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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ending the School Year

The end of school year is one of the best times to reflect on your classroom and your practice. Here are some of the questions that I ask myself: 

Did I meet the needs of my learners? I would hope the answer is a resounding “YES!” but often it is an “I did the best that could” which is Okay too! We typically have each child for three years, and it takes three years to really get to know them as learners and individuals. I find that there is at least one child that had difficulty connecting to the environment, materials, adults or other children. The end of the year is a great opportunity to reflect on this child. Did you take the time to really get to know him/her? Do you have a good understanding of his/her home dynamics? Did the child get enough and a good variety of lesson presentations? 

Did my class normalize? Our goal is to guide the child to normalization through concentrated purposeful work. BUT if your class was newly formed this year, you may be putting too much pressure on yourself to feel that this would happen by the end of the year. There are years that an established classroom does not fully normalize! The dynamics between a classroom full of multi-aged children is complex and varies day to day. So the question to ask would be what were the levels of engagement in the classroom? Low? Then normalization would be impossible. Were the children reconnected to meaningful work when they began to wander? Were the children interested in the materials they were presented? If not, why and what material extensions could you offer them that would be more enticing? 

Was I consistent? Were the routines and procedures of the classroom clear? Were you consistent in reinforcing them? Were Grace and Courtesy lessons offered daily and reinforced? If not, this is a great time consider intentionally drafting a plan for offering them. 

What are my goals for next year? New goals keep us fresh and learning! Do you want to reread your albums over the summer? Do you want to reread all of the math extensions? Perhaps check out a Montessori text from the library that you have been meaning to look at? Do you want to set a cleaning schedule so the classroom doesn’t feel dusty by the end of the month? Do you want to start a classroom blog or newsletter? Do you want to mark reminders on your calendar to keep you on track with lesson charting? Maybe create your classroom snack calendar for the whole school year so it’s ready to go? 

Once the children leave for summer and you have a day or two to yourself, ponder a few of these questions, set some meaningful goals, and spend your time away from the children recharging for the fall!

4 comments:

  1. These reflection questions/comments are wonderful!

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  2. Thank you for sharing!! Great questions!

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  3. Thank you for sharing!! Love these questions!!

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  4. Good things to remember about. Thank you!

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