What are you doing differently this coming year? What are you keeping?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by hojalata, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2010

    What are some things you're changing up for this coming year? What are you keeping? What are you still deciding on?

    Here are some of mine:

    Changing

    -thinking of using the hip and lip idea for quiet walking in line.

    -trying these for desk tags, but really for the pencil holder. I will train kids to always return their pencils to that-- hopefully this will help with the pencil probs.

    -doing full-on Handwriting without Tears this year, thanks to a PTO grant. Yipee!

    -Applying some ideas from No More I'm Done to change up my Lucy Calkin's writers workshop.

    -thinking of buying some good-quality handheld pencil sharpeners to keep at each desk group to help with the above mentioned pencil problems.

    -Changing morning work routine.


    Still Deciding on...

    -Keep kids in typcial 4-6 person groups, facing each other? I am getting bored with this. Any group work we do, we can spread out throughout the room to work. So maybe there's something more creative I can do?

    -Groups supplies vs. individual pencil boxes (It seems I go back and forth each year. Even with a combination of both, I always feel the grass is greener on the other side!)

    Keeping

    -Daily 5 (3rd year now; love it)

    -My "No, Never" rules. (I introduce my one "no, never" rule at the beginning of the year, which is NO VIOLENCE. We define violence and kids know that if they do violence, we are calling home. I had to do this twice at the beginning of last year and it worked like a charm. The kids knew I meant business and I never had another problem."

    -Class rules of "1) We take care of each other. 2)We take care of ourselves. 3) We take care of our classroom.

    -got another dome chair from Target because my kids LOVED the one from last year and it is super sturdy and can fit 2 kids at one time. It was their favorite place to work.
     
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  3. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Changing:

    -Require ALL make up work to be completed. I will admit this past year I was really inconsistent with requiring make up work. I only put it together when the parents requested it.

    -I'm modifying my behavior plan. I'm putting numbers on poker chips. The number represent each student. I will place a poker chip in my bag if he/she does the right thing. At the end of the week I will pick 3 tokens from the bag to pick something out of the prize box. Last year it was too much to keep of with the token system that I had. The kids loved it, but I didn't.

    -I will teach more science!

    -Providing extra help after school (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

    Keeping:

    -Groups of 4

    -Homework packets

    -Centers

    Still Deciding:

    -Using a classroom website. I'm not sure if parents will use it or not.
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Changing:
    Adding Daily 5/CAFE to my reading program
    New math curriculum, incorporating "centers" (sort of)

    Keeping:
    Weekly "Mystery State" as an activity for early finishers
    Organization binders for the kids
    Biography unit and Wax Museum project (thanks to the fellow AtoZers who suggested it)--I've heard that the incoming students are already talking about it...

    Still Deciding:
    How I'm going to organize writer's notebooks
    How to do music class with 17 first graders in my classroom... (scheduling issues in a small school!)
     
  5. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 3, 2010

    KEEPING:
    Daily 5
    Tables instead of desks
    Math Workshop
    Night Writes

    STILL DECIDING ON:
    how I want to handle homework

    TRYING:
    Community Supplies
    Team Teaching
     
  6. heymrsp

    heymrsp Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping:
    Spelling Choice Homework
    Classroom Points Chart(Behavior Management)
    Morning Routine

    Trying:
    New Classroom!!
    New Reading Series(Treasures)
    More mini lessons

    Not Sure Yet:
    Desk Arrangement(room is too small w/ too many big 5th graders to arrange desks in more than 2 or 3 ways)
    Community Supplies
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping: Most of my kids! :p
    High standards for my students
    Same procedures
    Same kinds of regular meetings/performances for parents

    Differently:
    Incorporating Capturing Kids' Hearts philosophy for management
    Assessments-I need to be better at tracking/using data
    Possibly incorporating CAFE for small group (still waiting for my book)
    Adding a little "Vegas" (from Lemov's book)
    Adding ethics/philosophy to their discussions
    Reading response journals
    Stepping up my math instruction-big concepts this year!:thumb:
     
  8. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping:
    - The order of the units (begin with scientific method, end with light)
    - Table arrangement from Fred Jones, with 2 side aisles instead of a center aisle
    - Groups of 4 for labs
    - Lining up outside the room before class

    Trying:
    - Taking notes with student-drawn graphic organizers instead of having them copy notes from PowerPoint
    - Grading science notebooks every week
    - More explicitly teaching science inquiry
    - Going home by 4:30! (School lets out at 3:00)
    - Common assessments across all science teachers
    - Being very consistent in noticing good and bad behavior

    Not sure yet:
    - Which classroom I'll be in (and school starts next week!)
     
