Sunday, April 19, 2015

31 Days

“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to 
understand the things that lie ahead.” 
~Yvonne Woon

Looking back on the school year with 31 school days still left may seem somewhat premature, but I've found that most school years seem to fly by quickly and this one is no exception. Reflection is an ongoing process, and while I've reflected on lessons and activities at the time, I believe reflecting back on the year as a whole is helpful before the school year comes to a close and one looks ahead at things to change and create for the next year.

Overall, I have had a great year! There are so many new things that my students were able to experience (thanks to my team, too) and for that I am grateful. I hope that my students were challenged, engaged, and stretched to try some new things because I know I was for sure!

My students were able to use their blogs as a space to use their "voice" to share their writing, projects, passions, and learning. They learned how to use many new technology tools to learn, create, and solve problems. They were also able to use technology to "see beyond" our classroom walls by collaborating with other classrooms around the country through shared experiences and by connecting with an author to create an awesome project. I was also excited this year to share some great literature with my students through read-alouds as well as give them choices and time to explore their own reading choices.

Personally, I was "renewed" by attending many EdCamps and educational conferences that allowed me to connect with others, question my thinking, and challenge myself to try new things. One of the things I am most proud of was the after school STEM club that I created in February. With helpful guidance and suggestions from Aaron Maurer, I completely stepped out of my comfort zone to plan and carry out activities using Brush Bots, Squishy Circuits, Makey Makey kits and more. The experience exceeded my expectations and it was incredible to listen to the students discuss their ideas and get excited about coming each time.

Was my school year perfect? Certainly not. It wouldn't be real if it wasn't. We all fail, learn, and try again. Sometimes daily. :) If time wasn't a factor, there certainly would have been more things on my "list" I would have liked to accomplish this year.

How will I take the excitement from this year into next year? Stretching myself to try new things is something I'm willing to take a risk for if the result is improved learning for myself and my students. I would like to create a way to better integrate social studies and science into other subjects and do more small groups in math. I would also like to try some cross-grade projects and expand the after-school club I started this year.

The great thing is that this year is not over .... yet. 

I still have 31 days to try a few new things.

I still have 31 days to help students learn.

I still have 31 days to make a difference.


  1. LOVE this post! I have one in the hopper just like this. Make the most of every day! ALL 31 of them! Appreciate your writing... talented!

  2. Jen,

    Numbering our days indeed has our hearts seek more wisdom. Thank you for the encouragement!


  3. Wonderful reflection of what was accomplished during the year and great reminder to use the time still left. Wayne