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Reflecting halfway through the school year

Reflecting halfway through the school year: Thoughts about reflecting and planning for the new year in the music room

Happy  New Year! I hope you've all enjoyed the holidays. I had a great time relaxing with my family!
This year, my break is rather short, and I'm going back to school January 2. With the short break, I've had to do some reflection during break to make sure I was in the right mindset to go back! Here are a few ways I've reflected on my school year thus far.

Where Have They Been?

Now is a great time to look at my year plans and previous lesson plans to see where my students have been. Are they “on track” or did we get a bit behind? Which concepts have they learned so far? How is their understanding? Do they need more practice or are they ready to move on? What worked well? What didn't?
A note here: don't feel guilty if your kids are behind. Almost every year, at least one of my grade levels gets behind. I look at my year plan and shake my head at where I thought they'd be and where they actually are. But the time they've spent is time well spent–they know the concepts more fully than if I had rushed them through it, just to stick to the plan!

Where Are They Going?

If you've created year plans for every grade, now you can look at each year plan and see where the kids are going (more on year plans in this video.) Which concepts do they still need to learn? Do they have a musical program coming up? How much preparation do they need? Do you want to keep the program line-up as is or tweak a bit?

I took some time over break to figure out what would be going on for each grade level for the month of January (especially since I have a student teacher starting the third week of January.) Planbook is a great way to figure out where you are going, when; check out this blog post about Planbook.

What Do I Still Want to Try?

If you've been to workshops or a conference lately, or if you've been active on Pinterest, you likely are excited to try out something in your classroom and you just haven't had a chance yet. I've been toying around with the idea of doing Genius Hour–or something like Genius Hour–with my 5th graders near the end of the year, so I'll have to do some reading and planning between now and then before I can implement it. Is there a dance you want to try with your students? Maybe you want to start ukulele? Bucket drumming? Whatever it is, now's a great time to make plans!

Happy planning, and Happy New Year!

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Hi, I'm Aileen

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