I started blogging two years ago as a tool for me to track my reflections on teaching and learning. I felt I needed an outlet for me to release all the thoughts swimming in my head and limiting the amount of sleep my body received. It has been a great journey. This morning Rachelle Wynkoop shared, Reflective Teaching: 30-day blogging challenge for teachers. My first thought was I am too busy and a day late to get going on the challenge. An easy cop out! Rachelle encouraged with a quick tweet saying “Keep it simple, no need to stress!” Followed by a link to her post for day 1. After taking the day to teach and reflect. I really need to take up this challenge. If I don’t have time for quick reflections, I should not be teaching. I need to take at least 10-15 minutes a day to reflect. Thanks to one of my great #michED friends to push me just enough to take action. That is what friends are for!! SO here goes my reflections for day 1 and 2 of the challenge:
Day 1: Goals
Starting the year without goals is like going on a trip without a map or destination. Must have goals in mind every day when teaching.
Goal 1: Put students in charge of their learning: My job is to show the learning objective, give options of how to get there and get out of the way until a students is stuck on the journey.
Goal 2: Give the classroom to the students: Let them control the learning environment and set the classroom expectations
Student writing learning expectations for class.
3. Check my emotions and stay positive: Learning happens best when the environment is positive. I need to focus on the positive and not get drawn into the negative that surrounds educations. Focus on what the students learn, not what they don’t, live the mantra: First Attempt In Learning. In the past failures have effected my teaching and classroom, I can’t let it happen. Focus on process not product.
Day 2: Technology Integration
Using Remind with purpose! I have used remind (remind101) in the past but not with a true learning purpose. Using it to remind parents of tests and project is just the tech version of a note home in the agenda. I need to be more productive with the use of remind. I plan on sending out at least 2 weekly messages. First one will include and overview of the week’s learning targets and the second on containing the week’s vocabulary. This will make an electronic recording of learning for each week of the year. Students can look back at messages to see what was covered to review for quizzes and tests. I hope this more deliberate use of an incredible tool will help learning in my classroom.
Since my goal is for students to own their learning, I also hope to build the capacity in my students so that they will eventually be the ones sending the messages to themselves. I feel handing control over to the students give the messages more meaning and purpose. After I have tried this I hope to blog more about how it works for me in my classroom.