What are you changing for next year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, May 28, 2011.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    What things are you going to change next year or work on this summer?

    I know I researched Daily 5 a lot last summer but never went through with it. Next year I will really try to do Daily 5 instead of centers.

    I would also like to send more good notes home just because. I do not do this enough. It seems like I am always focused on those "special students" who never EVER miss a day. :)

    Last summer I also wanted to send home a newsletter each week. I will make sure I do this for next year.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm changing my home and my career :rolleyes:
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    More good news notes is my goal as well. I plan to also work on planning more independent learning tasks for my students or student centered learning.
     
  5. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I want to fully implement Math Workshop. I want to send more notes home, and more project based teaching.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Marci, what type of math workshop are you looking to implement? I have been slowly working my way towards something...just not sure exactly how to go to a math workshop fully.
     
  7. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Actually, some of the ideas I got them from yours and I think that's what I want to implement first. I want to do 3 groups, teach a mini lesson to one group while 2 groups work on practice and/or games. We will have block schedule next year and I think I will have more opportunity to implement something like this.

    I've been talking to our school's expert of reader's workshop and she's been giving me some ideas. I'm hoping that this summer I can put something together.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I'm going to try to take my groups even farther....just haven't quite figured it out yet.
     
  9. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    There aren't that many resources or books for middle school math workshop but I'm taking on the ideas of daily and writer's workshop.

    It'll be neat to share what we come up with by the end of the summer. :)
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    1. I want to start a webpage. I'm not sure exactly what I'll want to include, beyond a separate section for each of my preps (no idea yet what I'll be teaching.)

    2. I want to make better use of email as a means of keeping parents-- especially of my kids in danger of failling-- in the loop.
     
  11. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Apparently, I am changing subjects altogether... yikes! I was told on Thursday that instead of math (the only thing I have taught outside of subbing or elementary school), I will be teaching science full time. I am a bit nervous about that.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I am going to change the way I progress monitor. Right now it takes FOREVER to set up each week. I'd like to have each student have their own binder with all the probes they'll need for the year in it (so fluency passages or m comps, etc.) I also want a section for notes that I can quickly jot down and save- such as week of 3/18 student was absent 4 days. So when we're looking back at aimswebs graphs we know thats why their scores dropped off. I also want a section for work that is worth saving and RtI notes/paperwork if it is someone going through the RtI process.

    I'm also working on improving our RtI process by helping the teachers to better understand what RtI is, what they need to do in the classroom, and when to refer. I just found out yesterday about 1st grader that has not shown ANY growth in reading this entire year. His teacher happened to mention it to me in passing. This student should have been referred already, now we've lost a year! I also had a 4th grader just referred to RtI this winter who literally did not know how to count. RtI is brand new here and I don't think the teachers understand that referring a student to RtI is not the same as referring them for special education testing. We also want to sit down as an RtI team and look at benchmark data each quarter so we can seek students out who teachers might be shy about referring.

    I am getting a HUGE rooom next year at our new school- yay! I am thinking that I'm going to set up different sections of my room for different things. So one section might be where I meet all my reading groups and that would have all of my reading resources. Then I would have sepereate areas for writing and math also.

    I'd love to change my classroom management system, but unfortunately we have a school wide policy that we must follow. I don't have very many behavior problems at all- I just happen to have the "sweet" kids this year, but that could always change. In our system, it goes first redirect is a warning, 2nd redirect is a small consequence such as missed recess for 5 minutes, and 3rd redirect is the office. I don't like it because I might have to send someone to the office for simply talking or being off task 3 times, while if someone does something thats more of a "big deal" they have to do it 3 times before I can do anything about it.

    I'm also looking at splitting my reading groups into those that are working on fluency and those that are working on comprehension. I've done that with some grades this year but didn't have time to do it with all. It's funny because everyone insists they go hand and hand, but I think every single one of my students is strong in one and very weak in the other.

    I've got a million more ideas, but these are my big things right now.
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Marci--definitely keep in touch. I'm very interested to see how math workshop evolves for both of us.
     
  14. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    waterfall,
    I'd like to keep better documentation myself. My school was new to RtI this year and we have NO documentation whatsoever, however, I'd like to document my kids on my own--much in the same way that you've mentioned.

    Do you currently have any files that I could get from you that you found were effective for keeping proper documentation? I'd love to see them if so!

    I was asked to join our RtI team at my school for next year because they liked how I kept tabs on my students. It was only "make-shift" type paperwork but I'd like something more efficient.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm going to be switching all my handouts and things over to Moodle. I'm also retooling my syllabi a bit (different projects for speech, slightly different structure and films for film studies.)
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The other 1st grade teacher and I will switch our kids. I will teach her kids math, and she will teach mine science. I have not switched before.

    I would like to keep a running record of math scores (quizzes and tests) like I do with fluency scores.

    I am thinking about having a class theme for next year.

