Reflecting halfway through the school year

31 December, 2017

Happy 2018! 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:

Reflecting halfway through the school year: Thoughts about reflecting and planning for 2018 in the music room

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.) I found this set on TpT and find it a very visually appealing way to keep track!

You don't necessarily need to write a ton of details in this file, since you may already have that information in your year plan, but just having a way to keep track of the main concepts, songs, assessments, etc. that you'll be doing for each lesson is super helpful! It also is great for keeping track when there are days with no school, snow days, assemblies, etc.

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!

If assessment is on your list of things to dive into in 2018, then my 5-day musical assessment challenge is perfect for you!

Free 5-day musical assessment challenge: Includes 5 days of helpful emails, FB live videos, and more, all about assessment in the music room!

The musical assessment challenge will start Monday, January 8, and will run until Friday, January 12. Each day, we'll explore ideas for different grade level assessments, so that you start 2018 with fresh, new ideas for assessing in the music room!

Each day will include an email, a Facebook Live video with assessment and teaching strategies, and a discussion in my Facebook group. You will have a short task to complete each day of the challenge, and if you don't have time for one day's challenge, you can still move onto the next without any problems!

To sign up for the challenge, fill out the form below:
I'm looking forward to hosting the challenge and helping you and your students! Happy planning, and Happy New Year!

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