Another One Bites the Dust.
It is usually about this time of year that I start reflecting on the year and start planning for the year ahead. I start a notebook and over the next few weeks, I jot down ideas and thoughts.
Knowing that I will be having a split class next year - a 2/3, instead of a straight 3, has me already planning changes.
Amber of "Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher" is hosting a fun linky party that has us listing 3 things that were great and 3 things that were not so great about this school year.
What was Great and what I will continue next year:
1. Large blocks of independent reading time. The children are usually reading 30 minutes of "just right books" each day. If for some reason it is shortened (or heaven forbid it is lost), we must make it up later in the day. I have seen huge jumps in reading skills in almost all of the children.
2. Writing letters about their thinking about reading. As often as I can, I have the students respond to a book read, something from their reading or pose a question about a book or author. I always respond to them. I love this back and forth letter writing and I have seen real growth in their connections to texts especially.
3. Read alouds. I love holding my class in the palm of my hand as I read aloud from a chapter or picture book. We have an ongoing list in our room of all the books we are reading. Right after their final break, we meet on the rug and I read 1 or 2 chapters of a novel each day. They loved "Because of Winn Dixie" and "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" especially. We just finished "Stone Fox" and have started "Charlotte's Web".
I use read alouds for many intros to math, science and social studies.
What was not so great and I would like to change:
1. Too many papers and files and books! Often when I need something I know I have, I seem to spend too much time searching. I want to work on organization of "stuff" this summer.
2. Spelling. We do not have a set spelling programme and with a split next year, all the 2s and 3s will have to work together to improve our programme.
3. Fitting in Daily Physical Activity (DPA). In Ontario we are supposed to have 20 min. of DPA, especially on the days when there is no phys. ed. As Grade 3 is a testing year (EQAO), I find it a challenge to fit in all the necessary skills and subjects. Next year I would like a set time of DPA every day - 10 min first thing and 10 min during math.
Be sure to check out this great linky here.
My Summer Bucket List
Love the idea of creating a bucket list for the summer. Here in Ontario, we have to go right to the end of June -the 28th with kids and the 29th a PA Day.