One of my personal goals when starting this blog was to give myself opportunities to be more reflective of my teaching. So far I have loved participating in Positive Thinking Thursdays, courtesy of Mrs. Laffin's Laughings, and I thought that I would try to incorporate another method of reflecting on my days. I designed this template based on a tool that I use with my students for giving constructive peer criticism: three stars and a wish. The rules are simple. You list three positive things and one wish for improvement next time.
1. Who doesn't love free coffee? The Baltimore metro area McDonalds locations give free coffee to teachers with ID every Tuesday for the entire school year! As a vegetarian I don't usually make any trips to McDonalds, but I'll happily do a lap through the drive through if it gets me my favorite beverage for free.
2. I "auditioned" singers today for a special performance for Grandparents Day, coming up next week. I am new to one of my schools this year, and fortunately the other general music teacher was fabulous about getting music together on short notice. She found some great selections from Music K8 for our 1st and 2nd graders, including one song with a solo section. It was these kids' first audition experience, and (for the most part) they handled it very well.
3. Students had a two hour early dismissal today and teachers had a PD related to the new PARCC assessment being used in Maryland this year. I was expecting to have to sit through two hours of a session that- let's be honest- didn't really relate to my content area. Instead, my administrators decided to differentiate the PD and allow the cultural arts team to meet separately. We created our own set of content-related questions in the style of what students will face on the PARCC exam. We came up with some great examples for music, art, PE, and media that challenge students to find details in their text, whether it is a painting, musical composition, physical activity, etc. I can honestly say that it was an excellent use of our time.
A Wish: Because I found out about our upcoming Grandparents Day performance at the last minute (it comes with the territory of being at a new school), I had to put my other plans for students on hold so that we could learn the songs in time for that. In the future I hope to foster better communication with administration about when students will be asked to perform. That way I have time to make sure they do their best.
If you would like to share your own "Three Stars and a Wish," you can download the template for free here. Please share the love, and don't forget to link back to my blog!