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?