What does it look like in my classroom?
I begin my year with the goal of learning names within the first three days of class. Knowing a child’s name can make the biggest difference, as we all know. I like to carry what I call ‘the list’ while I monitor my students’ work after direct instruction. ‘The list’ is a blue clipboard with some basic questions, sometimes just a roster, which I write little observations on. Sometimes, these are things I’d like to be done differently, sometimes things I saw behaviorally that I want to correct, sometimes academic or social-emotional achievements I want to recognize. The students know that sometimes ‘the list’ means I might be writing down something they don’t want me to be writing down, which in itself is motivating, but usually that feature simply acts as a tool to quiet the classroom so the real interactions and positive work can be done. This is obviously a place to put my own reflections about my lessons as well. What worked? What didn’t? What do I want to do different for this class, or maybe for next period? What can I share with colleagues? What information can I get from them that would help? At a later time, I take these observations and add them to my teaching journal where I can either just jot down information or elaborate for further reflection.