Today we kick off 2015 with a new blog challenge with the +TeachThought #reflectiveteacher Community and I am excited to be participating again! This January the theme is one of Renew and Reflect in 2015. A great way to start off the year, thinking about what we do and setting new goals for the year!
The other day I stepped outside very early in the morning to snap a picture of a sunrise. It was a very cold 6 F outside, but a crisp quiet morning as the sun was greeting me. I took this picture because I think everyone focuses so much on beautiful sunsets but and not enough on sunrises.Here is my Midwestern backyard:
I like sunrises because the day is new and there are infinite possibilities as to what we can do. Each gentle sunrise brings a fresh start to everyone, like what we have going on at the #reflectiveteacher community this January. So let's get reflecting and renewing here!
Students learn best in active, active classrooms. I like a little controlled crazy. I like when my students work harder than I do. I like to turn them loose and have them take care of their learning. I try and create that every day in my classroom with lots of tiered activities based around themes being studied. Creating a busy classroom where Spanish students are speaking, writing, reading and listening in the target language also provides them with the ideal environment where they can grow and become proficiency in Spanish.
Students learn best when they are taking control of their own learning, but also when they are reflecting on progress and thinking about their learning as they move through the school year. There are so many ways to do this and I like all of the options of Exits slips, journaling, blogging, a quick jot or drawing, post it notes slapped on the board, etc. I just want students to stop and take a moment to reflect on the Why? and How? of the day.
The sunrise picture reminds me it's a new day, another chance for me to start over...I ask lots of my students, how can I ask a bit more of myself and quicker, more valuable feedback to them after that reflection?