Year-End Reflections

The year is over and I’d like to look back to reflect on each subject. This is more for me, but I hope it encourages you to reflect upon your year.

Reading: This year, in reading, I made a concerted effort to include much more nonfiction in the texts we read. We likely approached the magic 50%-50% level in our nonfiction-fiction balance during lessons. Yet, when students selected their own independent reading books, fiction remained king. I’ve been wondering what I can do to increase students’ nonfiction interest. Maybe do more book-talks from that section? Maybe show some nonfiction books I’ve been reading? Or maybe I just had a group that loved stories, and that’s okay. I was satisfied by the time and choice I allowed students. I developed my best conferring form yet, though I still think I will tweak it a bit for next year.

Writing: I could teach writing all day, every day, and I still would have lessons that I didn’t complete. I can quickly come up with a dozen lessons which would have benefitted my writers, but we ran out of days. This is inevitable. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied. My group made amazing gains, but there was so much more we needed. Next year, I want to increase the emphasis I place on the different modes of writing – narrative, informational, and persuasive. I hope to show students how the traits of writing connect across all three modes.

Math: My math instruction improved greatly this year as I made videos to flip portions of our math class. Students who demonstrated a basic knowledge of the day’s math concept were allowed to watch a video to further their learning, work independently, and then meet with me to extend their learning. This really benefitted my high-ability math students, who were able to work at their own pace. Now that many of these videos are done, I will be switching to do a different pilot program. Yikes! Lots of new videos on the way…

Science: It would be great if I could hold a science class every day, but time and testing don’t allow this. However, I did a pretty good job with our limited time. Some science content was integrated into our writing block, including a research project about animal adaptations. Other science units based on experiments and the design process were condensed in special weeks the students really enjoyed. Next year, I would like to use some of these experiments and engineering tasks as springboards into informational writing, which I feel is the hardest writing mode to teach.

Social Studies: All our social studies content is integrated into other subjects. This works well for history, economics, and geography. Government is the one area which I could do better. Maybe this could be integrated with a persuasive letter writing unit? Or maybe a field trip and an information presentation about it? I’ll work on it next year.

Again, I encourage you to reflect on your year as well. Think about what went well and why. Consider what could have been better and list some ideas to improve. Good luck!


About mrwhitehb

I teach 4th grade and am the chair of the Young Hoosier Book Award Committee for grades 4-6.

Posted on May 31, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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