In my most recent Edutopia post I challenged my readers to make a list of at least 5 things they’ve done better this year.

Here are mine:

1) Assessment 
I have taken a lot of time this year to work on my methods and purposes for assessment. While I am still stuck with a numerical gradebook system, I feel that I have a better grasp on what and whether my students are learning and I am able to focus my lessons more on specific learning outcomes.

2) Choosing the Right Tool
This year I stuck to only a few tools with my students. Some of this is because of the slow Internet speed at my school, but some of it is due to my realization that it’s about depth not breadth.

3) Allowing for Re-dos
For the first time, I allowed my students to revise and resubmit their work. Rather than handing back their grade as a ‘done deal,’ I handed back their graded rubric with places for improvement. 90% of my students worked to revise their work and I am 100% sure they learned more through the revising than they did creating the project.

4) Making Sure that Everyone is Done
As a ‘prep’ teacher, specialist teacher, whatever my title may be, I am stuck with a limited amount of time with my students. Some classes I see only 45 minutes once a week and, should there be a holiday or trip, even less than that. In the past I have felt forced to move on once we have spent a certain amount of time on a project partly because of the requirement that I have a certain number of grades in my grade book each marking period (ridiculous) and partly because I felt that we just couldn’t spend a month on one project. This year, however, I allowed my students to spend a month on projects. I tracked student progress and made sure that every student completed their work, even if it meant pulling them for a small period of time outside of their scheduled time with me. This has made a huge difference in how my students have progressed as well as giving both them and me a sense of accomplishment.

5) Collaborating with My Colleagues
This year, as many of you know, I started at a new school. I was so excited to collaborate and learn with my new colleagues, many of whom are enthusiastic about technology.  This year I have done more collaborating, whether it be team teaching or doing a model lesson or bringing technology into a classroom to enhance a unit of study, than any of my previous years. I hope that next year will hold even more possibilities for teachers to bring tech into their classrooms.

What are YOU most proud of this year?

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