Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Her School Year 14-15 Reflections

Summer is in full swing - I have gotten into a good rhythm with my days of leisure (as Sean calls them). Last week I blogged about my goals for summer vacation; you can read them here. This week I am going to reflect on the 2014-2015 school year - focusing on what I would like to do differently next year. Thank you Mrs. D at Mrs. D's Corner for hosting this cool linkup. 

I had a class website that I LOVED, but my school system took down the server that it was run through so I had to go hunting for another site. I used Google Sites for a while, but wasn't a fan. It was a little boring and a little blah. Later this summer I am going to a training on Weebly, so my fingers are crossed that will be my new website. 

We got a brand new building last year and unpacked in August when we went back to school. It became a fast and furious race to get ready and some things did not get done. For example, my filing cabinet. Everything is in it but it isn't very well organized. I want to go in one day this summer and get that done. It will be such a relief.
I also need to organize my desk. Again, in August, stuff got thrown into it and it worked for the year, but I want it to be more organized this coming year.
My Guided Reading table was new to me - as was Guided Reading. I have a plan for organizing that spot in my room and the materials I need while there. It's going to be great!

I talked about this last week with my summer goals, but I only really have one big thing that I want to do this summer in regards to content and that is change up my English homework. For a few years now I have been doing weekly journal assignments with the essay prompts that Virginia has put out. Then I found a TPT product that is amazing for context clues. Then I discovered that my students need more work with analogies. So the plan is to combine all three into a weekly homework assignment that includes a journal, a page of context clues practice, and an analogy. It will be so much easier if I can get it done over the summer, rather than scrambling during the school year.

My Big Summer Project:
I kinda love that my big summer project is not school related. My friends and I are knitting an afghan together with about 40 other women and men, run through our favorite local yarn store. Each month the square is connected to a Sherlock Holmes story. We knit the square and read the story on our own. Then we come together to discuss the knitting and the story. It's like a knitting book club. I'm loving it! May's square was really hard so I fell behind, but I am rapidly catching up with all this summer knitting time I have. My goal is to be finished with May, June, July, and August's squares by the time I go back to school.

Do you have any changes or adjustments that you want to make for next school year? I would love to hear about them so I can possibly steal borrow those ideas. ;)

Happy Reflecting,


  1. Forty people knitting a quilt is pretty cool. The time together would be fun.

  2. Oooh, I want to find a knitting book club. We can read Debbie Macomber.

  3. This post caught my eye. School is just around the corner for me, with teachers having to report the first week of August. Also, I'm spending half of my July teaching writing clubs, and so school is on my mind.

    What changes or adjustments would I like to make for the next school year?

    * Communication: As a special education teacher, I find that a lot of communication gets taken care of by the regular classroom teachers. Anything I do tends to just duplicate efforts. I used to have a class site, newsletter.... but now just have a mailbox where my students can leave messages. :-)

    * Organization: Once again this year, I had to move rooms over the summer. The room I'll have isn't considered the most desirable by most teachers, but I'm trying to make it work. I negotiated for furniture and storage space. I also plan to buy some sitting chairs or beanbags to put by our window space.

    Like you, I'll be dealing with a new curriculum. Our writing program just got revamped. We had a workshop about it this past week. Another reason that school is on my mind!

    * Content: When I left at the end of the school year, I didn't have any plans to change content. I felt happy to be at the place where I had a system that worked. Then this summer I prepared a writing club curriculum that involved combining art (especially origami) with stories. Suddenly, I feel inspired to have my students get into reading by creating crafts to illustrate stories.

    * My Big Summer Project: After several years of turning down the option, I finally decided to try teaching two writing clubs. One was about combining art with writing, but the other was about how to use writing to rescue animals. The latter club even made the local news. Despite the success of clubs, I'm not sure that I want to give up my summer next year to teach. :-)


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