1. Independent Reading - Last year I implemented Daily 5 into my classroom and was so focused on trying to get as many "Dailies" in as I could I don't think the kids got much time to really focus on any of them. Then I read The Book Whisperer and it has totally changed my thinking about teaching reading! I plan to really show my students my own love of reading and provide them with time for independent reading this year. I am doing two 30 minute rounds of D5 each day and the students MUST do Read to Self for one of those rounds every day! That means my kiddos will get at least 30 minutes of independent reading every day. Plus I am doing away with all the "busy work" I have for the kids to do when they finish an assignment early, if they finish early they will read. Instead of working so hard to try to pull reading groups I am going to focus more on conferencing with my students about what they are reading and what strategies they are using
2. Writing - Since Writing is so important in 4th grade in Florida I am planning to make some big changes to my writing instruction. I was so fortunate to get to attend a Melissa Forney conference last month and I can't wait to implement her ideas and lessons into my writing instruction. I purchased her book Writing Superstars and plan to follow her lesson plans for teaching writing.
3. Math - While my class did fine in math on our standardized assessments I personally was not happy with their growth in this area. I am planning to make some changes in how I teach math this year as well. I believe that I spent too much time on topics that my students didn't need and then had to rush through topics they really needed more time on. I teach using Envision Math and they provide two Topic Tests for each topic, so I am going to use one of those as a pre-test at the beginning of each topic to see what areas my class is already solid in and what areas they need more work. I think that this will really help me to focus my instruction to exactly what my students need.
OK those are my top 3 things, so now it's your turn, head on over and join this Linky Party!!