I'm in my 7th year teaching. Reflecting back, I see many successes and failures. I just so happened to get hired during a time when our school experienced outrageously high numbers of students in the classroom. To remain in compliance with class size amendment, co-teachers were hired. I had a remarkable co-teaching experience. During my first year, my counterpart had completed her internship for the leadership program. A veteran teacher, soon to be new assistant principal (and now principal), mentor, and a close friend... I had nothing but the best modeling expectations for me. We had a very structured classroom and children were provided choice time through a controlled choice. I did spend much of my free time, when folks would otherwise spend with their family, in my classroom preparing for the next day. My husband is a police officer on the midnight task force so I had many free nights. I look back at the many wasted hours of preparing work stations for students. I stapled writing books or cut out pieces to center activities and placed them in baggies. I checked their work for understanding and to determine groupings. Everything was time consuming and micro managed. I now think...Were the kids happy? I thought so... Were the kids engaged? They looked to be... But now I wonder if it was all so robotic and scripted through consequences rather than a deeply ingrained sense of understanding!
My goals as defined through my reading will drastically change this coming year. It's my intentions to teach anchor lessons and practice skills until behaviors become habit. I'll build a community by defining and practicing behaviors so that the kids build stamina. I'll attempt to incorporate strong self monitoring from students. And I'm releasing control to ensure I have a student led classroom which fits along side with integrating Dr. Marzano's nine strategies into reading.
This coming year my theme will be superheroes. I've already used Batkid and Superkid for common core standards... so I included Captain Kid for Daily 5. Enjoy!
Yes... I have many new changes on the horizon. I pose this question to you... What kind of self monitoring would you do with Kindergarteners?