Thursday, November 17, 2016

Culture and Tracking is the Key!

Well it is November in my 24th year of teaching and I feel like my first year all over again. Being the trailblazer is hard work. Not because of the late nights, but the feel of being alone in the world. I can soooo identify with the main character in "The Martian." You are working hard, not knowing if it is all for not, or someone will someday return to you and say "That really worked for kids!"

After returning from iNacol, I found some inspiration. I was able to network with some awesome people, but the best part is that NO One has the answer. We are all "trial and error-ing" our way through this process. I think that the culture piece is huge and must continue throughout the year and I've learned that tracking is the key!

I have struggle with keeping up with student work and where they are and what they have completed. But as I learn more about Student Agency, I've learned to give some of that over to the students. Hold them accountable for their learning. The rubric that we were given for the Raise Your Hand Piece of my life was awesome. It allowed me to see exactly where I am in the process and gave me a goal to look forward to. (And let me tell you, the future is bright if we can get to the end of the rubric.)

I am trying several different trackers. Here are a couple of examples.

I also got a great idea from an it's learning afternoon about putting it in google sheet and posting on activboard. Can't wait to try it!

So my vanflection year to date...give myself and the kids time to adjust, keep my culture going, and tracking is the key!


  1. Your post speak HUGE volumes to me about being alone in your trailblazing. Sometimes I have tread lightly to make sure I know what I am stepping in. Part of trailblazing is "suck it up and move on" as my military vet sister would say. xoxo

  2. How are the kids feeling? Have you interviewed them to see what they think about your class versus previous years? Fourth graders have been fairly well steeped in tradition - and should be able to speak to differences and what is working. In particular, I'm thinking of our "failed" math project. How did they feel about that? Did they think they were ready for the test and disappointed? We they unfazed? Did they ask for the chance to redo?