  9. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping:
    LLI kits (reading intervention)
    LC framework
    Everyday Math workshop

    Trying:
    New behavior system
    More inclusion
    More oral language dev.
    More focus on HFW

    Still deciding
    Schedule!
    Whole Brain Teaching
     
  10. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Changing:
    Behavior Management (being more positive with students who always follow classroom procedures---football theme)
    Group Supplies (in center of 4 I have four glue sticks, 2 hand held pencil sharpeners, and two packets of post-it notes)
    having only groups of 4 (instead of 5 or 6)
    Math series (moving to enVision)
    Social Studies folder for notes

    Keeping:
    Guided Reading Groups
    Homework policy
    Classroom website
    cooperative group work (when needed)

    Still Deciding
    what type of team building activities to use at the beginning of the year
    how to organize my library
     
  11. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping:
    - my writer's workshop system
    -intense social studies infusion
    -big emphasis on geography as well
    -my sense of humor with the kids :cP

    Trying:
    -being self contained (previously we were departmentalized and i only taught literacy.. i'm super excited though)
    -implementing reader's workshop for the first time
    -scholar dollars/token system for behavior
    -mastery club
    -solar system theme
    -bringin my keurig k-cup machine in to work :)

    Not sure yet:
    -spelling program (we don't have one!!! so i'm coming up with something)
     
  12. jde3399

    jde3399 Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Keeping:
    - same kids :)
    - community supplies
    - same classroom
    - classroom management style

    Trying:
    - new curriculum in a new grade level (only teaching reading)
    - teaching two classes (morning and afternoon)- this should be interesting
    - using a focus wall (I have recently discovered word art and have gone nuts making labels :p and everything else needed for my classroom in general)
    - to incorporate literature circles more frequently
    - find a better way to track student progess esp. in reading

    Still Deciding:
    - how to group desks (they are new, I have only had tables)
    - how to set up my libraries- I will be using two libraries: the classroom library and the leveled readers library (books from the scott foresman series (old and new) and A-Z readers)
    - if I should use a classroom calendar or not
    - how to organize reading group materials
     
  13. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Aug 3, 2010

    I love this thread!

    Keeping
    Workshop model
    Class website
    procedures
    2 classroom libraries - level based and genre based

    Trying
    *LLI intervention
    *student-led science notebooks and investigations
    *1st Grade Team website
    *Better analysis (and planning) of data from assessments and observation
    *MORE TALK TIME
    **bringing my lunch every day**

    Still Deciding
    *how to organize GR materials
     
  14. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Aug 3, 2010

    I'm changing just about everything. :)

    I'm going from teaching 4th through 6th primarily to teaching K - 3rd primarily.
     
  15. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Aug 3, 2010

    I just (finally) read through the surveys I gave my kids at the end of last year on what they liked and what they didnt like...

    Keeping:
    -Baltimore Aquarium trip
    -Daily 5 in some capacity
    -Choice in practice worksheets (whether or not it is in centers is beyond me)
    -a lot of learner centered lessons

    Trying:
    -"Class A" notebooks (it was something my Anatomy and Physiology (sp) teacher did and it was a great organized way) my interactive notebooks didnt survive well!
    -different centers
    -Adding k-2 in my science fair club...
    -WORD WALL
    -Portfolios (as my research this year)

    Ditching:
    -A LOT OF STUFF :) Purging the classroom!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  16. ekk5968

    ekk5968 Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2010

    What are "Class A" notebooks?
     
  17. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Changing:
    Math Program--We will be using Saxon Math this year.
    Keep up better on my observational notes on each student.
    Use more minilessons to teach with.

    Keeping:
    Daily 5
    Guided Reading Plus Groups (focuses on reading and writing)
    Saxon Phonics
    Behavior Programs (still using BIST)

    Still Deciding:
    Homework-how much to send home since I will be teaching Saxon Math and Saxon Phonics (they both have homework pages everyday)
     
  18. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I used to do interactive notebooks, where the kids would place their notes, helpful worksheets and such. I would check them periodically to see if they were keeping up with it, but they would fall apart, some kids would take forever to glue something in, it was a mess.

    HOWEVER, I thought about what my 11th grade A&P teacher did. He gave us some worksheets that were just that, worksheets. BUT anything he wanted us to keep and use became "Class A" and we knew that had to go in our binder.

    The notebook (for A&P was 4 inches and bursting) but for my class it will be one inch. They will have all of their vocab, foldables, study guides and other important things in the notebook. The biggest difference from gluing in a spiral to this is that the sheets are in sheet protectors. YES, it can get pricey, BUT my principal ordered them for me, and it will be a good resource for the kids when we have a big state test in Science. I just think it will be a better organized and easier to grade notebook!
     
  19. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Amakaye, can you tell me more about this: "Weekly "Mystery State" as an activity for early finishers"?
     

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