Friday, June 8, 2018

Feedback (part 1)

The school year is coming to a close and I'm super paranoid about forgetting to upload these photos - here are some amazing copies of student feedback about our year.   I'm going to try to do another post later.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Too funny!

My students crack me up!   Today, after days of state testing, I gave them a very simple bell ringer.  We're presently reading The Little Prince.    I said to them, "Draw Me A Sheep."    If you've read the book, you know how hilariously appropriate this is.   Well played, kids.   Well played.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Just a preview...

This is just a small preview of the books on my reading list for this summer.   

My goal is to read one book per week.  I also have quite the stack for YA lit as well.    I'm really looking forward to a summer with my family and learning/networking while my babies sleep.   =^_^=

What is on your personal and professional reading list this summer?

Look me up on GoodReads!
Or of course... Twitter!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Power of Student Choice

This year, I made many Shifts to my teaching that greatly impacted my classroom environment.   For the most part, it was all positive.  Scary for me, yes.   But positive.   I made the decision that a risk I wanted to take was to give my students more control and more choice.   For the most part, students did extremely well.   Of course, I had a few goobers trying to push the limits, and they were appropriately disciplined.  

During Teacher Appreciation Week, the students are able to go to the main office and fill out a "Teacher Kudos" form.   Basically, they fill it out, it goes in a bucket for a drawing, and then when all is said and done every teacher gets their Kudo.  

This year, I received eleven awesome Kudos from my kiddos.    The one had said that they like me because my class is fun and I let them do whatever they want.    Agh.  That could totally be interpreted the wrong way.    I met with the student and first thanked them for thinking of me and told them I appreciated the Kudo.   I then asked them to clarify their statement.    They told me that they really liked being able to have choices in my room.    They liked being able to choose an article of their interest to apply their current reading strategy.   They liked being able to choose their seat.    They liked being able to work independently and call on me when they were stuck rather than me be all up in their bubble.

As I reflected on this I thought... time to ask all students what they thought about student choice.   The conversations that were had yesterday afternoon were simply amazing.    One student said, "You know we have some problems with our learning but you don't treat us like we can't do something."

Here are some images of their writings - these are the only ones I had permission to share.  

I would seriously love your thoughts on this!   Please send me a message/tweet or comment below!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Student Opinions

The Bloom Balls are officially hanging on display in my classroom which is a #ShiftThis Shift in and of itself as I've never ever hung anything from my ceilings before.   Mad love to my super awesome para for her help and for April (our custodian) for lending a ladder!

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that I value the opinions of others, especially the opinions of my students.    When students walked in today, they were shocked.   They spent time walking around the room looking at each ball, finding their creations, and just spent time completely immersed in the change.  Wow.  WOW.

This is the first time I've ever assigned a Bloom Ball.   It was also a first time for my students.  So... back to opinions...

Here are some (not all... I have videos of other feedback on my Twitter page) of the things my students have shared with me regarding the assignment:

  • It was a lot of fun and better than worksheets.
  • They liked that they had a choice between working solo or with a partner.
  • It helped to see a blank bloom ball assembled.  
  • Students loved being able to "bounce around" in regards to sides.
  • After learning the hard way, several students noted that a rough draft is necessary.
  • Progress chart hanging was super helpful.
  • Having a chance to draw/sketch their understanding/comprehension was helpful.
  • Even when working solo, students enjoyed checking out the progress of their peers.  
  • Students valued conversations with peers.
  • Students loved being able to "build" something.
  • One student said, "It got my mind going like never before."
Ideas for next time:
  • Student choice of the novel (my idea)
  • Possibly create with a topic of non-fiction (student idea)
  • More "free sides" (student idea)
  • A list of 24-36 activities and students choose what they do (student idea)
  • Non-Crayola Markers (student idea)
  • Circles Pre-Cut (student idea)
  • Printed on color paper (my idea)
  • Done digitally (student idea... not so sure how I feel about this)

Scholastic Book Fair

Scholastic book fair time!

It's like Christmas... for readers!