Boxes Boxes Everywhere!!

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I’m packing up ready for the move.  For those who do not know, our high school and middle school is finally splitting.  We have a brand new middle school waiting for us move in.  I have a little over a week to get my classroom packed.  Those who know me (especially from twitter) know my number one goal in packing is to leave the rodents behind!!

Every year we start fresh and new. Next year I’m really starting fresh and new!! That does not mean that everything I did this will stay behind nor will all of it come with me.  End of year is time to reflect about what I could have done better or what I did that was successful.  I wanted the student’s input on this.

So today I told my students they had an end of the year quiz.  The quiz had 5 questions:

  1. Write a paragraph giving DETAILS about your favorite unit we learned about this year in Science.
  2. Do the same as number 1 but for social studies.
  3. What was your favorite activity/project we did this year?
  4. What was your least favorite activity/project we did this year?
  5. Give Mrs. Dykes advice on what she needs to change about her class next year.

Numbers 1-3 are easy. We like to hear about what students learn and can recall and what we did right. Number 4 & 5 were the scary ones! Asking students to be honest and tell you what to change.  We tell them what they can improve on on a regular basis. Time to ask them to do the same for us.  Of course there were the few who wrote “nothing, your are wonderful!” or my personal favorite “Maybe your classes will be nicer to you so you won’t have to fuss at them, its our fault you have to, not yours.” (his check is in the mail!) But most were pretty honest. They did not like the way the desk were arranged (I do not have much of a choice, we are literally wall to wall with desk right now). Many did not like the textual reading time, I don’t blame them. **For those who have not read my past post, we are required assign and teach textual/factual reading because of AYP goals** One put they did not like the blog project – I have another post coming soon about that.

Here was one thing I noticed though, there was not one particular thing that kept showing up over and over.  I realized the things they did not like were the opposite of their learning styles.  Out spoken students hated projects that included reading and writing. Quiet students hated acting out parts of history or class discussions.

The students offered really good advice for next year! They were very mature with their answers! I was so proud of them. It has taken an entire school year to train them to think out their ideas and share them considerate manner.  The majority of the students were not afraid to state their opinion and most even had reasons to back them up.

As I pack up the rest of this school year, I will be taking with me more than the few things that are in the boxes.  I will know I took as chance today with my students.  The accepted my challenge and I am proud of what they have accomplished! Also, there are a few things, thanks to their opinions I will abolish and something I will do again!

We’re moving on up! Moving on up! (yeah you know you are singing it too now)

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2 thoughts on “Boxes Boxes Everywhere!!

  1. Jason T Bedell says:

    I do this every year as well. One thing I notice is that students consistently live up to or surpass the expectations placed on them. When I ask for honest feedback, and I usually did several times throughout the year as a class check-up, they gave me honest criticism without trying to lambaste me. There was one time where we completely changed directions as a class based on their feedback; the students appreciated it and it showed in their work.

  2. MrDuez says:

    So happy to hear about your move. I do something similar each year with questions to my students. It always helps me to read through them and look back at what they liked the most. (And also what they hated)

    I have been writing about it on my blog: http://teacherwall.blogspot.com

    Also, 4 years ago we moved into our new school. Although it is very exciting and *new* it was the toughest year of teaching I may have ever had. My wife teaches with me and said she will NEVER open another school. So beware, the transition can be really brutal.

    What is tough about it? If you are changing administration (which I am not sure of) you may not have policies and procedures in place. And I know this sounds silly, but we had all kinds of issues. Even pencil sharpeners. They didnt want to put holes in the new beautiful walls (which 4 years later aren’t so beautiful anyway – since we host summer school EVERY year). We didn’t get electric sharpeners until 8 weeks in. Just one example of silliness.

    I hope it goes a lot better for you! I’ll be reading. Glad I found your blog.

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