New Year's Nuts and Bolts

The New Year is upon us.  A week of rest, relaxation and family fun has energized me.  I'm ready to start the next leg of the school year with focus and intent.

To give vision momentum, there are a number of details that I must attend to first.
  1. Tech Equipment Storage, Organization and Use.  We are fortunate to have many, many tech tools at our fingertips.  It's essential that I organize these materials in safe and useful ways to best assist student learning.  It's also imperative that I revisit how to use these tools with students and possibly put one or two students in charge of each tool.  I have asked our tech department to help me out with this.  If these tools are accessible and ready to go, then students will be more apt to use them to enliven and deepen learning.
  2. Global Connections.  Our holiday-related schedule and activities were so busy that we lost touch with our global partners in Edina and London.  Hence, during the first week back we have to reestablish those friendships by writing and sending responses to recent letters and projects.
  3. ePortfolio Focus:  We started our ePortfolios in September.  They are wonderful collections of student writing and project work.  It's time to revisit our portfolios to finesse and reflect on our work as well as to set the course for future portfolio work.  Prior to student report cards, I will ask every child to sit down with a family member and review their portfolio.  Together family members and students will reflect and assess the work using a Google form.
  4. Clean Desks and Room: I had hoped that we'd do that prior to the vacation, but Creativity Days precluded that activity.  Hence upon the return, we'll clean, organize and unencumber .
  5. Revisit and Revise Schedules: My students learn in many settings with many teachers. Hence, we have a complex weekly schedule.  Together we'll revisit that schedule.
  6. Classroom Goals and Needs: Together we'll discuss the classroom goals and needs.  I'll have children share their thoughts about what will help them succeed in the second half of the year.  Together, we'll figure out ways to meet those needs.
Once the nuts and bolts are in place, we'll embark on the next leg of the school year with a flexible, positive attitude towards learning together.
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