April’s OLW reflection/round – up

I can’t believe that April has come to an end…two more months of school and so much left to do!  This is the point in the school year when I feel the most insecure – my kids will leave in just eight weeks…have I taught them well? enough? meaningfully? Even as I type this, they are in front of me, in rows, taking their New Jersey ASK tests.  So, what can I say as I reflect upon April’s learning? Here goes:

  • we really did enjoy taking apart the state test and learning how to “game it” – we spent much more time analyzing prompts and questions than we did doing monotonous practice tests.  We even came up with a dance to show that we were “workin’ it!” with these strategies. Fun! But the best part is that today I see the three students who are “mine” in this testing room really working it – marking up the texts and the questions and completely focused on the task. YES!
  • speaking of the ASK tests, I used everything I learned at TC’s mini-institute on the Common Core to re-vamp my persuasive writing unit. How did this help? Well, I think it made my teaching much more focused and strategic – I know I have more work to do in this area, but we’re off to a good start.  I feel that most of my summer will be spent working further with the common core, but the persuasive seems more or less “done”.
  • my blogging life continues to be rich and rewarding – it’s wonderful to check in with so many dedicated teachers who are doing such amazing things in their  classrooms.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed or just “out of new ideas”, I can wander into Maria’s “classroom” and learn what she’s up to – I’m immediately inspired and ready to get back into the swing of things. How awesome is that?!
  • finally, we’re getting to the Civil War era in  my classroom, which means even more project based learning.  I’m hoping  to get a social studies day meme going one day so that we can share our ideas/resources one day a week – just as some of us meet for Slice of Life on Tuesdays or Poetry Fridays. Anyone game?

Here are some other OLW reflections:
Tracy  at Thinking Stems
Maria at Teaching in the 21st. Century
Barbara at Wondering through 2012
Melissa at Figuring out how the pieces fit

4 thoughts on “April’s OLW reflection/round – up

  1. Wow I am envious of your first bullet, and I am anxious to learn more about how you "game it" for the state tests. I am not there and want to learn more for sure! Feel free to wonder into our class anytime because I sure do the same in your room by reading your blog! I am interested in a SS meme especially since we're headed to CC and need for interaction of NF and SS text.

  2. I concur with bullet three! I completely agree with you…blogging life is a rich and rewarding form of professional development that is at our fingertips! I love checking in on all the classrooms. Since I teach fourth grade, I get to preview Maria's fifth graders and your sixth graders. Keep the post coming! Anxious to hear more of your thinking about the CC!

  3. Sounds like those state test preps were fun and productive! Relaxing and just plain keeping your wits about you make more of the difference in test taking. Good luck on your end of year wrap ups!

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