What will you be doing differently next year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, May 14, 2019.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    May 14, 2019

    My kids were testing yesterday and today so I had a lot of time to think about things that I would do differently next year! Here is my list so far. I would love your thoughts and would love for you to share what you will be changing next year.

    -Homework: I started giving the kids weekly review homeworks in January (instead of a worksheet every few days) and it has been going well. I print the homework on colored paper so the kids can't have it out during class. I hand it out on Monday and collect it on Friday. At first, a lot of kids didn't do it, but I would say that 75% of my kids do homework now compared to 50% in January. I'm sure completion would increase if I started it in the beginning of the year.

    -Tests: I want to start giving tests online, because the kids have to take standardized tests online. Has anyone ever done this before? I'm worried about not being able to give partial credit but I do think it would help.

    -Routines: I want to establish stronger routines for the classroom, including asking for the bathroom and being out of their seat. I'm considering making a policy where the kids have to ask to be out of their seats. This is my policy in my worst class and it has helped with the behavior but it sucks to enforce it. What policy do you use in the middle school classroom? I have tons of kids that want to throw things away, etc.

    -Organization: I want to be more organized and I want my students to be more organized. I want to create a binder for each unit with each handout that each kid received, so I can make copies quickly instead of looking on my google drive if kids need work. I also want to keep extra hw copies in a binder so that I can pull them out easily for kids. I also want to keep my kids more organized. My mentor has the kids keep their binders in the classroom, so I'm not sure if that's what I should do. I was also thinking of implementing binder check or something similar. I My kids have no organization now and shove papers in their backpacks or recycle them. However, I can only imagine chaos as the kids enter the class to pick up their binders from the bookshelf. Thoughts?

    -Seats: My current seating arrangement is in rows on the side and groups in the middle. I think I'll keep this arrangement to start, instead of starting with all groups.

    What are you doing differently next year?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My kids should be 1:1 Chromebooks next year. I’ve been switching to a lot online the last few years to get ready. I’m rearranging my furniture and redoing my theme. I’ve had the same theme and similar furniture arrangement for the four years I’ve been in my room. We are doing curriculum work over the summer, so there will be some tweaks in the units.
     
  4. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    May 15, 2019

    Before giving tests online, it may not be a bad idea to put some of the homework online. Many of the teachers here use Quizizz for their homework assignments. This may also increase the number of students you have completing the assignment if they can just do it on their phones. It also provides them immediate feedback.

    I just use a file, rather than a binder, to keep extras for absent students. This way I don't risk having kids rip stuff out of the binder, or having all the binder pages fall on the floor.
     
  5. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Honestly I don't plan on changing too much, except we were finally given the go ahead to make homework/classwork worth only 10% of the grade instead of 20% so I am bumping that "fluffy" percentage down, and likewise, checking homework less frequently.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 15, 2019

    I am going to be more direct with objectives and find better ways to present the objectives.

    I am going to keep a tidier and more organized classroom.

    I am going to attempt to completely ditch homework, but find a better home reading tracking system.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I want to go paperless for homework, but I'm still working on the "how". My students fill out a reading log each week right now and I'd like to continue that but online logs feel more complicated.

    I'm already super clear about expectations and have a good syllabus, but I need to change some policies because I want airtight policies on late work, homework, and tests. My school has a lot of parents that will argue about grades (why does my child have a B+?) and very clear policies help a lot with answering those emails.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 15, 2019

    I plan to visit the Central Florida theme parks as often as I can, sit out on my dock and catch up on all the novels I have saved for years, maybe do some gardening and cooking, play some computer games...and thoroughly enjoy my retirement!:D
     
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  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2019

    So jealous!
     
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  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Trying to miraculously find a way to massively increase my efficiency and ability to pare down my "extra stuff" that I do, as I take 6 weeks off in mid-October for our first child and then have to start leaving after school right away (instead of 6pm/7pm) after I return!

    There's other things too, but they all tie into that efficiency piece and planning (as I'll have to have that month and a half well-planned in advance!).
     
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  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I know that some of my kids don't have phones and some don't have a computer at home. But I would like to do more practice in class w/ computers.

    I currently use a hanging file (M-F) for absent students. I only have 1 student out of 94 that uses it. I generally exempt kid from work when they're absent unless they're absent a ton. I need to work on this procedure. I keep extra hw copies there and a TON of kids use it for homework which is great.

    I also know teachers who use file folders for kids' assessments. I like this idea because I would get to keep the assessments for each kid. A lot of kids throw out tests which I hate. I might use this next year, but it would be more time for me to file all assessments. And that is less for the kids to keep in their binders.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I want to work on my percentages as well. I want to lump together "assessments" as 60%, "classwork" as 30%, homework as 5%, and the district test as 5%. I can weigh quizzes and tests differently. Now, I count quizzes as a big classwork grades since I have tests at 40% and classwork at 40% as well.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I would also love to be more efficient during the school day! Does anyone make copies for the week ahead of time? I would love to stay late on Friday and get this done, so I can grade + do other tasks during my prep and take less work home.
     
  14. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    May 15, 2019

    1 on 1 makes it convenient for online work but it is a hassle to monitor elsewhere such as a study hall. Do they need to be using it for school work? Most are just cruising the web.
     
  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    May 15, 2019

    My following week tends to change out too much, but I have gotten to that point sometimes (and it's my goal next year to do it by Thursday, for reasons listed above). Though usually I'll do it more by "section"/"unit". For example, I might make copies for the entire unit on angle measurement, which might span 2-3 weeks. There's a likely chance I'll make a separate copy here and there, but I have most of the materials ready then (and the planning is mostly set at that point, except for having it ready each day).

    I have 6 bins next to my desk - one "catch-all", and then one for each day of the week - where I store any supplies for upcoming days, which makes it easy to pull out that day's work. (Granted, I haven't used it as well as it could've been used...but baby steps :))
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2019

    If I remember correctly, aren't you joining the retirement ranks relatively soon?
     
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  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 16, 2019

    I have 3 more years. At times it seems really close and at times it seems like it will never get here.
     
  18. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 16, 2019

    You're living my dream!
    I'll be down at Disney World the second week of summer break! Can't wait.

    As for school, our entire district is in for some big changes next year. We have a new superintendent who is all about us "rebranding" ourselves so that we can compete in the "business of education" (lovely). I already know I'll have two preps instead of my usual one. I'm developing some new units and trying to align my assessments more closely with the state assessment (ugh).

    What I really, really want to do is make-over my classroom. I've been wanting to do that for a few years now, and I've never followed through. Last summer I had a total thyroidectomy, so I didn't really feel up to a classroom make-over. I'm thinking this year I might do it. Mostly I just want to paint the walls, bring in a nice desk that I don't really need/use at home, and just spruce up the place with some cuteness.
     

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