Thursday, August 22, 2013

My 5 “non-negotiables” of ideas/concepts/practices I can’t live without this year

1.       PLAY – My review of literature has focused deeply on the importance of play and tugs at the heart of what I’m most passionate about.  Play is such a powerful tool that affects the development of the WHOLE child.  In this test crazy world, I still believe in the absolute necessity of play and will continue to advocate to parents, colleagues and community members the vital importance play has in the classroom.
2.      CREATIVITY – My review of literature also broke off into the research of creativity.  I want to help students attain the skills and ability to be successful innovators as they grow into adults.  I want them to know how to problem solve, see things from other perspectives, brainstorm, and think outside the box.  Providing creative opportunities and making it an everyday way of thinking and doing in my classroom is a high expectation of mine.
3.      COMMUNITY BUILDING – I believe in the importance of creating a team environment.  I want students to feel welcomed and a part of the classroom taking ownership in it and having a strong sense of belonging.  I believe that providing multiple community building activities throughout each day and continuing throughout the year is critical to supporting this message.
4.      STUDENT CENTERED – The constructivist teacher in me wants to help lessen the direct instruction time and give students more opportunities to be self-directed.  I want to be more aware of how I present activities and ideas in an effort to be more child centered.  I think they are more motivated and will learn more skills when they have the control and direction of the classroom.
5.      INTENTION/ATTENTION – I don’t think I can have one without the other.  I want to be intentional about the choices, structure and concepts that I teach in my classroom.  I also want to put my attention to those areas to make sure I’m following through with what I know to be best practices in teaching.

6.      ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS – I have really enjoyed the introduction and use of essential questions both in my planning and delivery.  It has made me more purposeful of why I teach the curriculum that I do.  It also helps me connect the students to the importance of the learning and gives us a great starting place and reference point as we journey through that study of inquiry.

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