Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer Bucket List/ Assessing the year

Two School linky parties this weekend really intrigued me:

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.

Here are just a few of the many things on my list for the summer :
1. Creating - ATCs, art courses, small art projects - I want to create every day.
2. Professional Reading- There are a number of books I want to read and reread. Daily 5, CAFE; books on writing especially.
3. Taking a teaching course- would like to get my Primary Methods Specialist. Another teacher will be taking it and it will be much better working together.
4. Reading, reading, reading! So many books to read!  I have been making piles to read!
5. Reorganizing my files and units. I will be teaching a 2/3 in the fall and need to plan for the new year.
6. Dance daily!
7. Have some weekend fun times with my husband. This summer we may not be able to take holidays when we usually do as his plant has put a hold on holidays for July and August. But there are so many places to explore on weekends. I am looking forward to planning and visiting interesting places around.
Be sure to check out the Linky Party here.


Cupcake said...

Thank you for joining our little party!!
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Madame Aiello said...

Mary, count your blessings... depending on your board in Ontario, you may not even get a PD day on June 29th... we still have students then!

Nice to find other Canadian teacher-bloggers! :-)


Emma said...

It's a great idea to have a list or 2!

Amber @ Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher said...

Thank you for linking up!

I think I am always searching for things in my classroom too! Oh and my kiddos get soooo upset when they don't get their 40 minutes of reading time!

I'm your newest follower!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Kelli said...

Ooh a Canadian blogger!! I have been wanting to teach in Canada, but the teachers I met in Australia said there were not many teaching jobs there.

How do you like it there?

I have also wanted to read several professional books...hope to do that this summer.

Tales From a Traveling Teacher

Think, Wonder, and Teach said...

I just found your blog through the linky! Can't wait to read more!!

Think, Wonder, & Teach

Just Wild About Teaching said...

your background is your newest follower....drop by

Just Wild About Teaching

Ramona said...

I was checking out your blog after you left a comment on mine. I'm also planning to work on organization this summer. It's maddening to need something, but spend way too much time looking for it. I would love to hear about your summer efforts.
I love the idea of creating a summer bucket list!