    In addition to using group points, I am considering making tickets that I will pass out and use next year. These tickets might be used for purchasing goodies (I am going to have a much more difficult group next year, so I will definitely need to do things differently).

    I want to work with the Bible coordinator more and maybe have her come into my class and do activities with the kids more.

    Hmmm...I think that's all I have planned so far. I might see if I could do something different with my walls....
     
  17. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Pretty much everything. I am changing schools, grade levels and procedures (will be doing even more small group reading/math workshops) I really want to work on science, social studies and writing more than I did in 3rd grade.
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Curriculum. With the Common Core curriculum coming out we are changing Language Arts and Math. Actually, we've already been following Common Core (on top of our state standards) this 9 weeks to get a feel for it.
    I'm also changing some of my Math Work Stations. I keeping the Daily 5 Math concept that I've done all year, but giving a more focus on math stations than I have in the past.
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Grades! I'm going from 6th to 1st! Lots of changes to be made!
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    May 28, 2011

    At the start of this past year I planned to sub less and play more. Mission accomplished......

    Soooo for this coming year I think I will put the same plan in place ...:D
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I'm going to be departmentalized instead of self contained so I'll be rethinking procedures and organization.
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I didn't bring my school laptop home this weekend, but when I get back on Tuesday I will see if I have any computer copies I can share with you.
     
  23. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    grade levels, from 5th to 4th and then loop back up.

    rooms

    more technology...lapbooks and Promethean board

    a new team mate

    That's it. I will still teach advanced math and language/writing.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My middle child started middle school this year. One of his teachers immediately impressed me. Not only does she send monthly newsletters, but she'll send quick updates of things the kids are working on, things we might want to complement them on, something they can do for extra credit, etc. They are short and sweet but the way she words them shows compassion, humor and obvious warmth/care. What impressed me the most though was the first week he was in this new school, he missed an assignment. Even though we have a website we can look at grades, etc., she sent me an immediate text. Then when he started really getting in the groove, she emails me again and tells me what a great student he is and some things he's done, etc.

    Really this is the first middle school or high school teacher that has self-initiated any contact with me much less with other positive updates. Sure a lot of it was mass-emailed but even that was great and gave me a sense of who she is and the fact that she emailed me personally several times in 3 months and most of it was positive spoke so dear to my heart that I wrote a deep thank you note. I actually am one of those parents that is guilty of giving gifts but never really saying Thank You. It takes something special for me to think of it. This one did the trick. What makes it even more special is I know she has tons of students in her payload and I know it can't be easy. I'm willing to bet though that she does it for most or all of her students. It's the stuff she reported that makes me think that. Is she sending weekly personal emails? No. It's probably more like monthly but bi-monthly on mass-emails. It makes a difference though! Truly it does.

    Try it!
     
  25. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    We're doing a lot of revamping of our curriculum because the state is moving from the TAKS test to the STAAR (end of course exam). The English test is changing pretty significantly at the 9th and 10th grade levels in particular. Our test will now be a 2 day test (one for reading/one for writing), consist of TWO writing samples (YIKES), and have a time limit of four hours!

    Everyone is a bit nervous about it all. Right now, the kids have to pass the TAKS at the 11th grade level in English, math, science and history. Now, they'll have to take the STAAR test at the end of each core course from grades 9-11. There will be no more final exams. A lot of decisions haven't been made at the state level regarding the logistics of it all, and it's frustrating for people who are trying to plan and prepare!
     
  26. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Hello! I actually did this for 3 weeks towards the end of the year, but I got the idea from Beth...(I can't remember her last name, but she's a teacher and writes for Scholastic) and we use Everyday Math. It's mostly a direct instructed teaching program with games, intervention workpages, and a work journal.

    I just have to say how much I appreciate knowing others have done this too, and have found success. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to better manage my class at math time...the kids HATED math,and quite frankly, teaching it directed instructed wasn't so much fun. But the 3 weeks I did this, wow! It was AMAZING! I got the best results and feed back from the kids, AND they actually LOVED the switching!
    So, leveling math is one thing I'm changing for certain next year---another ideas are in the back of my brain waiting to come out, but not until August. I need my break! :)
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    We are going to have an extra 30 minutes to our school day next year, so it will be much easier for me to do the things I want to do.

    I want to improve on my integrating subjects. I say that every year, but it really is a goal, and something I want to accomplish eventually.

    I want to do more service work with my kids in the area of Bible. A lot of the older grades get to do that, but my kids haven't had much opportunity. Even if it's just through awareness, or fundraising, I want my kids to be actively working towards service in their lives, so that is something I hope to change.
     
  28. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I heard a lot about Everyday Math. One of the reasons I struggled trying to get started on this was because our mandated math curriculum for middle school math didn't have the resources and it would have required a lot of research and supplementing. It looks like next year I will have more flexibility about using a curriculum that will have more resources.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    My coordinator was thinking of changing to Everyday Math, but after what I heard about it on here, I suggested to her that we don't switch.

