Courtney’s Online Learning Planner and Reflection

Firstly, I appreciate the effort and planning in preparation for the upcoming school year and our given circumstances. The structure and guidelines provide direction and give me more confidence to move forward this year. The instructions, procedures and recommendations provided in the modules will be important references, particularly in preparation prior to the commencement of the school year. I have saved the documentation for quick reference guides to use when planning with my grade-level team and instructional partner.

For the year ahead, ISB has clearly communicated the vision and expectations so that I can reflect and grow. In terms of strengths, I believe I have a moderate aptitude with most technologies and enjoy providing assistance to others if needed. I like creating interactive, engaging lessons using technology and have completed a few free self-directed learning courses this summer which I hope will enhance my lessons. In preparation for the school year, I can help HR teachers with SeeSaw setup and organization to ease the workload if that can be of assistance.

I was successful in creating consistent Shared Reading routines last year so that students were familiar with the language, structure and expectations. This was helpful, not only to students but to parents, who communicated that my lessons were easy-to-follow, clear and consistent so that students could, for the most part, work autonomously. This year, I intend to create consistent routines again so that students can expect a consistent learning environment.

When we entered into an online learning environment in February, our kindergartners were at a point in their development where they were more independent and had acquired the necessary skills for some self-directed learning. However, this will not be the case in September. I hope to create a learning environment that is appropriate for the experience level of our students with a healthy balance of joy and academics.

Last year, I spent a considerable amount of time providing timely and personalized feedback to students. This feedback came primarily in written form on SeeSaw. The majority of my lessons were asynchronous screencasts with students working independently. I will therefore focus on ‘Care’  to develop supportive, personalized relationships with students and respond to emotional and academic needs through more synchronous learning experiences with ongoing feedback (both live and through SeeSaw).

Cohn-Vargas & Gogolewski (2020) state, educators can create protocols for structured cooperative activities. In order to setup a respectful and friendly synchronous learning environment it will be key to establish protocols for communication so that all students feel welcome and safe. The importance of promoting inclusion and belonging is more complex in an online setting but can be achieved. That is why I plan to dedicate more time this year to cooperative activities and social inclusion games so that students not only develop academically but also to ensure their social-emotional needs are being met.

I appreciated the video on “Flipped Classrooms” provided in the modules. It helped to clarify my understanding of what exactly a flipped classroom is. There are a number of ways to work with my instructional partner to provide appropriate learning experiences for students, not only in a blended learning environment but even when face-to-face classes resume fulltime. I hope to work with my instructional partner and coaches to determine the models that are best-suited to our circumstances and students’ needs. This will require a clear definition of roles and responsibilities, open communication and flexibility so that we are working effectively and efficiently.

References

Cohn-Vargas, B. & Gogolewski, K. (2020). Inclusion and belonging can be fostered in academic lessons for all grade levels. Greater Good Magazine.

Here is my Online Weekly Planner:

Beginning and Ending Sounds

As our kindergarten students become more familiar with letters and sounds, they have started to distinguish the beginning and ending letter sounds in words. We started by listening carefully to the beginning sounds and have moved on to final sounds. When students develop fluency in isolating sounds, they can start producing words that begin or end with this sound in writing and sound out words in reading.

Snap Word Practice!

In KJV, KRK and KLV I have been working with strategic groups on snap word development. These are words that appear most frequently in books as they make up 80-90% of the words. If students know their snap words (sight words), they will be able to read with better automaticity.

We are following a routine of: read it, make it, write it, use it, find it. I have conducted a pre-assessment with the HR teachers and will follow up soon with more formal assessments, in addition to the ongoing formative assessments, to check up on our readers.

Professional Growth Survey Results

Today I am reflecting on the results of my professional growth survey.

I am pleased with the results of the surveys overall. My results indicate that students believe that I invite, welcome and respect their ideas and feedback. I have also scored high in the area of ‘clarify’ indicating that I have multiple good explanations for students when they are confused so that I can help them to understand.

My professional growth goal this year is consolidate which was neither the strongest or the weakest of the 7Cs. That means that I can improve in the area of summarizing lessons and making connections across subjects. As Kindergarten has primarily been spending the first weeks/months of school developing routines, I am not surprised of this result. More recently, the grade level has been launching units in workshop and moving forward and this will help me to focus more consistently on my goal.

Surprisingly, my weakest area on the survey was “Care”. This may be because I am not a homeroom teacher and therefore I can focus more on building stronger relationships with students. I also think that I can reflect on this by being more intentional in my approach to teaching in terms of showing patience and welcoming questions during lessons, small group work or conferring with students.

Patterned Books – Shared Reading!

In shared reading for this current unit we are reading non-fiction patterned books to expose students to the genre for Writing Workshop. In this lesson our COLOCOs were:

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Content goal was: We are learning that some books have patterns.
Language Objective: We can find patterns in books by looking for repeating words on pages.
Cultural Objective: Because patterned books help us to read!

In the videos attached you can find students locating and highlighting patterns in our shared reading book this week!

Shared Reading in KG!

Every week we read a book for shared reading and everyday has a different strategy focus including: counting words on the page, one to one correspondence and how to read with a question mark at the end.

Here are students demonstrating one-to-one correspondence and trying to “read” the story through memorization and word recognition.

 

Professional Growth Goal

This year I will focus on CONSOLIDATE as my professional growth goal. Our EAL team goal is to focus on conventions and my KG team goal is Shared Reading. To meet these goals and to make connections across the ELA curriculum, I plan to work with my co-teachers to ensure at least 3 Shared Reading lessons a cycle. Through these lessons I will work with my co-teachers to explicitly highlight conventions in reading. To consolidate the learning I will review and summarize learning in Writing Workshop and Reading Workshop (guided reading, strategy groups) to help make learning coherent and memorable. These sessions encourage students to make connections in order to help them see relationships within and across lessons, remember ideas, and build understanding over time.

 

Welcome!

Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

  • Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
    • Self-assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards  (Tripod 7Cs)
    • Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
    • Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
  • Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
  • Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
  • Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
  • You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.

If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!

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