Sunday, January 3, 2016

Winter Break Ends Tomorrow

I have been reading a lot of blogs from art teachers about the new year. Some sharing New Year's resolutions, some sharing reflections of 2015, and even some discussing not having resolutions. As for me, I don't know that I have set any real resolutions for 2016, but I am looking forward to the spring semester.

Before leaving school 2 weeks ago, I left a clean classroom. Kind of like no one likes to come home to a dirty house after a vacation from home, I don't want to come back to a dirty classroom after a vacation from school. I always enjoy seeing other people's classrooms either in person, or online. Though I often feel a little jealous as I have only seen the inside of one other classroom as small as mine.

I am proud of how organized I am with my little space. After two years of constant cleaning, organizing, and throwing stuff out my half a portable has become pretty efficient for serving  an average of 36 students per class 6 times a day. It will continue to get better throughout 2016, I am certain.

For the spring semester, I am also looking to coming back to my after school program students who will be continuing our first attempt at animation. Over the break they took blank flip books home to create on their own time. Once we finish our flip books we will be focusing on claymation. They had a blast testing this out before we left.

Throughout the school year so far, I have been constantly reflecting on my lessons, my approach, heck I have been reflecting on everything, always looking to make learning better and more exciting for my students. I have put in place many things over the past couple of years that I feel very confident in, and look forward to returning not only to continue  with these things, but to improve on them for this semester. One such thing is my bell ringers/art journals. I give students 5 minutes at the beginning of class to complete a short assignment in their art journals. It has been my goal this year to have this activity work not only as assessment, but as a resource for my students to be able to come back to when needed. I will admit that I let this slip quite a bit as the semester went on this school year. Perhaps you could say it is a resolution, but for spring semester I plan to be extremely diligent with our art journals. 

Another major goal is to stay better prepared for each class. I do not want to be cutting paper during class, or allowing any down time for my students that could have been prevented by me being a little better prepared.

As a bit of reflection, I must say, starting a blog this year has been a great tool for me. Keeping this up for 2016 is yet another thing I am excited about with the new year. I have loved sharing with others, this in itself has been a great way to constantly reflect. Blogging has certainly kept me excited about what I am doing. I love seeing what others are doing in their rooms and trying many of these things in my own classroom. 

Though I have only had a few others reach out to me and make connections through blogging, those few comments have done tons for boosting my spirits. I hope to have more connections with others this year. There are some great blogs out there to learn from and many that seem less rambling than my own. I had 975 page views for my first semester as a blogger, I don't know how successful that has made it, but it has proven to give me encouragement. Looking at my blog, I know that there will be improvements here throughout the year as well.

If you have made it through all of this rambling, thank you. I hope everyone had a great winter break, and has a great 2016. Maybe I should make a resolution to become a better writer. Luck to everyone for the first week back.

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