Alrightie, the last chapter installment in my professional development homework is Chapter 6: Organization. . . in Conferences & Conversations by Douglas Kaufman.
It’s January and I’m already planning for next school year. . .
This chapter was great in that it suggested a few things I’d like to try, modify areas that I’ve already implemented. I’m always looking for improvement.
Establishing a new group of kids is always fun, and challenging. Takes anyone a while to get into routine. But the effectiveness of organization pays off when it gives freedom for what matters in the end.
We need to front load the expectations and routines to create the atmosphere for free choice and expression to happen. When done right, students get comfortable, open up and trust. That’s when learning occurs.
Organization always takes some amount of money. . .and that is a challenge in my district.
So a few things I’d like to try next year:
1) section off the journals into categories – having purpose in the journal will make grading more efficient for assessment as well as help students identify purpose for their writing and encounter different aspects of language.
2) create portfolios for evidence and evaluation – identifying major and minor pieces – and showing drafts will show progression.
3) conference sheets for self evaluation – I was surprised to read that once students internalize the expectations in the first couple of months, they will eventually get weaned off of it when it becomes internalized.