Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Goals: 2017-18 School Year

At the half way point through the summer, I found the #MTBoS Sunday Funday prompt of "Goals" to be a nice way to have me start the slow transition back to school mode and back into blogging. Even though I am aware of the benefits of writing my blog, this past year was not a good reflection of that... which leads me to my first goal (and what I hope #MTBoS will help me keep up with).

1. STOP and Reflect in the present: Use my blog as my tool
Reflection is a process that I always have my students do throughout a day/project/unit/hour, but I find that I am not modeling what I feel is an important strategy. Yes, I reflect on my day. Mainly on my bike ride home considering what I will do the next. Or even at the end of a project, considering what I liked, what I would need to change or even complete a tuning protocol. But all of these reflections are after the event has happened, never in the present. I am hoping to use this blog as a means to get a greater sense of the regular pulse of my practice and consider the pulse of my students' overall weeks.

2. Explore Personalization in Greater Depth
I like to think that I provide opportunities for personalization for my students. This happens in their ability to self-select challenge levels, methods of instruction during class time and also to use projects as a means to make the end product their own. What I am still grappling with is the personalization of content. I complete diagnostics at the start of all units, identifying where students are in their understanding/mastery of concepts, but I do not feel that I am using this information fully. I am always challenged in my mind about what going into greater "depth" of a concept looks like, rather than jumping forward to a new one once a student has shown understanding.

3. Getting students to ask Math "I Wonder" questions like we do in Science
I teach Math and Science for Grade 7. In Science, once I have seen students demonstrate the learning goals of the unit, they naturally build on them and ask amazing "I Wonder" questions which drive them to explore further, make greater connections to the content explored and the world around them. I want to find a way to make this routine present in my Math classes as well. I find that my students (and I) do not ask the I Wonder questions, but wait to be presented with a problem to solve. I am hoping that exploring Personalization will help support this, but I also know it is a mindset that I need to change in myself first. As a lover of math, I have never asked my own "I wonder" questions but instead waited for fun problems to solve. 

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