Reflect and Refresh Part 1

Welcome to Relfect and Refresh, a two part linky party where teacher bloggers share their reflections on the 2014-2015 school year and ways they are planning to refresh their teaching in 201-2016. What a year!

Ok so looking back on this year--wow did it fly by!! It was a fantastic year, and I truly feel like I grew as an educator! My team changed from my 1st year (previous year), two of my team members left, and we gained two brand spanking new teachers. So my role had to change. I had to go from the newbie, to the one with experience, more of a leader :)

So I feel like I had all the good intentions of having a great line of communication with my students' parents. I signed up for Remind101, but only 2 of my parents signed up for it! I was shocked! So I did a couple reminders when I started the year, but then kinda gave up since I was only reaching 2 parents! Now, I will say that because we were departmentalized, our communication as a team goes ROCKED! We were able to meet with parents as a team, we were able to discuss students and their abilities or disabilities as a team. That part of my communication this year was amazing!

My first year teaching I took over a classroom of a retiring teacher. She left me LOTS of stuff, which I was super grateful for. However, I felt like my 1st year teaching, it really wasn't my own spin on a lot of stuff. Now mind you, I also had a baby my first year teaching, so I had a lot going on :) So I was more than happy to use everything the retiring teacher left me, but this year I was able to really purge things I didn't need, and create my own space. Things that worked for her, didn't work for me, and after a year under my belt I was able to recognize and change what I needed and thought. I re-arranged the room. Which I know doesn't seem like a big deal, but when the teacher I replaced came in to sub for me for a 1/2 day at the beginning of the school year, she commented about the new set-up. The older games I got rid of, and I was able to create my own items and organize them in my pull-out drawers :) Old books that were left to me that were of no interest to my kiddos, I sent home with some of my students that wanted them, and the others I gave to the newbie teachers on my team. I really felt good about my organization this year!

So all I have ever known is the common core. When I went through my student teaching, MD had started the common core that year. Last year, my first year teaching, I got a slight understanding of the standards, but this year, with creating my own assessments and lessons, I feel like I truly got an incredible grasp of what my kiddos are expected to do. I highly recommend trying to create items for your students to help you really dig deep and understand those standards.

My Big Summer Project
So, next year, my entire school is taking on our departmentalized model that I was a part of in 1st grade this year. In my school, the teachers are either assigned to primary reading or math (grades K-2), or intermediate reading or math (grades 3-5). So, I am assigned to a primary reading spot. I'm thinking I will be more with the higher level (2nd grade) students. So my summer project is going to be digging into those 2nd grade, and even 3rd grade common core standards. Why the 3rd grade standards? Well in my school, we have a huge gap from students going to 2nd to 3rd grade. So I want to make sure to push those 2nd graders to make sure they are ready for 3rd grade when they get there.

I feel like it's been an amazing year. I've learned so much. Next year, I am super excited about the change in primary and intermediate. I will also be a 'team leader', which will be a new role for me! So there will be a lot to learn, and I am so excited!! Stay tuned :)

Make sure to check out my other bloggin' friends and their reflect and refresh posts!


  1. We are in the same boat with Remind! So frustrating because I saw my parents using the cell phones ALL THE TIME but didn't use the service. :*( Good luck next year, departmentalizing sounds so nice!

    Terrific Teaching and Learning

  2. I had A LOT of stuff left for me too from the 2-3 previous life skills teachers. Literally, stuff falling out of cabinets stuff. It took me forever to organize, but I was very grateful for all of the resources that were left behind for me to utilize!

    Thanks for linking up!

  3. Melanie, I so enjoyed reading about your year! When I moved to K years ago, I had a room stuffed with the previous teacher's resources - took me until the next summer to clean it all out. Happy summer!
    Peggy @ Primary Flourish


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