Sunday, June 1, 2014

From Fresh Water JellyFish to Balloon Cars, Book Building, Blogging, Guest Speakers and more!

The school year is winding down, and as excited as I am about a summer filled with family, professional development, and travel, I am a little saddened by the end. After 16 years of doing this, you would think that I would get the hang of wishing my students well, closing down the classroom, and ending the chapter. But, I don't. My throat gets tight the entire day. I have a hard time saying good bye. And, I think of how many really cool moments we had as a learning community. It's just hard. Period.

I grow to love my kids. ;)

So, looking back at this year...even the 14 snow days...I am super happy with the learning that occurred, the growth that both students and I showed.

My students and parents filled out a survey for me showing their thoughts. These are my take aways from that survey:

  1. Homework and test amount were thought to be just right. However, many struggled with a final vocabulary and achievement test at the end. So...maybe need to bump up the work ahead of time.
  2. Most loved the technology implementation. However, a couple would have liked to see more physical products coming home. I get, definitely can work with that next year.
  3. Loved field trips. Stone Lab was more loved. But, students and parents appreciated the Challenger Learning Center. So, I will definitely work to keep both in the experience next year.
  4. Skype, Edmodo, and Hangouts with both student scientists and professionals were a hit!
  5. Would love to see even more school to home connections. So, I am going to get a class Facebook page rolling and going to add the option of Remind 101. With our Twitter and Instagram account already in place, these two additional methods should hit everyone. I also am going to post homework on our ProgressBook account, and I can't wait to see what our options will be through the new district web page.

I've got my areas to grow and areas to celebrate and continue on with.

I loved building our class books:

I loved watching students explore everything from fresh water jellyfish to robotic hands to owl pellets and planets in the solar system!

I'm thrilled to hopefully offer the littleBits materials to the incoming fifth graders with my Donor's Chose request

I'm hopeful for more excitement like this year with my next group of young scientists. If we can have half of the great experiences that we had this year, that would be AWESOME!

I love teaching. I love science. I love my students.

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