Sunday, August 18, 2013

Praxis = reflection of beliefs in action

School is coming right around the corner.  Here are six practices that I worked on this summer that will impact my teaching this year.  I will put them into place, observe what happens, and will reflect on the outcomes.  First is school-wide welcoming throughout the beginning of the school and continuing throughout the rest of the year.
I will be greeting students and parents at the door of the school every morning - this year I'm going to take pictures of the kids and write their names on the pictures.  This will help me learn who each and everyone is in the school as well as build a healthy community where kids safe and acknowledged.  One of the road blocks to taking pictures is stopping the kids long enough to get the picture.  I ended up not doing that.  Instead the art teacher came up with a photo booth for open house.  We took pictures of kids with silly mustaches, big lips, glasses, bow ties, or hats on sticks.  It was a great way to greet the kids back to school and it was a lot of fun.  It was an easy way to go up and talk to kids on open house.  We will put them up in the "stage" glass case as the year progresses.  Lots of good feedback on this activity.  Second, I will do ccommunity building games n my classroom, I will do a variety of short community building games every day before or during group time.  This will help the kids feel comfortable and have fun with the group.  I anticipate that I will accomplish these games but I will have to pick ones that I can do quickly.  I only have a small amount of time with each group and I am expected to use most of the time for reading intervention.  Thirdly, I am going to attempt group transition welcoming.  I would like to give myself a 5 min transition time this year between groups so I can have one group out before another group enters my room.  I would like to greet them at the classroom door.  The road block to this is that I loose group time.  I can add more than 2 groups by not taking the 5 minute buffer.  I have to wonder if it's worth it or not.  Fourth, I will be implementing the research I performed on gender differences.  I will be teaching my small groups using strategies to better reach boys in a boys only group.  I will do the same with my girl group.  For students who will not be involved in single gender groups, I will integrate my gender differences within each group.  I have had a chance to do some researched interventions with students who either were removed from the room or were having a hard time transitioning into the classrooms after summer break.  I have been bringing the boys into my room for movement on my balls, picking out stuffed animals to hold, and reading them books.  It has gone well.  The hurdles to this research is whether I can really make it happen and if my teachers will allow me to group the way I want to group the kids.  Fifth, Essential questions:  After having completed 10 backward design plans, I will plan my 2nd grade groups using the designs. By reviewing and implementing these plans, I will leave the students with enduring understandings.  I'm not sure what interventions I am going to do with my 2nd grade students at this point. I may need to intervene with alternative interventions once I get my data back from testing.  Lastly, I am working on more effective lleadership. By being a lone nut most of the time, I often will take on leadership positions at school.  This year I will work on getting the first follower in on the planning and then we will work to bring along the rest of the followers.  The first leadership position will be an all staff training on FAST, which is a screener using curriculum based measures along with ongoing progress monitoring.  During the early part of workshop week, I will enlist each grade level rep to help with bringing their other grade level teachers along.  The training has already been done and it went very well.  Next week testing begins so I will continue to get a chance to hep the teachers in a leadership role.  As you can see, this is a comprehensive list of actions I will take this year from my summer learning.

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