In a Nutshell Blog
Teacher Toolkit | 5 Things Miss Boyd Can't Teach Without
Miss Boyd has taught both second and third grades at Oakhill but made a move to fourth for the 2018-2019 school year. We stopped Miss Boyd to find out what her must-haves are to keeping herself organized and ready to teach during this transition year to a new grade level!
1. Assorted Colorful Pens
I've always been a visual learner and a doodler. Different colors stimulate different parts of my brain; the organized part, the creative part, and the inquisitive part. And my students benefit because all of this comes out in my teaching. All of the different colors also keep me organized. I love color-coding, anyone who knows me would tell you that. And you know how people have their "favorite pen," well I think that the right pen in the right person's hand can be very empowering.
2. Lesson Plan Book
I live by my plans because they are a road map to my students' learning. Writing things down is also how I process information. Call me old-fashioned, but I always put pen to paper. I depend on this book to keep me accountable for what my students learn. Writing my thoughts down also makes me more prepared for the days and weeks to come. That preparedness makes me a more effective teacher.
I'm going to say technology as a whole, but moving to 1:1 iPads in my classroom has been a game changer! By giving each of my students a device to use has made it easier for me to integrate activities that are more engaging and better connect with the students that are in my classroom today. Maybe this sounds cheesy, but the added technology in my room has changed me as a teacher as much as it's changed my students as learners. My lessons have expanded because everything now seamlessly flows together. And I feel my teaching has been brought up to speed, digitally speaking, and is now much more connected with real-life applications.
4. Anecdotal Notes
The most meaningful lesson I ever learned when in college studying to become a teacher was to keep anecdotal notes. Why? Not everything can be quantified. Sometimes, a students progress is directly related to everything that their grades don't show you. Things that I like to keep track of in my anecdotal notebook are observations, questions, and a-ha moments. These notes become somewhat of a living record of my students learning milestones. Fourth-grade students are not shy to say what they like and don't like about a lesson. Those are the kinds of things that I keep track of in my notes so that I can improve as a teacher. I'll also jot down observations like, did a student check out during a lesson or did the class reach a goal that we've set. I can use my anecdotal notes as a guide to help me create meaningful learning experiences for each of my students.
5. My Teaching Partner
A lot of teachers aren't as lucky as I am to have a teaching partner, let alone one as amazing as mine! My teaching partner is my professional, and at times, my personal sounding board. It feels great to have someone who consistently challenges me and indulges my ideas. Although we don't teach the same subjects, I feel like having her is a way to keep me grounded and provides an ear when I need to reflect. My teaching partner is another one of the reasons I get so excited to come to work every day!
You inspire all of us to be better teachers! We are lucky to have such a great collegue! You are amazing!
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