I just got back from the Central States conference, and although I only attended five sessions, as usual my mind is spinning with all the things I need to change (which would be why I only attended five sessions!).
At the conference, I concentrated somewhat on elementary-related issues, since that is where I struggle the most, as a teacher exclusively trained to teach high school. The list of things I think I need to adjust/redesign in my elementary classes is up to twelve [gulp]. But if I don’t start small, changing one small thing at a time, I’ll never make those changes, or I’ll totally overwhelm myself and my kids. So, squelching the little Energizer bunny in me that always wants to throw everything out the window to try everything new, I’m changing one thing this week: written goals.
After a training or conference I went to last year, I don’t remember which exactly, I decided to start displaying the class goal on the board at the beginning of my high school classes. That lasted about 2 weeks and has been resurrected from time to time. I never even thought about trying it with my little people. They’re just now starting to read, so what’s the point, right? But it does seem like it’s a mistake to never tell my students where they’re supposed to be going, and a stated goal will give us all direction. This week, my goal for first grade is this: