Monday, 1 September 2014

30 Blog Challenge

30 Day Blog Challenge


I am starting a 30 day blog challenge that has been extended by @teachthought  via twitter.  My blog is a place for me to reflect and I believe that I am up to the challenge to blog everyday for the month of September.   Here it goes:

Day One: What are your goals for this school year?

1. More small group instruction.

Small group instruction is absolutely the best way ( in my opinion) to get to know your students better.  It can be 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 or 1:4. In those small group chit chats you get real honest answers. I have used it effectively in language but truth be told I would like to branch out to do it in all subject areas. 

2. Communication with home.

I send home weekly reports on a weekly basis. Here is a copy of my weekly report here if you would like it. I would like to add more. I started last year to use the program class messenger. I already have a class website but I would also like to add a class twitter account.

3. More pictures that are out of the box

Since I am the graduating class of my school I like to do a class slide show. Last year I realized a lot of my slide show from the 2013-2014 was a lot of in class pictures. It is great to see the students working in groups but only so many in a slide show. What was more fun? The out of the box pictures! The pictures where the students are dressed like elves for the holidays, the school dances, the high school visits, the crazy hair days etc. I didn't get enough of that last year and I want to make sure to capture the year and give the students a copy of it. We are going to be having a blast....(another goal) so I would like to capture it!

Just a few of the many....I am excited to read other goals.


  1. Hi Maria,

    Great goals!

    How do you set up your classroom for small group instruction and conferences? How do you track them?

    Are there any issues at your school with privacy on your class blog? Our school is discussing the idea of taking any school identification off all classroom blogs. I had to change mine from my school and classroom to EPCOTclass (I mean, I had to change it from my school and class number, but I chose the EPCOT part!). Even with parents filling out all media permission, there are concerns for security. Has your school broached this at all?

    For amazing Out of the Box pictures, you can do "America's Next Top Model". Whenever I take a group shot, we do a smiley one first and then I shout out other commands ("look like you're on a roller coaster!" "look like you just smelled something terrible!"). Last year, for our grade 6 photo, my teaching partner, Tiiu shouted out, "Turn away and then turn back to the camera, surprised". Families got great shots. Even better, my little brother filmed it. Hilarious. It's now a "must-take" shot for both Tiiu and I when we gather groups together!

    1. I love your idea for the the "America's Next Top Model"! I am for sure going to use that this year. How fun is that?

      Security is a HUGE issue with our school as well. I was using Edmodo and was asked not to use it because of the security. I have used Edublogs in the past and no mention of school, names and ages etc....It was frustrating for the students as they could not be real and authentic. How do you talk about yourself with out talking about yourself? I actually have even been kindly encouraged to be careful with my own professional reflection blog as you just never know who is reading it.

      Great question about the small group instruction and conferences! I have a round table, kidney shaped table and some students sitting in groups. The rest of the desks are in a U shape around the room. I will take pictures for sure! This give the students a chance to work in small groups as well as some at their desks individually. Let's face it: Not everyone is in the mood to work in a group some days:)
      When I meet with the students I have them bring their agenda or phone with them to the meeting. I have them put in their own calendar our next meeting day. That way they hold me accountable as well. I find that students really look forward to meeting with the teacher individually or in small groups. I have tracked it on my iPad at the group on Evernote. I make notes as soon as the meeting is over to help me remember what happened, next steps etc. Great questions! The answers are almost a blog post in themselves.


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