Thursday, September 22, 2016

Give Me a Vanbreak!

Well it is week 6. I have been in school with my kiddos for 6 weeks! I have been running on all cylinders for 6 weeks and I need a Vanbreakthrough! In my classroom this year I have been challenged to be innovative and I have taken that to heart. I have googled, pinterested, twittered, and read, all to find the magic pill for innovation. Guess What...There isn't one! It's all up to me to figure it out... what my kids and I need to be successful. So I have narrowed my focus to creating self directed learners, teaching in small groups based on data collected, and students having some personalized time and collaborative time (PBL) in the classroom. (Yes those are some big ticket items, but that's how I roll.)  My saving grace is my class! I love my little learners. They are loud and love trying new stuff. They are willing to jump in and try. We spent a couple of weeks at the beginning really focusing on relationships and building character. It is great to hear them using words like "you need to show self control" or "you have to show gratitude to others". I also felt it was important to put a system in place for helping each other. It really is starting to pay off. Instead of coming to me for everything, they are slowly beginning to check with each other or offer help if they see someone struggling.
My biggest reflection is that I need to go slow to go fast! I don't and can't do everything right now (although that is my make-up!) I had some great things in place before, and I have to remember that. I need to get more input from the kids as to how they want their experience to be, and I would like to go to bed before 3am. So as I said before...I am ready for my VanBreakthrough!!


  1. YES! I think you have your VanBreakthrough! You get it! You are spot on! You have to own your journey just as you want your students to own their journeys! And, as you see with your students everyday, there is no magic pill. No one has ever accused you of being timid! You've been working on several of those pieces for a while (and you're a natural at creating a community of learners).

    So, unable to provide you with answers, here are a few questions... Who's doing most of the work? How might we transfer more to the other learners in the class? are you considering some pre-testing to help you determine your small groups or can you totally use the MAP test to create the groups?

    You've got this girl! Too bad the Texans aren't fairing as well this evening.

  2. I was about to comment that this is your VANBreakthrough, but Karen beat me! Sometimes I break through is like a little leak in the dam, and not the entire thing bursting at once. You can see success and challenge, and most importantly growth. Looking forward to spending more time with these loud little learners!

  3. Ah...that illusive magic pill. The dream of finding it has challenged teachers for years. But what fun would it be if we truly knew all of the answers? The fun is in the journey, and in the growth of your learners. I'm glad to say I'm on this journey with you, and look forward to see what comes for you and your students.