Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Positive Outcomes in 2017

Today's blog continues my conversation on US being the agents for positive change originally inspired by Todd Whitaker in What Great Teachers Do Differently.

Another inspirational post on Twitter came from @JessicaCabeen. Twitter has helped me see the value of continually providing positive opportunities and relationships with my students. This is something I have been focusing on this 2016-2017 school year (besides growing in having a student led classroom inspired by Paul Solarz).

My TOP 5 action plan based on Cabeen's post.

3. Learn 3 things about a student a week. 
     The first week of school we all do "get to know you" activities, but then it is over. What a great idea to continually do an activity throughout the year to show kids we care. I will ask students for input, but having a Friday's Focus on a different student each week will help our class appreciate each other beyond that first week of school.

Do you already do something similar? What ideas can you share with us?

7. Learn a new way of teaching and try it. 
     One thing my students can say about our classroom is that you never know what to expect each day. We have learned how to utilize many new ways of learning this year and we will continue to try new things. It helps us look forward to coming to class each day. Twitter is great for giving me new ideas for us to try. On my list of new things is student blogging, student created video reflections and lessons of learning, as well as student created assessments and rubric criteria.

What way of teaching makes your students excited to come to class and especially want to learn?

9. Make a class mantra.
     I especially am looking forward to starting with this tip when the students return this new year. I will have them look up mantras and share their favorite ones and then come up with one we can follow this year in pursuing positive outcomes.

Does your class have a mantra that I can share with my students?

11. Encourage parent participation.
     This tip helped push me to actually launch my Classroom Facebook page. I have one set up, but haven't been actively sharing it with parents. I see it as a way for them to see the positive experiences we are having, but to include them in conversations we are having along the way. Asking for parent input will take our conversations to a different level and I am looking forward in seeing how we can grow from their input.

How do you include parents? Any tips for me as I pursue this new endeavor? What has been your favorite way to get parents involved in your classroom?

14. Make sure student voice is valued.
     Building on having a student led classroom does give them voice. However, I not only have to remember to provide these opportunities but show them that what they have voiced has value in hope that it will encourage them to do more.

How do you show students that their voice is valued?

I would appreciate any feedback, tips, or advice you can offer. I do appreciate the value of collaboration.

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