Sunday, 8 September 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 1

     During my last student teaching placement I began completing a "2 Stars & A Wish" posts every week where I would reflect on the events of the week, mention two things that I was proud of, and identify one area to work on in the following week. As my my Professional Growth Plan, this is a practice that I want to maintain throughout the school year as well. 

     If you aren't a teacher, it could seem silly to be writing a reflection for the first "week" when we only actually had students for two days. Those first two days, however, are PACKED with activities:
- Welcoming students to your class
- Assigning lockers and completing school paperwork on each student
- Giving out and reviewing course outlines (for Grades 7-12)
- Completing activating strategies
- Getting to know your students (as much as you can in two days)
This list could go on and on, but for right now I want to mention two things that I am proud of for this week:

1 ) Getting my Student Tracking Binder Organized and Ready
- I use my Student Tracking Binder to keep track of information regarding students
  so that I have a written record of information in case I need to look back on 
  something, contact a parent, provide information to our resource department, or
  submit my records to administration.

- While there are a lot of different ways that teacher organize this information, I want
   to share my system. First of all, I have one BIG binder with tabbed sections for each
  Grade (7-10). Within those tabs, I have information for each of the students in the
  respective grade. For each student I have:
  a ) Preliminary surveys that they filled about themselves in the first two days
  b ) A form to keep track of Learning Behaviours (our new MB Provincial Report
       Cards keep track of learning behaviours as well as academic assessment)
  c ) A form to keep track of Parent Contact (you can download your own copy
       by following the link)
  d ) A few pages of loose leaf for me to use for anecdotal records
  e ) I will also be placing Missing Work Forms in when needed (I will post more
       about these this week)
- In the binder itself, I also have copies of our attendance warning forms and student
  at risk forms in case I need them.
- What do you have in your student tracking binder that you think I should add?

2 ) Taking Time To Allow my Students to Introduce ME to Their Ideas/Attitudes/Etc About The Subject
- I find that a lot of times teachers jump right into content, whether it is at the 
  beginning of the year or the beginning of a new idea. For me, I wanted a more
  student-lead approach where they told ME what Science and Math was, what
  it meant to them, what their past experiences have been, etc.
- I mentioned that I kept preliminary surveys in my Student Tracking Binder. Part 
  of this was surveys where students filled out what they thought about a subject,
  what their past experiences with the subject have been, their confidence level in
  the subject, words they associated with the subject, and how I can best meet
  their learning needs in the subject.
- This gave me a lot of insight and the class then created a Wordle to illustrate
  what they thought of when they thought of a given subject:
- Grade 7 Science
- Grade 8 Math

- Grade 10 Math

* There are still a few classes that I haven't had yet, which is why I can only show
  three instead of my full course load of six.

     One thing that I want to work on this upcoming week, however, is to complete a phone call home to a parent/guardian of all of my students. I went back and forth with the idea of whether to call before school started or after and I decided to make phone calls during the second week of school. My reasoning for this was because it gave students a chance to meet me, get their course outlines, and go home and share information. The purpose of the phone call will be for me to introduce myself, address any questions they may have, and open up the line of communication early in the school year. To achieve this goal, I will need to make about 15-20 phone calls each evening this week, wish me luck!


  1. This is a wonderful idea and might I ask if I can "borrow" it? I would love to try this.

    1. Thanks Linda, and yes you can for sure use it! Everything I post, I post to share with others so feel free to try it for yourself :)


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