Saturday, March 30, 2013

Resolution Reflections

As I was enjoying my coffee early this morning, the notification beep sounded on my phone.  Curious as to who else was up so early on a Saturday, I quickly checked.  It was a calendar reminder:  Blog about goal progress.
Back in August I wrote a post about my resolutions for the new school year (here) and set a calendar reminder to blog about them each month. Oops, that didn't happen!  I guess I've ignored most of the reminders so far!  But since it's a Saturday morning and I have no real plans, I decided to revisit my resolutions.

Organization:  I think I just have to accept that this is always going to be a challenge for me!  However, I have done a much better job of keeping my teaching table usable this year.  My math supplies are well organized but not particularly tidy right now.  I am using a paper sorter to keep my homework sheets and other worksheets/recording sheets organized.  For the past 2 years I would often find myself frantically searching for the day's homework assignment at dismissal time.  This year I know exactly where they are!  My desk is a disaster but I am hopeful that now that I have discovered all that Evernote  (see here and here) can do for me, some of my paper clutter might be eliminated.
I really need to get rid of all this!

Guided Math:  I still can't believe how much I am enjoying teaching math!  With my background as a literacy coach and reading intervention teacher, I never imagined that I would now consider math to be my strongest area as a teacher!
Math station fun from December.

Guided Reading:  One of my goals was to spice up my guided reading activities.  Thanks to Pinterest and TPT, my activities are now much more varied and fun.  Since most of my children are reading at or beyond grade level at this time, I'm thinking about conducting my reading block in more of a workshop format for the rest of the year.  I'd like to have my students work in reading partnerships or book club/literature circle type groups and really focus on having meaningful conversations about books.  I'll still pull groups, but they will be skill or strategy groups and not necessarily leveled groups.  Still planning it out in my head and gathering ideas from these 2 books:

Technology: With all of the new tools, apps and ideas springing up all the time, I don't think I will ever be exactly where I want to be with technology.  Personally, I am using more and more technology in my teaching every day, but I still need to do a better job of putting the tools in the students' hands.  I had hoped to have them blogging by now, but getting them to use individual logins and saving their work is a little harder than I anticipated. Plus there is just so much that has to be done in first grade! My kids did such a great job using the Ipod touches and Kindle during our Dr. Seuss unit; I just wished my Ipods weren't so old so I could download new apps.  Since the Kindle is my personal device, I'm hesitant to use it all the time at school.  (I don't want some tech-savvy little friend to discover Fifty Shade of Grey in my archived books!)  I have checked out some Netbooks to use and hope to do more, but I really need Ipads or the newest version of the Ipod Touch!  Our PTA is working on it for us so maybe next year!

So right now I feel pretty good about this year, and with 2 months left, I think there is plenty of time to work on those areas that need strengthened, at least until the end-of-year craziness sets in!

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