So what did I do this year that I liked? Here are few of the ideas that we will keep.
PLC- I have loved the power we have working together. Our lessons have been better and more refined. The opportunity to hear other ideas helped me. I have become a better teacher because of it. I used to keep some of my ideas to myself so my class had a few extras, but that is not what teaching is about. I want others to see what I am doing and to use it if they want to. I also want everyone's ideas so I can get the best for my students. In a PLC team the students are not mine anymore but all the team students. We take credit and criticism for all that the students do or don't do. The year ending scores are a reflection of what the whole grade level does, not an individual teacher. We share students successes and failures. We share planning and lessons. We share activities and ideas. We share.
Computers- at the beginning of the tear we had a 2:1 ratio with our mini laptops. It was great to have the students working together to get work done. We have gone to 1:1 ratio and that has brought some great opportunities with testing, research, and writing. One thing I want to do more of next year is dropping assignment onto our Utips website. Utips is a state-run testing practice site that gives teachers a drop-box for students to drop assignments in instead of printing everything. This will help with our morning work.
Morning Work- We have used the 4 question bell work for years and it helps give us time to teach a language mini-lesson for grammar. We have used a single paper for each week and I would like to change that so we are checking the work over a period of time and not each week. We review all the questions each day and students are called "by the sticks" and they explain their answers. Turning them in is more of a formality rather than an assignment. I wonder if we could Morning Work into the breakfast club activity with the planner? Hmmm. We will talk about it.
Math- We will still use the math books for the work and practice. The Topic tests will be put on Utips to use less paper and for a better view of how the students do overall. When the students get a problem wrong on the test they will write the problem down in their math books and take them home to correct their work. Parents must sign the corrections and they come back to school. The math book will have notes about the topics we are working on and they can use that information to help correct their homework. One math book for notes and practice. They can use the book for the check-up to help prepare for the topic test. The Periodic Test will always be on paper and students will have to show their work on a separate paper (Folded into the amount of boxes needed so each question has a box).
These are a few of the changes we incorporated this year. There are so many more to add for next year. There are so many good ideas out there.