New beginnings and fresh starts all round!
At least that's the way it should be... I have mixed feelings as I head back to the class after the Christmas break. Before the holidays I allow myself to feel that I have the whole year ahead of me, take it easy and allow the children time to adjust to all things new. Then all of a sudden, it's Christmas and you tell yourself you're half way through the year and you think of all the things they don't know yet and you try not to hyperventilate... but panic not because all is not as you think.
We may be half way through the school year, but what lies ahead of you is the most rewarding time in the infant class. I find the children just seem to take off on their learning journey and the progress really start to become apparent. It's like everything just clicks for them. That said, the new year does offer a good opportunity to give every child a new and fresh start, sprinkled with a good dose of "you can do it, yes you can!". The new term is an opportunity reflect on how well everyone has settled into school and their new class. Revisit those hopes and aspirations you set at the start of the year and see what you and the children have achieved, while also setting a clear path to where you want to go as learners.
So here are my 5 ways you can involve your class in kicking off 2018 with some positive vibes...
1 - Revisit and Review...
Revisit and review work from the early days. Blogs, photos, copy work, art or anything that shows just how much they have improved. This is sure to get a giggle from everyone but for infants it important to see physcial examples of progress. Show them how their drawing skills have improved or reflect on own many new friends they have made.
2 - Classroom Rules?
Remember all those classroom rules you drew up together in the first days of school? Well now is the perfect time to revisit them and redraft them too. If you feel that your class have learnt to be good listeners, more independent learners or better friends, let them know it. Tell them how much they've grown up since September and how maybe it's time to set more challenging classroom rules... here are a few ideas:
Here's a funny little video to show the children before you chat about rules!
3 - How do YOU want to learn?
Re-access your classroom environment and ask the children what are their favourite learning areas and resources they like to use? Ask them what they would like to see more of and how how they would like to learn? They might be infants but they are the best people to tell you what they enjoy and what they don't.
4 - New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions or random acts of kindness at home and in school. Now they are bigger they are also capeable of making better choices and growing their independance. Make a list or display, photocopy it and send it home to the parents, signed by their child. Include things they should now be able to do independently like zipping coats, tidying up after themselves, remembering good manners etc. Model examples for the children:
5 - Assessment
This one is just for you! Continuious assessment is really important, assess and plan your next steps and if you need to ask your colleguege or support teachers for suggestions and advice, do so. You need to know and identify any children who are falling behind or showing difficulties now so you can set a plan in place for them. If you have your PTMs coming up soon, now is the time to be making notes and avoid unnecessary stresses! Re-visit my Assessment Made Easy post for assessment ideas... why not try one new assessment method as your own new years' resolution! ;)
Thanks for reading! I wish everyone a super successful 2018 and look forward to sharing more with you over the coming year. I hope that you can share your thoughts with me too! My new years resolutions is to get my Twitter and Instagram pages up and running so if you fancy connecting with me for more fun and playful teaching ideas follow the links above and give me a like!
Happy new year everyone,