January brings with it all things fresh and new- a new coating of snow, a new hobby, a new outlook and a new motivation. Along with that is this new challenge to write a blog a day for 30 days. I’m pretty sure this will be one of my bigger challenges. I have as my Professional Growth goal this year that I will write at least 2 blog posts a month to reflect on my teaching. Somehow, that didn’t motivate me much- well, that and life that got in the way.
One “big idea” observation that I can make about this school year: You can’t necessarily use what worked last year with a new group of students. Last year was our 2nd full year with Personalized Learning. We had students who were able to schedule their day in a way that they could plan for their own learning. Also, we started using the online version of Open Up Resources Illustrative Math. Wow! What a curriculum! As I was working with the new curriculum I was also trying to stay ahead of my students who work faster than the regular group. We had amazing success with the progress of most of our students. There were only about 10% who were struggling with choosing schedules that were good for them prompting us to schedule their day. Also, I was able to go pretty close to paperless (other than for my planning purposes and assessments) with the online curriculum.
Enter school year 208-2019. We are halfway into the year and we still have a large number of our students who are struggling with scheduling their day to work for them. They are not understanding that a “flex” period is one where you work on whatever you need to work on- so if you don’t have an assignment for math finished, you schedule your flex for an hour before your math seminar and finish the assignment. About ⅓ of the students are managing their schedule well- and I’m glad we have the ability to let them go forward. However- the schedule struggle is limiting our ability to offer the extra workshops to target specific skills like we did last year. I’m holding out hope that this too will be developed in 2019! But again, I need to always remind myself- different students, different needs. I’m the one who needs to make the adjustments from what worked last year to help this year’s team be successful.