What will do you differently or try next year?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by snickydog, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Mar 22, 2009

    I know the year is only about three-quarters of the way done, but I'm trying to make a mental list of what I'd like to change for next year! Things I plan to do:

    *more interactive writing (I tend to do the writing during shared writing time)
    *regularly scheduled class book making
    *using The Daily 5 to help introduce reading to self behaviors (I use the center ideas but just got the book and like the methods of introducing the centers)
    *explicit sight word instruction - I got the Systematic Sight Word Instruction set from Scholastic and it seems good. I also want to put each word for the week on the window by our classroom door and have saying one or two as the "key" to entering the classroom
    *getting math centers ORGANIZED and ready to go so I can do more guided math

    Also, I plan to do an ocean theme, so I need to start gathering materials for that!


    What will you be doing differently next year?
     
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  3. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Oooo good topic. Thanks, I'll watch this closely

    (for me...GET A JOB!!)
     
  4. Cateacher2b

    Cateacher2b Companion

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Here's what I won't do...

    have afternoon snacks in my class
    have Prize Box every Friday (too expensive)
    get too far ahead in Spelling

    And What I will do...
    eat lunch with my students every Friday
    Start Power Teaching at the beginning of the year
    start my lesson planning this summer
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 22, 2009

    I think it will depend on what course or courses I end up teaching.

    I will try to get my Trimester and Comprehensive exams done over the summer as I've always done in the past; it was a real drag this year not having them done.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Oh my goodness... There's so much I want to do differently! This has inspired me to start a list for next year! THANK YOU!
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Guided Reading:

    **I need to have more of a set schedule as to when groups are given new books or when homework is assigned.
    **Better guided reading instruction with my lowest readers. ie...more word work
    **More non fiction response pages in their guided reading response journals.

    Writer's Workshop-
    **Stress "eye-to-eye, knee-to-knee sharing" more

    Morning Work-

    **incorporate more logic
    **writing journal
    **more interactive writing

    Calendar-
    **I dislike calendar time I need to come up with something better than what I am doing...or not doing

    Spelling-
    **Spend an extra 5 minutes on spelling instruction daily

    Classroom Management
    **I am not really sure here- I have a very tough class so what I am doing might work with next year's class
    **Redirect disruptive behavior better.
    **take "bowling with Mrs. Lemonhead " off my list of rewards for classroom money!!

    Do a "true" readers workshop
     
  8. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Hey, Lemonhead!

    I'm intrigued by a few of your wants and hope-not-tos. Mind explaining them a little further. (What you are doing that you wish to change/what's gone wrong... your ideas for change.)

    ....[love THIS thread!]...

     
  9. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Oooh, I started one of these last year! Love these threads!

    I'm hoping to move to a different grade level **crosses fingers** next year, so it really depends on where I am. If I move, there are a TON of things I want to try! :D If I stay...

    Organize my Reading groups so that I am the one meeting with every group and my assistant can help with centers and seatwork.

    Plan better activities for my Reading groups and go much deeper with my higher kids.

    Incorporate Guided Math / Centers - whichever grade level I move to!

    Try some new things in the behavior management area.

    Incorporate more movement in ALL subjects and especially during lessons.

    Eat lunch with my kids more often.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Hey, Lemonhead!

    I'm intrigued by a few of yours wants and hope-not-tos. Mind explaining them a little further. (What you are doing that you wish to change/what's gone wrong... your ideas for change.)

    ....[love THIS thread!]...



    **I need to have more of a set schedule as to when groups are given new books or when homework is assigned. What I am talking about here is I want each group and even the parents to know that on Tuesday's a new book comes home, then on Wednesday we do comprehension and homework from the Guided Reading workbook is assigned and due Thursday. This is just an example. What I am finding is I am doing guided reading with say my "monkeys" and I'll ask them for their homework and they will say "you didn't give us any", then I realize it was my "frogs" I gave homework to. I know I am not explaining it well but really, I don't have a great routine. And I am not that great of writing down all the plans.

    Morning Work-
    **incorporate more logic
    I'd like to have some interactive logic problems and analogies that promote higher order thinking. I don't do enough of it, (according to my principal I am but I want to do more). I could put this in the mix on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They could be worksheets or online problems. Mini Soduko puzzles would be an example or several analogies each day like "pit is to peach as ____________ are to apples"

    Classroom Management-
    **take "bowling with Mrs. Lemonhead " off my list of rewards for classroom money!!


