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Monday, May 7, 2012

Learning is a dance

I have been pulling curriculum maps for the last few days and trying to plan for the next school year.

Its funny, I always thought of myself as a paper and pen kinda girl when it came to sketching out my plans but I am finding out that I am not. I can't copy and paste things to easily move them. It is more of a scratch it out and make it look ugly deal. As I get tired my writing gets bigger - that never happens when I type! I forgot something oh lets add that to the margin as I ran out of space.

So I finally gave up and decided this was NOT the way to do it! I will have to do it another way.

When planning, you have to be aware of:
  1. Your goals and/or objectives
  2. Your favorite ideas
  3. Your teaching style
  4. Your state's objectives and/or standards
  5. Your district's objectives and/or standards
  6. Your school's objectives and/or standards
I like to start with my district's objectives as I know that they have carefully considered what the state wants as well. My school will simply add in a few things here or there that I can simply throw in at the last moment but what I have to focus on is my own objectives and style.

I realized that for me 

It is 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Nice and slow. Gently swaying like that of a waltz. Each pass around the floor takes us closer to the edge. Each step is careful placed and measured, always 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

What do I mean by this?

I believe in mastering objectives not just passing a test. 

I believe in teaching the whole child not just part of him/her. 

I believe differentiated instruction and whole brain strategies are the key to success. 

I believe that learning is and should be fun!

I believe in recess and specials!

Do you remember this part of the Grinch movie where the Grinch is sharing his hate/loathing remarks with all of the Whos below? Well this is how I feel when I am teaching a worksheet based curriculum.

I feel like I look like this somedays.
Teacher Manual in hand, directing students 
to the next page in their workbook.

If I am bored so are my students!

I want to create things, explore, collaborate, and discover. I want to dig deep and get messy.  I want to have less time with desks, pencils, worksheets and tests and more time in unique, learning environments that allow for creativity and critical thinking.

What this means is a lot more work for me.

I plan to use a combination of interactive notebooks, technology, games, centers, and projects. I want my children to think and wonder. Then I want the to explore and learn.

Always two steps forward one step back. Learn two items at this grade level, review one item from a past grade level. Learn two new items, review an old one. Two forward, one back, gently gliding across the curriculum... slowly growing, learning, mastering the topic and moving onto the next.

Slowly dancing along through the pages of a book, two steps forward one step back. Challenging those ahead with new information and catching up those lacking in a skill. So often we focus on what we must cover that we forget that there are holes in our students education that need to be filled so they can be successful.

One step back allows them to master the skill, two steps forward helps them to continue to grow.

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At May 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Wow what an inspirational post.. love it and I love that you make learning so engaging and fun for your students (as I try to do as well!!)

And kudos to you for already thinking about next year!! :)

At May 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Lauren West said...

I just stumbled across your blog. I love how eloquently you stated your beliefs about teaching. Great blog! :)

At May 7, 2012 at 5:51 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Beautifully said, Misty!


Fun in Room 4B

At May 7, 2012 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Heather Shelton said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing! This is the way I feel too, but had never realized it in the way you shared it, though.
Mrs. Shelton’s Kindergarten

At May 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Ms. Kerri said...

I loved the way you stated this. I'm impressed that you are already thinking about next year. I have a hard time thinking about next year until about July.
Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten


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