Friday, May 29, 2015

Year End Reflection Linky

Today I am linking up with Big Time Literacy for her Year End Reflection Linky (click the link to go link up).  My last day of school was May 20th.  I woke up the next day with crazy allergy issues and ended up resting Thursday-Sunday and now am on 2 prescriptions for it.  This week I had a curriculum team work Tuesday-Thursday.  So today truly feels like the first day of summer.  Here's my reflection of this past year!

Best Memories
Some of my best memories this year have been school events.  Our field trip to the Christmas tree farm was so fun!  Our 100th day of school is always a hoot...we have the kinders dress up like 100 year olds.  The last day was great...this has been such a challenging year in and out of the classroom and I wasn't sure if I would even be sad on the last day of school.  Surprisingly, I was.  One of my kids who has struggled all year with behavior and home life issues gave me a hug before he left then I turned around to lead the car riders into the cafeteria and felt little arms wrap around my back.  I turned around and he said he just needed to get me another hug.  My heart melted.

Missed Opportunities
I really wanted to start Math Tubs after their independent work is complete.  I frankly just didn't ever put the effort into getting it started.  I am going to this coming school year.  I even bought an awesome cubby shelf and getting tubs for it.  This will house early finisher tubs for Math & ELA.  Students will be able to grab a tub when finished with their work and work on the activity or task in the tub.  Here's the shelf!

Game Changers
I have learned that all students can learn, but not at the same time or in the same way.  This group has really challenged me to differentiate my teaching.  I had some reading chapter books and some who by Christmas finally wrote their name.  I had to find ways to challenge a really gifted student (thank goodness for flexible 1st grade teachers who took him in for some subjects).  I also had accept that a couple of very low kids would eventually get there, they just needed more time and more of my help and confidence.

Honestly, my focus during the first few months of school was all over the place.  I had some personal life distractions and hard times this past fall.  Once I gained my school focus again I was really focused on Writer's Workshop (conferencing with students, goal setting, and new ideas to implement).  I also was very focused on literacy and getting my kids to meet their reading level goals.  

I wanted to incorporate more science (we do not officially have science curriculum and they want us to throw it in there if we can).  I did some science experiments and activities but I definitely forgot to do more.  :(  I'll work on that next year.

* I am so glad I expanded my classroom library area.  My students couldn't seem to get enough of it this year.  I'm even thinking of adding more book bins and things this summer.
* Goal setting and students being able to talk about their learning is going well.  I hope it continues to get better next year as I become more comfortable with this new success criteria and learning intentions that we are doing (part of our visible learning PD this year).
* My third year of teaching is finished.  I feel like every year I am becoming more confident in what I am doing and how to best teach my kinders.  Hoping to learn more this summer and get new ideas to continue to improve!

Here's to a relaxing and fun summer.  I'm taking it easy for a little while, then I will be back at it creating some new resources for my TPT store and hopefully blog more!


  1. Hi Katie! Thanks for linking up! Your library is beautiful and I can totally see why kids love to be in that space! I also loved the 100 day pictures I saw all over blogs, IG, and Twitter this year, I'm sure your kids had so much fun with it! There's always so much to do with teaching and learning - I love that we get to end every year and then start fresh!
    Hope you have a relaxing summer!

  2. First of all, I love the look of your blog! Your room is so cute and your library is very inviting! Congrats on finishing your third year!