Sailing Into Summer Blog Hop - Room 213

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Sailing Into Summer Blog Hop

I'm excited to be linking up with Julie from Faulkner's Fast Five, and Lauralee from The Language Arts Classroom, as well as many other awesome educators.  I'm mostly excited about the topic: sailing into summer.  I thought it would never come this year, but I should have had more faith.  The sun is shining and the trees and flowers are blooming. And my students are driving me crazy, because they've been stricken with spring fever and senioritis.   But that's ok, because I have spring fever too, and I'm dreaming about spending the summer reading books on the beach.

Sigh...I still have six weeks to go.  

While I drag my kids (and myself) across the finish line, it will be a good time to reflect on what worked and what I need to change for next year: 

An exam tip/idea: I always teach my students that exam prep is a process, not a cramming session.  I don't just talk about it, either.  I model it by setting up a review session in the days leading up to finals.  You can get more details on how I did this during our January exams here.

One thing I want to do again next year: I want to continue to explore the use of formative assessment to drive the instruction and learning in my classroom.  I used to think that high school students would not do assignments that didn't count for marks, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find that not only will they do them, but they will also ask for them.  They love the risk-free nature of formative assessment, and I love to see their willingness to try new things when the fear of losing marks is removed.

One thing you want to change next year: I want to use a less traditional approach and use writing and reading workshops to deliver the curriculum.  I’ve dabbled the last few years, but I’m ready to take the plunge and drive right in. I’ll be spending some time over the summer planning and organizing just how I will do this.  Watch for blog posts of my journey in the fall.

One classroom organization tip: It’s so easy at the end of the school year to look at the piles of papers and files and say, “I’ll deal with that at the end of the summer.”  That’s my usual response, anyway!  However, when the new year begins you will get caught up in the crazy busyness of it and quite likely, last year's papers and ideas will not get organized. Before I leave for summer, I'm going to put everything back in the correct binder and also make some notes in each one about what worked and what didn't, so I can remember when I open it at the appropriate time next semester.  I know from experience that once the school year begins, it's easy to just fall back on what I used to do.  If I take the time to reflect, plan and organize before summer, it's more likely that new ideas will see fruition in the fall.

A gift for you: My End of the Year Teacher Reflection Journal is a great place for reflection and planning.  I’m making it free for the time that this blog hop is open.  Enjoy! 


  1. My students love readers and writers workshop. I think you will enjoy having more time to conference with students. Excited to read about this journey.

  2. Jackie: I love your products from one English teacher to another! I am going to add your button to my blog!

  3. I have dabbled in workshops too and would love to hear how you will run them. I will also be focusing on formative assessments more next year as my principal has chosen me and 2 of my colleagues to go through a workshop/process to create common formative assessments. Should be interesting!

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

    1. Let's keep in touch to see how it goes for each of us. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for making that a freebie. I'm going to snag it.

    I have the funniest image of you dragging students across the finish line...

  5. I just downloaded the teacher reflection freebie! I've read about your use of formative assessments and I will be getting your bundle from TPT, as this is going to be one of my areas of focus in the new school year. So glad that you posted it!

  6. I love using workshops especially with my dual credit seniors. I'll be looking for your posts to get more ideas! Thanks for joining us!


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