    Oh good Lord....I have all these things kids can buy with classroom money. (they either earn or lose money based on behavior, good answers, good deeds etc) Well the biggest thing on there is bowling with 3 friends and Mrs L. At the beginning of the year several kids wanted to pool their money together and go. I didn't intend it to be that way so I told them they couldn't do it that way. So now I have 3 or 4 kids who have saved 150 classroom dollars each and are ready to go bowling. So, based on how my award is written, I am going bowling 3 or 4 times. :crosseyed:
     
  11. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Mar 22, 2009

    ;)
     
  12. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Yeah, all my other plans are super detailed and typed in Eduphoria. My guided reading plans need work. All but 2 or 3 have excelled in reading this year and most are at a third grade level. I tutor 2 of the lower kids and they get extra attention. I don't feel like what I do in guided reading is hindering anything with their learning, but if I am losing even a minute or two on my organization, it's not good for them. :confused: Need to fix it.
     
  13. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I have all sorts of things. Of course, in my position, I am really not sure if it will exist, let alone if I'll be staying in it...

    Right now I do small groups/one-on-one work with social skills. I work a half day at each school. I have two students that I've been working with on anger management/conflict resolution, three grade ones that have been doing basic social skills stuff (and these three kids all need very different things, so it's difficult.) Then I have one group of Kindergarteners (with a lower-level grade one) that I do basic social skills with as well. That pretty much fills up my half a day.

    Unfortunately, this leaves me tied to a specific schedule. At times it feels like babysitting to give the teacher a break from certain students with behavioural difficulties. I would love to be able to be more flexible. Certain times this year, the VP has asked me to come to the office and deal with arguing students. I really enjoy that. I would also like to have a larger group of students that could meet once a week just to discuss conflict resolution. There's sooooo much there, and it's not taught to kids as much anymore. Kids need to learn how to be assertive and not passive or aggressive! I would love to have my schedule be a little more flexible, while still being able to see some of my students that need a regular "break" from class, to work with them.
     
  14. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Dfleming..Your ideas sound great. I hope you get an opportunity to talk with someone about that and work it into you year next year. I think the reason that Conflict Resolution is not taught is because teachers are spread so thin.
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Exactly... which is why I love that the "Connections" program is in place. Unfortunately, with a two year wage and hiring freeze in place with the province right now, and a contract with teachers that we are told will be honoured (that includes class sizes and pay) if they're going to cut back anywhere, it will be to this brand new program.
     
  16. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    I love this thread too! I started off the year with the token system (not token economy) for behavior management and it did not work with this group! I switched to individual sticker charts for each child and I saw a big difference! Also saved money on prizes because they need 25 stickers to get in the prize bag. I am definitely keeping that.
    I am going to have the organizational binders for each student. I only had certain students doing it this year.
    I also want to start my plans over the summer.
    I want to have social studies, math, and science centers.
    I have to have guided reading and I also want to have guided math groups. Even if the math is just two times a week.
    My classroom theme is gonna be boardgames. I have my ideas flowing already.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I have a lot of changes, but the main thing is going to be the order in which I teach certain units. I have said this for several years, but just never did it! My busy time of the year is always 2nd semester, when speech starts, and that is the time that I have to teach the most "labor intensive" units in science. So next year, I'm going to start with the tough stuff, and finish with the easier units.
     
  18. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

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    I've really been trying to think about what I'll do differently next year. I know that A LOT will be different, but I'm not sure what....

    I know that sounds confusing so let me explain: so far, I've always taught 5th grade at the elementary school. Next year, the system is moving our 5th grade to the middle school. So, I'll go from having the oldest kids in the school to the youngest.

    I feel this will make a change in how I teach, etc, but I'm not sure exactly how! I just feel like the kids will act differently as the youngest as opposed to how they acted when they were the oldest....

    I'm a planner, so it's hard for me not to know what to expect next year! But I do expect a lot of changes!
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 23, 2009

    Since this is my first year, I'm REALLY excited about next year. I'm really happy with how this year has went, but next year I would like to:

    -Not have parent volunteers!!!!!!!! This is my biggest headache! I have 6 regular volunteers and each month I make out a calendar around their personal schedules. It's crazy.
    -Have mystery readers.
    -Outline the entire year, and what I will be covering week-by-week. This year I pretty much taught one week at a time, looked at my student's needs, and figured out what I was doing the next week. I obviously need to do that again to some extent, since I will have a completely different class with different needs, but I would like to come up with some sort of basic outline or plan.
    -Plan good social studies and science units. This year I have pretty much just used things the other K teachers gave me, but I would really like to come up with my own units.
    -Start guided reading groups at the beginning of December, instead of January.
    -Begin literacy centers differently. My poor kids have been such guinea pigs for literacy centers! For a while I was changing the way we did things almost weekly until I found a system that worked (thankfully, they are a group that can handle that). Now that I know how I want them to look at the end of the year, I can back-track and begin the introduction process differently.

