July 18, 2014

Anyone Interested?

I recently received this book in the mail
I read the introduction and fell in love! The author shares how he used his dad's forward thinking about solving problems and the concerns of his colleagues to help him change how he graded and assessed in his classroom. He briefly discusses his process and its effect on his students. 

I would love to host a book study for this book! If you are interested in hosting a chapter or two, please click HERE to fill out the survey :)

July 16, 2014

Departmentalizing Advice Needed :)

     Currently, my assignment for next year is to teach 4th grade English Language Arts (reading, writing, and word study). I'm still an ICT room, meaning my homeroom will have me (as the general education teacher) and my co-teacher (as the special ed. teacher). After an allotted time, my co-teacher will go with our homeroom class to the math teacher and I'll get another set of kids from the math teacher. (I'm not sure the make-up of the other class--it's either ELLs {english language learners}or the general ed.)

I'm not sure how I feel about this...I honestly go back and forth about the pros and cons.

I enjoy teaching reading and writing and the actual preparation of the lessons (materials,charts, plan book) seems streamlined. Reflections of the lessons can be immediately adapted for the next group and I can become an expert in one field instead of trying to become an expert in everything.

On the other hand, as one of the ELA teachers, there is substantially more work to be done than the math teachers. From a planning perspective, we are writing our first unit (reading, writing, and word study) from scratch using a mentor text. Once we're done teaching that first unit, we're getting a new program {Core Knowledge}. Unpacking that is going to be interesting! And grading is a whole other story!

I'm curious about how departmentalizing looks in other schools--
     **What does your schedule look like? Do you use a rotation schedule?
     **How do you fit it all in (especially since there really isn't any carry over time)?
     **How do you manage all the grading?
     **What does your homework look like? Do you give daily or weekly homework? How do you check it?
     **How do you fit in stations or center time?

 I really appreciate any advice :) Thanks in advance!