Monday, October 6, 2014

A New Direction

Raise your hand if you're finally finding your groove for the 2014-2015 school year?  Raise your hand if you're still trying to figure it out?  For me it depends on the day.  ;)  I'm truly starting to feel a lot better about the year.  Now that I'm getting settled into my routine, I have so much to share about what is going on in my classroom!  I'm hoping you'll find it as interesting as I do.  :)

This post is going to be all background as to my thoughts over the past several months, what I've found so far, and what my plan is.

A few random thoughts from my oh-so-random brain:
1. I'm not a huge fan of whole-group teaching.
2. I love, love, love small groups.
3. Too much to do, not enough time.
4. I always want to incorporate more technology.
5. Math has been the most dry to teach (for me...I know it can be so much better and so much more fun...).

Let's rewind to sometime last year.  I started entertaining the thought of math groups/guided math/math centers.  Sadly, I only had 35 minutes to teach math last year.  This year isn't too much better, but I have about 45 minutes this year.  I'll take it!  :)  With such limited time last year, the thoughts just were just fleeting.

Then we had this past summer where I started thinking about my ideas a little more seriously.  It was going to be my professional goal this year to implement some sort of guided math.  Even if it was one day a week, I was going to make it happen.

Enter August and I was completely overwhelmed with trying to readjust to school.  Preparing my room, making copies, lesson plans, hosting a student teacher, having a new aide, learning about my students, SLOs, professional growth plans, RIMPs, baseline assessments... the last thing on my mind was trying to implement something new.  Especially with a student teacher teaching, it just wasn't a good time to throw something new at her.  ;)

Then my principal showed us something that she saw at a local principal's meeting.  Before I watched it, my thought was, "I can't possibly do one more thing.  I can't even do what I'm supposed to, let alone something new."  But then the wheels started turning, the sparks started flying, and I couldn't help myself but to jump all in.

I want to share the videos of this local teacher so that YOU might be inspired, and so that you know where my inspiration came from.  This is what sparked it and this is the root of what is currently evolving in my classroom.  I take no credit of where she has already paved the way.  :)

I also found a short article comparing the differences between a 20th century classroom and a 21st century classroom.  I love it and it helps give me a vision and direction on how I want my classroom to make a turn for the better.

You can access the link by clicking here.

Now, I will say there are plenty of obstacles and things that I have to wrestle with in my mind about what makes sense for myself, my students, my building, our community, and all of the nuts and bolts (space, length of school day, available resources, etc.).  So this whole thing is evolving on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute basis.

I really hope you'll stay tuned as I show you how this is looking!  I've already started changing things and within a week's time, my classroom is drastically different.  I truly can't wait to share!  :)

In closing, I want to give you a sneak peek about something exciting that's happening!  This is all I'm leaving you!  ;)

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