As today was the final academic day of the school year for the sixth grade at my school, I’m compelled to think ahead to next week and beyond. While many amazing things happened throughout the year and I grew as a teacher quite a bit, I’m always looking to the future. How can I improve? What can I work on to grow as a teacher? How can I better support and challenge my students? So, it’s time to set some summer goals for myself as a teacher to stay motivated and engaged throughout the hot and humid months of summer vacation.
- Read at least one Summer Reading Professional Development Book
- While I’m unsure as to which text I will be assigned, I will have at least one novel to read this summer. I want to tackle this task first so that the ideas will be fresh in my mind when I plan my STEM and Humanities Units. Who knows, I may learn something new from this professional text that I will want to apply and utilize in crafting my units for the 2016-2017 academic year. I will also try to blog throughout my reading experience so that I can process and reflect on what I’m learning and reading about.
- Learn some new, engaging, and fun math games and activities
- To help me better incorporate more number sense into my STEM curriculum for next year, I want to learn some new math games and activities that I can use in the classroom as bell ringer or closing activities. The fun games and short activities I utilized throughout this year seemed to help engage the students in the math content. Plus, they had a lot of fun playing them. Now, I want to learn about more fun games. Perhaps some probability games or activities. I will try to find some online resources to investigate.
- Rework Astronomy STEM Unit, incorporating some sort of technology education component
- I’ve been wanting to enhance my STEM curriculum with more computer coding or technology skills for a while now. This past March, I played around with an Arduino Board and a Little Bits gadgets kit. After learning that the student laptops we will be using next year will not be compatible with the Arduino Boards, I shed some tears and decided to try out the new STEAM Little Bits Kit. Although money is tight at my school, I’m hoping that I will be able to order at least a few of the Little Bits kits to use next year. They will allow for some cool activities. I was thinking that I would like to tweak the group project I used this year so that the students would have to design and build a moving rover that would complete a task of some sort. This way they could learn more than just team building skills. I think this type of activity would better engage and excite the boys as well.
- Co-Plan first Humanities Unit with my new Co-Teacher
- I’ve already been in contact with my new co-teacher for next year. She recently graduated from college and will be working at a summer school not too far from my school. We’ve already discussed getting together to do some planning this summer. Perhaps we’ll use Google Drive if we can’t meet in person. I’d like to adjust the Community Unit with which we began the year and I’m sure she has some interesting and creative ideas on how we can create a fantastic and engaging unit that the students will enjoy and find relevant.
Along with lots of family time, some running, and much relaxing, I’m sure that working towards my four professional summer goals will make for a phenomenal summer vacation. Although I’m sad to say goodbye to my students, I’m also very excited to continue growing and developing as an educator to help support and challenge future generations of sixth graders.