Monday, October 12, 2015

Quarter 1

This year has been moving so fast I haven't had the time to make an update. The hustle and bustle that the beginning of the year brings is finally starting to slow down. There have been several things that I have newly implemented this year and I finally feel like I have my system. This means monitoring my time spent at school AND my time at home working on school related things--grading, planning, cutting, creating, laminating, cutting, grouping, setting goals, and the list goes on!

The main thing is the STAR Home Policy I have implemented. Homework has always been a struggle for me. From giving the right amount, grading it, collecting it, and lack of completion. Last year, I begin weekly current events for Science and Math. I thought these were important so I kept them this year.

Main reasons I believe this is working so well:

  1. Students love choice
  2. Students receive incentives (PBIS School)
  3. Love the flexibility for students, parents and the teacher! (Students have a week to complete HW when they have time.)
  4. love the consistency for students, parents and the teacher! (Same HW each week, easier to grade, no excuses for absent students who dont complete HW, easily provide documentation for parents.)

In the beginning, current events were due on Friday's and throughout the week I would collect and assign homework daily. Our policy in my grade level is NO HW=NO Recess. Managing the no recess list among other things became a lot. So on Pinterest I seen several posts on the Universal HW model. I was inspired by Apple for The Teach and created a STAR HW Policy for my specific needs. My theme is Hollywood and this year I call my students STARs (Students Taking Academic Responsibility). I have also been really pushing responsibility, accountability, maturity, and students being aware and in control of their learning from day 1. 

The way it works:

  • Students have 5 different assignment options for each day.
  • Each assignment is worth 1 star and students must complete a minimum of 8 stars per week.
  • Students receive a new STAR HW Chart at the beginning of each week.
  • Students must turn in completed STAR HW at the beginning of each week. 

The main parts in my STAR HW Model:

  1. Science Current Event
  2. Health Current Event
  3. Math Facts Practice
  4. My Math Practice Pages
  5. Vocabulary Choice Board
Specifically, students must complete the following each week--Science Current Event (1), Health Current Event (1), Math Facts Practice-Daily(5), and Vocabulary Choice Board (1).

I have also updated my tpt store, TheDedicatedEducator to include the following new products: