Goals for 2011

The school year begins for us in Victoria, Australia in a few weeks time.

2010 was a steep learning curve for me; I started to do a lot of things differently and this has influenced how I plan to approach the 2011 school year.

I am again teaching Grade Two and, like 2010, I will be sharing a large open classroom with Kelly Jordan. We team teach almost every lesson and I find this a very effective and engaging way to teach. We will be greeting our combined 42 students on Friday 4th February and we have a lot planned for them!

2KM 2KJ classroom

In terms of technology integration, these are a few of my goals for 2011:

  • Start blogging on Day One: As I have blogged about numerous times, blogging is a huge part of my classroom and the benefits for my students have been priceless. Before the holidays, I met my new students for an hour and we spent the bulk of the time blogging and skyping our blogging buddy, Mrs Yollis. I sent a letter home to the new families encouraging them to comment on our 2010 class blog over the holidays and many of them have. This year, Kelly and I have decided to have a combined class blog. After all, we do almost everything together and last year we found that we were putting almost identical posts on each of our class blogs!
  • Teach ICT skills incidentally: Last September I blogged about how I try to take every opportunity to teach my students various ICT skills as they arise. I find this a really effective way to truly integrate ICT into the curriculum. With the help of many of my readers, I have compiled a Google Doc that suggests some of the ICT skills that could be taught to students in an incidental manner. Check it out and feel free to add to the list.
  • Increase meaningful global collaboration: Last year, my class was part of some wonderful global connections. The majority of these were informal, however we did set up some more structured projects. We worked on a joint blog with Mrs Yollis’ class called Collaboration Corner where we collaborated on projects about our lunchboxes and schools. The highlight of 2010 was our Ugandan Global Project where we worked with six classes across the world to raise $20,000 for a Ugandan school. My aim for 2011 is to continue with regular informal global collaboration while also structuring some more purposeful formal collaborative projects. Stay tuned!
  • Integrate more inquiry based learning: This method of teaching and learning is something I haven’t had much experience with, however, through learning from my peers such as Edna Sackson, I am gaining an understanding of how valuable an inquiry based approach is. Put simply, I believe students learn best when they make discoveries for themselves and I want to integrate more questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem solving into my classroom. Technology can be a wonderful avenue for this. At my school, our integrated studies units of work have traditionally been heavily fact-based. I hope to change this in my classroom and learn more about inquiry based learning from my PLN in 2011.

Leave a comment.

What are your goals for the new school year?

18 Comment

  1. jodi says: Reply

    Dear Kathleen,

    Thanks for your first blog entry for this year. There are some excellent goals and reflections and made me think about my own class and goals for this year. Being new to class blogging I will definitely send letters home to the new parents and get the class blog going in the first week. We are also going to be trying out the inquiry approach model at our school. This will a new adventure for myself and the children. I look forward to your future posts. Also with your class blog did you start a new one every year or start a fresh.
    Regards
    Jodi

    1. @ Jodi,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Check out my post from last year about getting parents involved in blogging. This might give you some ideas for your letter to parents.

      That’s great your school is getting into an inquiry model, I’ll be keen to hear how it goes.

      With my class blog, I kept the same one from 2009 to 2010 and it was fabulous – good for former students and good to keep our international readers. This year, I’m starting a new one as we’re going to have a combined blog with 2KJ next door.

      A big tip I like to give newer bloggers is when you’re choosing the name for your blog make it generic like “Mrs Morris’ Class” rather than 2KM. I made this mistake twice. In 2008 I had a 3KM Blog but then couldn’t use it when I moved to Grade Two and of course I can no longer use my 2KM address for our combined blog! Good to think ahead!

      Good luck,
      Kathleen

  2. Scott Duncan says: Reply

    Hi Kathleen !

    My goals for the new school year are to…

    – Keep better assessment records.
    This is an area I really improved in last year and want to keep it up. Helps make report writing time so much easier and less stressful

    – Have a tidy desk at the end of each school day.
    My desk tends to be a dumping ground for anything and everything ! I’ve been reading up on a few strategies and am looking forward to giving them a go when school goes back.

    – Develop strong networks with other teachers.
    I’m about to complete the Teacher Edublog Challenge which I’m hoping will help out with this. I also want to continue to develop my PLN on twitter as well as participate and present in Elluminate web conference sessions.

    Good Luck with your goals for 2011 !

    1. @ Scott,

      Thanks for sharing your goals!

      Assessment records – you’re right it really does make report time easier! I’ve tried so many different ways of keeping assessment over the years and guess it’s something you can always work on doing more effectively.

      Tidy desk – good luck with that, I’ve been one of those “tidy desk” people my whole life and I really find less clutter in your work area means less clutter in your mind. This is something I try to instill in my Grade Twos as well. I know some people work well amongst stuff though so each to their own! I find the best strategy is to either file or chuck paperwork etc ASAP. If I let it linger I won’t get around to it.

      Developing PLN – an ongoing goal for me too. I know I’m a better teacher because of my connections. It’s like one big global friendly staffroom out there!

      Hope you’re enjoying the break,

      Kathleen

    2. Sarah says: Reply

      I think it is great to make your goals so public. Thank you for sharing them. Have you tried Evernote – I am new to it and trying it out for recording assessments. I can record audio, photos and keep notes very easily on my ipad while I meet with kids, it also syncs with my laptop so I use it as well to make note. Also using tags I am able sort students into groups easily (as long as I keep my tags organized šŸ™‚ ). Thought this might be something you would be interested in.
      Kathleen, thank you for your sharing!
      Sarah

      1. @ Sarah,

        Ohhh Evernote sounds very cool! If only I had an iPad! Hopefully this year I will get one! I need a better way then having sheets of paper and the iPad is also so portable. You can’t really go taking your laptop around the classroom with you!

        Be interested to hear how it goes for you throughout the year!

        Kathleen

  3. Love your goals! As I’m hoping to keep up with your blogging, I shall look forward to seeing all the other goals being achieved!

    1. Thanks for your support!

  4. Hi Kathleen. Great goals. I have a Year 6/7 class again this year, so we will continue with the class blog, my continuing students will continue with their individual blogs, and the new students should have their blogs by the end of term 1. I wish I had thought of sending a letter home to the parents at the end of the year though – I’ll try to remember to do that at the end of this year šŸ™‚

    I definitely need to improve my assessment records, but I just haven’t found a great way that works for me yet.I love the idea of Evernote & an ipad – although I’ve only dabbled a bit with Evernote. Maybe this is the reason (excuse) I’ve been waiting for to buy myself an ipad šŸ˜‰

    Tidy desk? Hmmm… one I definitely need to work on but my students would laugh if they read that! Last time I did a really big tidy up I couldn’t find anything!

    1. Hi Pam,

      That must be great having some of the same kids again. I wish I did! I’d love to be able to continue on where we left off! I used to teach grade 1/2 composite which was great because the older students could teach the new students so much about the routine etc. Anyway, back to square one for me!

      Assessment is an ongoing thing isn’t it! I’m with you about the iPad. Maybe it’s our year!

      Haha, I think I know a lot of teachers with similar desk issues! šŸ™‚

  5. Tony says: Reply

    Hi Kathleen,

    Love the Goals you have set yourself – would be interesting to see a similar question asked of your students especially in an ICT sense and especially since your new students would know they are moving into a class with a Teacher that LOVES integrating technology into learning.

    One of my major goals is to comment more on blogs and sites. I visit and read so many sites that interest and challenge my thinking – what I do very poorly at the moment is to comment on them.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing future posts about how you are going achieving these goals.

    Tony

    1. @ Tony, thanks for stopping by!

      Good idea asking the children. I might just do that. It would be interesting to hear what they come up with.

      I know what you mean about commenting on blogs. I read many more than I comment on. Have you heard about the 90-9-1 rule? I think it is very true!

      Keep up your great work,
      Kathleen

      1. Mrs S says: Reply

        Thanks for the very interesting link. This seems very similar to how many volunteer organisations run. In my head I have always thought of it as “the few for the many”. I must admit that I would place myself more in the many part of the statement that the few part. I have gained so much from the generous sharing on the internet for my teaching so probably it is now time to participate in a slightly different way. Taking part in the Teacher Challenge at Edublogs has helped me on my way to sharing more.

        1. @ Mrs S, well done on participating in the Teacher Challenge. It is a fantastic way to improve your skills and collaborate with like minded people.

          Thanks for your comment.

          Kathleen

  6. Hi Kathleen,

    I am totally in awe of what you achieve with technology, you have so much energy and enthusiasm.

    I was reading about your intention to integrate more formal global interaction this year and I though I would mention a global project I’m involved in called the Tooth Tally Project. It’s such a fun activity, my classes always participate and really enjoy the collaboration with classes world-wide and I really enjoy the opportunities for integrating technology into the curriculum.

    The tally starts in February and this year so far there are over 170 classes world-wide registered.

    Just thought you might be interested.
    http://www.toothtally.com

    Keep up the marvelous work!
    Cheryl

    1. @ Cheryl,

      I have heard of the Tooth Tally Project and it looks like fun! I actually find I don’t have that many students losing teeth – I think when I taught grade one I had a lot? Anyway, I shall definitely keep this project in mind to recommend to other teachers and hopefully some people reading this jump on board!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. If you have any other suggestions, I’d always love to hear them! šŸ™‚

  7. Kathleen, Hope your holidays were special. Your goals take your students in just the direction I would expect from you. It will take your students some time to understand this but I will share it with you now: Your students are some of the luckiest (sp)students on the planet. May you, Kelly, and all your students have a fabulous 2011!

  8. You accomplished so many important things in 2010. I cannot wait to watch what unfolds in 2011. Your students are blessed indeed!

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