Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Things I Wouldn't Do Again in My Classroom

It's summer time!  Huzzah!  Time to rest, relax and get away for a bit and... remind ourselves of some of the things we maybe could have improved on from the previous year(s).  Which is exactly what I'm doing this week!  I figured I would get this one out of the way where I discuss how imperfect I am so that in later weeks when I discuss what I would continue to do in my classroom that is what you'll focus on and we'll all remember that despite our shortfalls we were all doing many great things in our classrooms too!

1) Flying by the seat of my pants in Social Studies

Have you ever notice that I so rarely post about social studies? Just because I don't care for social studies doesn't mean my students don't. Now that I have many ideas of things that work well in grade 4-6 classrooms I feel like it would require less planning overall... which means I would have (should?) have time to devote to planning out my social studies units. Even if it means finding something on Teachers Pay Teachers it would be better than not having super concrete plans for an entire subject!  In the future I plan to plan for social studies!

2) Poetry Units

I did this with my grade 8's and they HATED it. I figured it was just because it was poetry but I did poetry with my grade 5/6 class the following year and I don't recall hearing many complaints. There are definitely ways to integrate poetry into your lessons that you don't need to have an entire unit on it.  What I would do is incorporate my poetry unit into art and share poems that relate to what we are doing in that class and have them write poems that have to do with their art.  I've talked about this before when I mention the art portfolios I made for my students when I taught grade 5/6 and here is an example of some snowflake art and poetry I did with students while subbing.

3) Ruleopoly

It served its purpose that one year but I think I'm ready to move onto something else (something hopefully better) - Classroom Economy

4) Textbooks

This one is hard for me to write but, if I had other resources I think I would take advantage of things other than textbooks (for the most part). This isn't to say I would never ever have my students crack open a textbook but I think there are so many other great resources out there (I mean, just look at Teachers Pay Teacher's and you'll see what I mean). I believe when I was teaching grades 5/6 we had Math Power and I don't think we used much of the actual textbooks (however, when I taught grade 4 I know for a fact we used that math textbook A LOT!). What we did use however was use the homework book. This additional resource I found super useful because at the top of each lesson it went over what you needed to know quickly and then gave a bunch of questions to answer. Less wordy than the textbook and simpler to look at.

5)  Empty "Threats"

I don't know what to call it because it isn't really a "threat" really... but if I tell a students that I'm going to have a conversation with their mother or father I need to start following through on that.  I never noticed it more than these last few months in grade 7.  Let me tell you, teaching middle school is rough!  A big difference from what I taught elementary school and rarely had to call home.  

Now it's your turn to do some reflecting on some things that maybe you could have improved on this past school year.

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