Sunday, June 16, 2019

Summer Professional Learning Goals for Teachers

Do you have any professional learning goals this summer?  I'm participating in a teacher blogger challenge from Hot Lunch Tray.  This post is week 1 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for Educators.  I am taking a "meat fork approach" to my summer PD with an online course and attempt into online planning.  Points to you if you can tell from that reference what show I'm recently binging.  

Over the past 2 years I have been taking a few graduate courses and the one I'm currently finishing up is all about Anchor Charts.  I am loving this course.  I feel like I'm getting PD for browsing fabulous teacher blogs and Pinterest.  Of course, I'm learning actionable steps and reflecting on how I apply what I've seen in my own teaching, but it's one of the most fun courses I've ever taken for graduate credits.  If you want to look up this course here's my affiliate link for Advancement Courses.  I already have a master's degree and although I don't currently have plans to get a second, my district does offer salary advancement for taking graduate courses.  If you're not sure if yours does too, look into it! 

Another less formal way I plan to develop my teaching is trying online planning through Google Drive.  I've used the LMNOplanner for a couple years because I love the look of it and it's more streamlined than many of the others on TpT.  This year our principal is retiring so I'm not sure what our next principal's expectations will be for planbooks.  Our current principal hinted we might want to look into online planning in case she likes to collect them.  So I'm looking into the process of using Google Slides.  I already looked at A Modern Teacher's videos for setting up an online planbook, and I think this is where I want to start.  I tried and didn't like the feeling of putting all my work onto their system.  I feel like Google isn't going anywhere so it's a more long term, secure storage space.  I don't know if the LMNOplanner will work on Google Drive, but I'm going to give it a try!  

I think that will pretty much be it for my summer professional development because I will be traveling.  I kind of want to recharge and reset before finding out what my new principal's expectations are.  I have a few hobbies I'm pursuing as well, but that's a post for another time.  Are you planning any summer PD? 

Shut the Door and Teach
Amber Thomas's Classroom Favorites on TPT

Saturday, June 1, 2019

End of the Year Fun: From Current to Future Students

The last day of school is rapidly approaching, woo hoo!  In the past I talked about some tried and true activities that I do every year and how they went.  However, in this post I want to share a couple new activities for the last week of school that I'll be piloting very soon. 

Last year I tried having the kids write letters to the incoming class, but I was underwhelmed with the results.  Had I given them more time and more direction I'm sure it could have been a really worthwhile thing.  However since I do scrapbook/portfolios which are a HUGE project, I felt like another big project would be overkill.  So this year I've given each child their own individual, specific, manageable piece of the "letter" to do.  They'll each get just  a half sheet of paper with a short prompt, and I'll compile them into a booklet.  It will either become part of our classroom library or I'll make copies for each student.  Here are 4 sample prompts:

On the back, EVERY student will have the same second prompt, "And here's something else you should know about Mrs. Thomas's class!"  I'm hoping to get some funny and heartwarming stuff there!  :D 

Finally, before we're all stuck in a 90 minute "closing ceremony" with the rest of the school in the cafeteria, for our final Morning Meeting share, we'll be reading "Memory Strips," which we've been writing all week in secret as part of their Morning Work.  The prompt was simply, "Write a memory you have from this year.  We'll share them on the last day of school."  I have a handful that I wrote myself that I'm certain will get laughs and tears from my group.  I can't wait!

What are your favorite end of the year activities? 

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