knowing what they can/cannot do during certain times of the day, and so forth (lessening the amount of Where do I? What do I? When can I? questions I get throughout the day!)

Content: Oh, writing. What a love-hate relationship I have with you. While I found myself in a better writing groove this year, I still think it is the one area that I can improve most upon. I plan on getting some good professional reading in this summer and investing in some hopefully valuable resources that will provide meaningful and engaging writing instruction for my firsties.

Summer Projects: The list could go on and on when it comes to the things I want to accomplish this summer! For the sake of prioritizing, I decided to share two of my goals with you all. The first is a set of paired passages to use in my classroom to prepare my first graders for the PARCC test. While I have found various paired passage sets on TPT, I have yet to find ones that are at an appropriate reading level for my students and ones that require students to synthesize information from both passages as they are required to do on the PARCC test. So I am undertaking this project to hopefully create a useful tool for my team to use in getting our kids ready!

I am also wanting to organize all my mentor texts. I love using mentor texts to teach across all subject areas, but am currently lacking any sort of organizational system for my books. My mentor texts are separate from my classroom library on a shelf behind my desk in one gigantic glob. I am hoping to find some way to organize/label my mentor texts so that they are more easily accessible for me when I need them.

Come reflect with us and see what worked and what improvements other teacher bloggers are sharing!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! I was going to email you, but can't find your email address on your blog. I just started a Facebook group for Chicago Area Teacher Bloggers. I'm hoping to start planning a teacher meet up for early fall. I'm currently thinking late September/early October. Head over to the Facebook group and join so you can get all the updates!

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