Friday, May 11, 2012

It's List Time, Y'all #1: 10 Reasons Why We're Excited About Next Year

As the school year draws to a close, it's natural for many teachers to begin to look toward next year. This period of reflection and professional goal setting is invigorating for both of us. And, quite frankly, sometimes the only thing getting us through the SAME student asking the SAME question about where to put their paper ("Are you really asking me that!?!? It's May!!!") is the knowledge that we will use what we learned this year to work with our students even more successfully next year. We are able to hold onto the buoyancy that this outlook provides while blissfully ignoring that we'll feel the same way at the end of next year and ad nauseum for the rest of our teaching careers. So in the spirit of our optimistic, well ... spirit, we would like to provide a list of what we are excited about for next year. Enjoy!

~ The List ~

#1 Built-In Backup - To steal a line from a song on the Clueless soundtrack (oh, yes we did!): "Don't want to be all by myself an-y-moooooor-or-or" (We will not subject you to our rendition of this song in mp3 form - you're welcome!)

#2 Synergy - Not to steal a cliche business-y term, but it really fits the experience we've had so far while crafting our instructional program. Two heads have truly been better than one ... on the big stuff. On the little stuff, like sharpening pencils, we look a bit more like dysergy (it's a word, people - look it up!)

#3 Embedded PD ... like all the time!!!! Kristie is AMAZING at reading and Kristin is good at some other stuff :P. We will be constantly learning and growing from each other. We will also be continuing our personal growth in different curricular areas so we can strengthen our instructional practices by learning from each other.

#4 Houses - We are going to organize our students into four "houses" that will provide a smaller community for the children to feel connected to while also providing us with an invaluable organizational tool. The best part, though, is when we get to say things like "Two points for Gryffindor" when we award our house points.

#5 Color-coding EVERYTHING - Yes, we are those teachers!

#6 Flexible Instruction - We are going to work wonders like Cirque de Soleil ... BOOM!

#7 Looping - As overwhelmed as we will be getting to know 40 kids in one class, we know the children will feel even more so in the beginning and we are planning on dedicating a substantial amount of time toward training them how to learn and create within our instructional structure. We are so excited to have the opportunity to loop, both to develop lasting relationships with our students as well as reap the benefits of our teaching for longer than one year.

#8 Bird Theme - We're big on themes ... and matching ... and all things coordinated. We're going to call our Volume Anchor Chart "Chirp Levels" - c'mon, that's cute!!!

#9 G.L.A.D. - We're OBSESSED, period.

#10 Continuous Challenge - It's going to stretch us professionally, but we're up for the challenge. So bring it!

From the limb,

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