Monday, May 5, 2014

Looking Ahead

I could start off with excuses for why I haven't blogged in more than a month, but all I'll say is that, until this school year is over and I am relaxing poolside, I will most probably be a "once-in-awhile" blogger.  It's just been one of those years, folks!
Anyway, because it's been kind of a rough year, I find myself looking ahead to next year.  I like to have a focus for the summer to guide my professional learning.  For the past couple of summers I have worked hard to get math workshop and guided math up and running in my classroom, and I have to say I am really happy with the way it is working in my room right now.
Reflecting on my teaching so far this year, I realize that for whatever reason, Daily 5 hasn't worked as well for me as it has in the past.  So this summer I want to read the revised version of the book and explore some variations of the format.  It is definitely time to spruce up some of the reading materials and supplies I use as well!  I did buy this really great caddy to organize some of my small group supplies:
I bought this at my husband's favorite store- Harbor Freight!  He was thrilled when I said I wanted to go with him on his last visit!
The other subject area I want to focus on is science.  I feel like science gets overlooked sometimes in my classroom.  Scheduling usually puts science instruction time at the end of the day, and I will confess there are many days when I use that time to catch up on language arts or math work.  We read a lot of science related books or watch videos, but I need to give my kids more time to explore and "do" science.  Science classes were never my favorites in school, and I've always said I just don't like science.  But thinking back to my childhood days, I realize that wasn't always true.  I loved going on hikes and exploring the woods near my home.  I had a rock collection.  On our annual trip to the shore (the beach to most of you!) I gathered seashells.  I pressed leaves and flowers and made scrapbooks identifying them.  It wasn't until science turned into reading chapters in textbooks and memorizing facts and formulas that I lost interest.  I just finished reading this wonderful book, A Place for Wonder by Georgia Heard, and I am super excited to start letting my kids do what they do best, wonder and discover!  (And with perfect timing, my school will be setting up a primary science lab for next year!)

Oh yeah, as I say EVERY summer, I'm going to work on being super-organized next yearl!   I probably just need to face the fact that I am never going to be one of those teachers who has everything laid out for the week in wonderfully color-coordinated folders and tubs.  But a girl can dream, can't she?

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