Reflect and Refresh Part 1

Welcome to Reflect and Refresh, a two part linky party where teacher bloggers share their reflections on the 2014-2015 school year and ways they are planning to refresh their teaching in 2015-2016.

I'm super excited about summer being officially here! With that in mind, I've been doing a ton of thinking and reflecting about what I want to change and improve for the next school year. There's is always room for improvement.

I've used Class Dojo in some way or another for the past two and a half years. I love all the new things that they've come out with. I don't think I'll ever go back to the clip chart. It just doesn't work for me. My last class was EXTREMELY well behaved and they didn't really get excited when getting to the top of the chart. Dojo was a different story. Next year, I am going to use the parent communication portion. I want to make sure ALL of the parents are signed up. I'm going to do a better job on that part by making sure they know from the first day of school that it will be one of our main ways to communicate.

As a grade level, we've decided not to use agendas for behavior and communication anymore. We're going to make a calendar for each month with information that will be happening and write in numbers for rules that are broken. It will be more for me to do with both Dojo and the sheet, but at least when it's time for me to fill it in, I'll have Dojo to refer to when writing about their excellent day or things that we need to work on for the next day.

I've been slowing moving into a very organized person. However, this year I want to take it up about a notch or two. Last year, I used my crate seats to hold all of my monthly center materials. They are great because some months I have holiday or seasonal things that are pretty large and won't fit in a tub. It made it super easy to drop these down in the crates with all the games and put the cushion on top. They were still very functional as seats, but held all of my things without taking up extra cabinet space. This summer, I'm going to tweak these a bit. I'm going to dump all the games out and sort by skills. So when I need a rhyming game, I'll have so many to choose from. There are tons of things that I have that are not seasonal and they end up in one month and I never look at them again.

I also began putting all of my newly printed things off and adding them to new binders. This is something that I may change. I think I'm ready to declutter and get rid of ALL my binders. EEEKKK!!! The very minimal OCD that I do have shivers when I think about it, but I don't use them as much as I should. They take up a LOT of space and I don't have a filing cabinet in my room to just shove them in when I am ready to look at them. I'm going to scan all of my papers over and make pdfs of everything. If you'd like to get rid of all the papers, here's a short tutorial on how to use your copy machine to do just that.

The content was AMAZING last year.  I focused on integrating science/social studies more into our reading. This saved me so much time in the day and we were able to have more fun at the end. However, I'm going to take it beyond amazing and we're going to teach the entire year in chunks of themes. Each theme will last for 3 to 5 weeks. For example, about the fourth week into school, we're going to start teaching Community. One week we will focus on Community Helper, Community Building, and so on. We've already planned our sight words that would go in books related to community and made community books for the students. This was what was so difficult last year. We wanted to teach themed, but didn't have books for our kinders to read about that theme with the correct sight words. It was a lot of work and will be for the books that I haven't completed, but I've been working on leveled readers for each theme we want to teach. I CANNOT wait to start school in August.

This summer, I am finally going to tackle putting little picture labels on each of my books. My library is getting so big and I will be adding a ton of non-fiction books thanks to Donor's Choose. Before those books come, I'm going to take out all of my teaching books and put them behind my small group table or in the cabinet. The rest of the books will be for my kids to choose from during their Reading time.

I loved my Kidlettes theme that I had going this year. All the bulletin boards had black fabric to since my walls are so LOUD. I painted one teal and the other three a shade almost close to lime green, but not that bright. I didn't really have a theme going, but I just used kids on all of my decor. The color scheme was lime green, teal, purple, and pink with black thrown in. I'm not sure if I want to stick with that, but for some reason I really want to do a THEME theme. I'm leaning towards some cute monsters or ocean/nautical. I don't think the nautical will flow with my green walls so I'm still debating. I could just leave it all be and have a pretty easy summer when it comes to room prep.

If you're ready to reflect, just use this image and link up with us!

1 comment

  1. Keri, I just love your blog! It make me happy every time I come! I love how you integrated science and social studies into your reading! I think it's so much more meaningful for the kids that way! Hey, your classroom colors sound amazing! I look forward to seeing some pics!
    Peggy @ Primary Flourish


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