    But, like with everything else, it's what you make of it. It's a resource, but we really are responsible for putting all the pieces together, and many times that means supplementing (if you are lucky to be in a school that allows you to do so). We use Scott Foresman, and I happen to love it. I think I might be the only teacher at my school who actually loves it, but I have been doing math centers this year after getting ideas from this forum, and those centers have really improved math time. :)
     
  30. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I like how you said...it's what you make of it. I agree...what you have before is a resource, and in the end, we are responsible for presenting, teaching, and assessing. We have to know our kids and be able to differentiate as needed.

    I do supplement with EM with worksheets and some activities--and omit a couple of lessons because they don't amount to a hill of beans as far as testing or building background knowledge of what they really need to have for the next grade level. If I have time at the end of the year (like I did this year), and I'm looking for something to do to fill in the gaps...I go back and use those fluff lessons. (I know...I'm bad...but in a good way. :))
     
  31. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Oh, PS...I LOVE the forum too. It's been a HUGE help in supporting the things floating around in my head over the past years. :)
     
  32. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I wish that my administration felt this way a bit more! I'm trying something outside the box, but need to fit with the inside the box parameters.
     
  33. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Then you can chalk it up to "research" and "differentiated your instruction in order to meet the classroom needs of your students learning abilities". The box isn't always a cube...sometimes you gotta make it a rectangle :) Okay, so I'm a rebel at heart...and I have scores to back up my "research".

    Best wishes on your something new!
     
  34. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    We have a day to day pacing that we must follow. We are sent to workshops and trainings to learn how to keep up with this pacing guide. I asked the ladies directing the workshop about how they differentiated and conducted centers with the curriculum and none of them could give me an answer.

    Our school has a little bit more freedom but the school I was at last year we could get in trouble for supplementing and for not following the curriculum word by word.

    I'm not saying that can't be done, but it will require much more work to do. This is my goal for this summer to work on setting it up. I am very interested in finding out how yours work. I'm also trying to figure out the management aspect of these centers since we are departamental and we have limited periods for math. We don't have the flexibility of extending the math period if needed like classrooms that don't switch.
     
  35. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    We have pacing calendar as well...it's a dozie to keep up with..but we do it :)

    Beth Newingham (Yea, I found her!) is the gal who I found how to do Everyday Math in centers. I hope it's okay to share her website---I actually got it from this forum once before for something else.

    Here's the website:
    http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2010/05/math-workshop.html

    I imagine you can use the same concept with whatever math program you use. The basic idea of running the groups is having 90 minutes of pure math time to rotate 3 leveled groups, teach the lessong 3 different times according to the leveled group in front of you, and assess the students before and after to see progress or reteaching as needed.

    The hardest parts for me has been:
    1. Being prepared and planned ahead. This means I have to have all my manipulatives and lessons preped the week before (I'm slightly OCD, so this works for me.)
    2. Being able to teach the lesson 3 times without feeling like I'm repeating myself over and over and over...well, technically I am, but each time I taught the lesson, it was slightly different than the one before. Plus, I could expand, adapt, or even reveiw something right then and there with the kids instead of saving it for another time.
    3. Game and independent management...I only had an aide inmy room for 30 minutes of the 90...yep, good times! The kids had to follow the rules or else. I was good for giving the "or else" kids a math test (math skills test we keep on hand to give to the kids once a month for assessents...I have tons!) they had to do at their desk or out in the hall, and miss out on the "fun" of the games if they couldn't stick with the rules. It only happened twice, and the kids knew I was serious.

    I'm hoping I have the same amount of time next year so I can find out what else works or doesn't work. 3 weeks isn't really long enough for this one I think :)

    Best wishes!
     
  36. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    applecore, thanks for the information!
     
  37. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    That would be wonderful! Thank you so much!
     
  38. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    When you were teaching the first group, what did the other 2 groups do? (Since the lesson hasn't been taught to them yet? Have them play math games from previous lessons?
    I'd love to do something like this but always struggle with this aspect.
     
  39. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    90 minutes would be a please to have for math. We are trying to cram it into 40-60 minutes depending on the day.
     
  40. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 29, 2011

    I want to improve my use of Daily 5 and implement CAFE.

    I want to organize and do a better job of leveling my math workshop--with a new curriculum this year, I basically did the same thing with all the groups. I will have a small class, so I also want to do more with writing workshop and conferencing.

    We are getting new science standards and curriculum, as well as starting to transition to the common core standards. Oh, and new religion curriculum, as well.

    Finally, as always, improve my organization and parent communication. I think I will start doing a daily e-mail or website update after school about what we did that day.
     
  41. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Right! We had 45 minutes this year and it just wasn't enough! I brought up lengthening the time for next year and was told any more time than that is impossible during our day. I'd LOVE to have 90 for Reading and 90 for Math as well.
     

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