    I'm sure there are more things. I'm really happy about this year, but I can't wait to change things next year!
     
  20. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

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    Mar 23, 2009

    I second that! I'm hoping to have a job next year but it will be interesting to see what other teachers want to change.
     
  21. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    I am really enjoying reading this thread. PLus, I don't feel as silly that I have already made a TO DO list for next year when I am just starting the 4th nine weeks.

    I plan to reorganize my skill cards.

    I plan to better structure when I work with skill card groups... math during math time, reading skills during reading etc.

    Create a skill group sequence chart for reading and spelling skills. Start teaching skill groups in August on Mondays and Fridays.

    Create essential questions/ higher level thinking questions for all of the indicators.

    Learn how to use a Smartboard, learn how to create the lessons, and download lessons that are already created.

    Level/label the hundreds of books that I bought at a garage sale last year but never had time to level and label them.

    Teach the students how to use Microsoft Word earlier in the year.

    Create a better system for daily 5 rotations. My students change reading groups often, and it seems that I have to recreate the chart every two weeks. Maybe I can use some kind of post it notes or dry erase chart instead of a paper rotation chart.

    Parent communication with grades... change this... I'm still thinking about ideas. :)

    There are MANY more things....
     
  22. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I have lots of things on my mind...of course a lot of it also depends on whether I stay in 3rd or move to a lower grade like I hope to.

    I need to be stricter with the routines and walking in the hallways. I need to be more prepared for teaching the writing mini-lessons and I need to keep them MINI lessons :) I need to write down the guided reading books I use for each group. Keep up to date with my progress monitoring for RTI. Keep in constant communication with parents when I see concerns. And not let the bad apples get the best of me, as they did this year.
     
  23. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    You guys have me thinking of more things I liked/didn't like! One thing I started this year that worked REALLY well is Friday folders using the Nicky's communication folders (http://nickysfolders.com/index.jsp?pr_id=10&action=order). They've held up really well and have a space for a comment sheet to/from parents. I like that now papers are more organized and parents are clued in year round.

    I did a reader of the week this year and the kids loved it! I'll keep that, too.

    More to-dos:
    * Add more literacy centers
    * Math centers - getting EDM ones ready and taking small groups more
    * Reorganizing how I reward good behavior - I'd like to do Homeworkopoly, plus maybe a ticket system for good behavior (I do incentive charts now, and there's about 20 loose ones floating around the room despite taping them down)
     
  24. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Oh yeah... and maybe doing Friday Fun Time (I feel so crunched for time! I think I need to make this a priority and set out all the centers and maybe some games - any good ones you can think of for little ones?). I'm not sure if ALL the kids would do this or if it would be a reward.

    Also, I need something to better organize and spice up science and social studies. (I'm over the KWL, read a book, write about new learning for EVERY unit!)
     
  25. km51571

    km51571 Companion

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    What is "eye-to-eye, knee-to-knee sharing"?

     
  26. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    When I do this in the Daily 3 (I do 3 not 5 in my class) the kids sit knee to knee (like a pretzel) and look each other in the eyes when talking. I also do elbow to elbow, knee to knee sometimes (in this way, the kids are sitting next to each other). My kids call that EEKK. :)
     
  27. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    To Do list for Next Year:

    -work hard at creating a classroom community at the beginning of the year. (Creating a classroom identity...)

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

    -Teach kids how to communicate their math thoughts right from the beginning of the year. (Explain their thinking, respond to other students, explain how they got their answer, ect.)

    -Be more strict on enforcing classroom procedures the very first time someone does it wrong (why is this on my list every year?)

    -Start Daily 5 sooner--- do something different with the Writing Daily 5-- too many kids just drawing pictures and writing short stories. I want them to be writing the whole time.

    -Writers Workshop (Units of Study)-- Love this (tried it first time this year). I want to make sure to do it every single day so we get farther into the books this year. We are still on Small Moments!!

    -create an attitude of "we are all in this together"-- interdependence. Use sayings like, "What is our goal?" "What can we do to reach this goal together?"

    -Thinking about creating partnerships that students work in all year along. They would sit next to their partners during group time, so it would take the fighting out of coming up to group time since they would kind of have assigned seats. It would also solve the problem of either me making partnerships every time we do partner work, or them picking awful partners for themselves.
     
  28. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    good thinking hojalata...I have some revising to do with the Daily 5 myself :) And the classroom community thing too...I need to reread the Morning Meeting book for next year too :)
     
  29. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    It's from Debbie Miller's book Reading with Meaning. It is when the child gets a buddy and sits on the floor and gets eye-to- eye and pretty much knee-to-knee to share. They sit right across from each other and they share their writing or they could share their thoughts on the book they read. It can be anything.

    I say something like "okay we will be sharing in just a couple of minutes so get your thoughts and story (papers/books) together so you are ready to go." They gather their things and then I say

    "Okay friends,
    it's time to get
    eye to eye and knee to knee
    grab your buddy
    1...2....3"

    As soon as I say 1...2....3 they know to get there buddy and "park it on the carpet" because if they waste time or don't have their acts together they won't have time to share and they don't like that.

    Initially, I had trouble with some of my kids too shy about their work to share it but eventually they came around. :) Definitely easier for them than large group sharing.

    Also, I see improvement in their work when they know they will be sharing it.
     
  30. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Lemon- do they pick their partners or do you pick them for them?
     
  31. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Keep my mouth shut and fly under the radar. Make my job as indispensable as possible. No complaining or commenting about anything.
     
  32. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Leighbball, What do you think you will change from Daily 5?


     
  33. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Usually, they just pick a buddy for writer's workshop. They are proud of their work and just want to show it to a live body. You would think they would argue or fight at who gets who but they don't because of time constraints!!

    When it is something like what they thought about a book, I will more than likely say get with your regular buddy. That is their paired buddy who I put a person with for academic reasons.

    If you want to know how I do regular buddies, let me know.
     
  34. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    I don't know how well my kids would do with picking their own buddy all of the time. Did this take a lot of practice? Do your kids ever feel left out?

    I use buddies a lot in my classroom We have buddy writing, normal carpet buddies, buddy reading, book share buddies etc. There are always a few kids who are never picked so I normally never let them pick the initial buddy. Normal carpet buddies are based on their reading level, they always sit next to each other on the carpet and even their desks are together. This is so when I have a "turn and talk" they know who their buddy is and no one is left out. They are also sometimes used as buddy readers when reading the same book.

    The others, I usually but not all of the time pull out sticks and make the initial partner. Usually these activities are short like book share. Where the students go sit on the carpet when they finish sharing then find a new buddy who is sitting there.

    Maybe it is just my class, but I always have had the shy kids who are afraid to pick and are usually the last picked.

    When I don't pick the students I pull a stick and have that person quickly choose someone. I usually "fix" this by calling out the shy kids within the first 5-7 picks.
     
  35. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    I'm going to be clearer about procedure in the classroom and my expectations of them. I was too lackadaisical with them this year.

    I'm also going to try out different reward systems for positive class behavior.
     
  36. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I think I am lucky in that my kids will pick someone. At first it was sort of like what you are discribing. Then they got used to it and found out that if they messed around too long, they would lose their opportunity to share.

    A lot of times they will pick the same partner but they are really into writing; therefore, if I say something like "try to get a new partner today and see if you can hear some different 'voice' in their writing" they will probably do it.

    Buddies for math doesn't work as smoothly which is why I have the "regular academic pairing". I call these their banana buddies and I have them sorted a special way.

    Clear as mud???;)
     
  37. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Gotcha! :)

    I'm so glad that it works for you! We always have discussions about how to make a smart choices about where they sit while read to self or buddy reading in the room. (If you really like the pencil sharpener, then you probably don't want to sit by it...)

    I never thought about discussing how to choose a good partner. Yet, it is a really simple idea. Sometimes the best ideas are something simple, not a well- developed fancy idea.

    "You might want to choose a partner that..... and this may not be your best friend. You always get to use your best friend's brain for ideas to play at recess. You need to think about a partner who...."

    Great idea! I definitely will try this next year. I'll probably even use this class as my guinea pigs!

    Thanks for your description!
     
  38. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I don't know yet...my kids love it but seem to also be bored by the fact that there are only 3 activities to do plus seeing me in a small group. So its something I have to think about and plan out...maybe I'll do all 5 but they won't do all 5 each day...It will also depend what grade I teach.
     
  39. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I'd love to hear how you pick the banana buddies lemon...you can pm me if you need to. :)
     
  40. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    I want to fine tune my Literacy Centers and I am definitely changing my theme. I hope that I am not getting too excited about having a smaller class so I can take some desk out of my class. I have 24 desks in my class now, but the K classes have about 18 students each. I would be ok with 20.
     
  41. km51571

    km51571 Companion

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    OMG! Try having 27 desks in your classroom. That's right I have 27 students!!
     

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