This is part 1 of a 3 part blog on reflections on my 2014-2015 school year. I figured before I started planning for the upcoming semester, it’d be best to reflect on what happened.
In this episode: CHANGES
- Went from Iduma Elementary School to The Khabele School
- Went from 5th grade to 6-8th grade
- Went from teaching math, science, SS, and ELAR to math and robotics
- Went from a school of 1000 to a school of 250
- Went from Title 1 public to private
- Went from mostly minority students to mostly white students
- Went from an older faculty to a younger faculty
- Went from the same group of kids all day all year to 5 different classes (6 if you count PE)
- Went from a traditional elementary school building to old victorian houses
- Went from 3.5 hrs of in-school prep time to 9.5 hrs of in-school prep time per week
- Went from a school in a residential neighborhood to a school in the middle of downtown of a big city
THINGS UNIQUE TO KHABELE (SORT OF)
- Every student has a laptop. I can’t say we were deficient in tech at Iduma because we had quite a bit of tech in each classroom, but still not the same as 1:1 via BYOD.
- 1hr 25min activity period at the end of the day for MS students. That’s more recess that my kids got at Iduma.
- Centering– wonderful practice of focused breathing and being present
- Clear & share- We took a day of the week in advisory for everyone to share a good thing that happened, bad thing that happened, and something they’re looking forward to. I’m a bit hesitant to put this on here because in a way, we did do clear & share in my 5th grade class last year. Students talked about what they did over the weekend and we also had that show & tell aspect that rivaled a miniature pitso (see below).
- Advisory- again, I feel I sort of had some advisory like conversations with students at Iduma. No ‘official’ advisory in elementary school though.
- Project Week vs. Exhibition- both inquiry based project based learning. Project Week was less stressful. [Check out a short film I made about Project Week]
- Pitso- weekly assembly; most students looked forward to it (different things each week like performances, the Khabele TV show, prep for Project Week, drama skits, learning about holidays, and more)
- The Forward– a retreat for the entire school over the course of 2 days. Really fun.