Best of Times…Worst of Times

Well, the year is almost over. We have just a few days left before summer starts. This year has been a year to remember. We had the “Snowmagedden” that raged havoc on our school year. (I don’t think we really ever recovered from all the snow days that we had.) We ended the year with a cool trip to Cosi with my students.

The opening of a Tale of Two Cities always comes to mind this time of year: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” When this time of year swings around I like to recap the year, and see what worked and what didn’t. I think over all, I had a great  year with my students.

Here is some of the things that went well this year:

  • I based my teaching style on using Project Based Learning
  • I taught my students how to make their own quality rubrics
  • I incorporated new technology into my class (smart board, and iPads)
  • I stepped out of my comfort zone on some of the units that we did this year
  • I use a journal to keep notes and ideas in throughout the year
  • I had very few students opt-out of our program
  • We went to Cosi, and had a blast
  • I got to know a new a group of 7th graders
  • I have to say to good-bye to a great group of 8th graders (many I have had since they were in 3rd grade)
  • The portfolios we made worked well

Somethings that didn’t work:

  • Had too much paper work for my students to do when they begin their projects….I had to change some of that
  • I need to work on communication better with parents/teachers/schools
  • I need to figure out how to incorporate student ideas into the projects that I give them to do
  • I need to get a different kind of folder for portfolios, but use the same system
  • I need to work on time management in class when giving students some free time
  • I need to use more people in the community as resources in my class
  • I didn’t use Skype or Google hangout like I wanted to this year

I have come to the realization that I need to set up a few goals for the year and try to meet those goals. I am in the process of setting those goals. To help with that I am in the process of making a new website. Feel free to check it out here.

I hope you had a great school year. I hope your summer will be a time to recoup and brainstorm ideas for next year. Looking back on your school year, what worked? What didn’t work? What would you do over differently?

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