As much as I am looking forward to tomorrow, another day of summer, I am taking a few moments to look back at the school year that was 2015-2016.
This year marked a very special “first” for me. I had the opportunity to work very closely along side a remarkably talented Educational Assistant for a very big chunk of time during the year. The extra set of eyes, the profound knowledge and experience and the caring connections she made with students were indispensable.
2015-2016 was also about trying new things. Throughout the year we engaged in many many exercises (certainly not always loved by students) to promote self-regulation and strengthen right and left brain communication through the use of cross-lateral exercises. If you google “Brain Gym” you can read more about the benefits! By the end of the school year I had many regrets having not recorded more accurately the improvement by everyone in the class. The overall improvement in students’ abilities to do the exercises was incredible. Also, performing these exercises before our daily calendar routine made the learning much more meaningful and focused. Our daily exercises helped calm students after more “active” times (recess and lunch breaks) and helped re-focus us for optimal learning. Incorporating these movements in daily routines is definitely something I will do with future classes!
Another “first” and new thing I tried out this past school year was the use of the digital portfolio to communicate student learning. I decided to try out FreshGrade and luckily just as I began capturing student learning, FreshGrade released the Android version of their app! Lucky for me this made adding to students’ portfolios a breeze. I’m sure parents were hearing at home about how much Mme Robinson was on her phone in the classroom! As I experimented with the platform, I’m not sure exactly how many parents jumped on board with me but from the few who made a point of telling me how much they liked it, it was well worth trying out!
I look forward to using FreshGrade again in the Surrey School District as my preferred method for communicating student learning. As a teacher I truly value partnering with parents and FreshGrade takes this to a whole new level!
It was a great year and one I will be sure to remember as I begin a new journey in a different district. To my fellow Richmond colleagues, you will be missed!