Five for Friday: Reflection

Reflection. As teachers, if we do not reflect on what is working and what is not we can never get better. I love this linky because it gives me a chance to reflect on my week... both personal and professional aspects. I highly recommend that you link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 5 for Friday!

#1: Reflecting is just as beneficial for our students as it is for teachers. Marzano and Common Core has confirmed to me that students reflecting is vital to their learning. They need to express their own strengths and weaknesses. They need to think about what they do well and look at what they can improve on.  One tool I use to practice reflection is a Family Message Journal. I blogged about it a few months back. Check it out ⎨HERE⎬ and let me know what you think. Not only is this a wonderful way to develop students' reflection skills, but it doubles as letter writing practice and grammar, as well. The biggest component of Family Message Journal is the conversation it opens up at home. I just love it! My son used kept one when he was in 3rd and I still have it. It makes a nice keepsake!

#2: My week couldn't have started out any better! On Sunday, I awoke to find out my MLK Brain Booster Freebie had been selected for the TpT 10 Free Downloads newsletter. I was THRILLED!  The feedback I have received really has given me a boost! My family was so excited as we watched the downloads increase all day! Over 15,000 as of today. It boggles my mind! To think that that many teachers have something I created! WOW!

#3: Thursday of this week we had an Early Release day. The kids left at noon and we got the rest of the day for planning. Then today we had a planning day (and Monday off...yeah!) and with that comes training. Marzano and Common Core are making their way into our district. We are in our first full year of Marzano as our evalutation system and CCSS is being implemented in K-2 this year. By 2014, it will be fully implemented in K-5. Intermediate teachers are getting training in bits and pieces. I have done a great deal of reading on my own. I don't want to wait until it's here to figure out what I'm doing. Today we were shown this video and I think it's hysterical and SO TRUE! My hope is that Marzano and CCSS will give teachers back the freedom to teach the way we know is most beneficial for students. For too long now our hands have been tied.  This video shows what happens when we "teach to the test" and not just teach.
If you can't open it try this link:

#4: I came across this book in my collection of teacher resources and I'm so excited that I "found" it. 
It is a wonderful resource of mentor texts matched with various writer's craft. Perfect for what we have been working on in writer's workshop. We just completed an author study about Chris Van Allsburg. Now we are going to go back to his books and study his writing craft and try to "write like that".

#5: My principal is ready to start our first formal eval using the Marzano model. We have to submit a plan and pre observation form. When it's over we fill out a reflection form. She is fine with letting us tell her when we would like her to come in. I am thinking I want her to see either my reader's workshop in action using Daily 5 and CAFE or I will plan a writing lesson. I have been thinking that the writing lesson might be best because if for some reason she can't come on the scheduled day  I could easily move it to another day without too much disruption in my plans. What lessons have you found most successful for an observation? Does you school use Marzano as an evaluation tool? I would love to hear your about your experiences.

TGIF and Happy 3 Day Weekend!


  1. FABULOUS video!! I am going to share that with my team!
    We use a Danielson Rubric for evaluation. If you are tenured you are observed once which is scheduled, then there are 2 mini "pop" in evaluations that are done.

    Congrats on the MLK Brain Booster downloads... that is AWESOME!

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  2. Congrats on the freebie, it is very exciting:) I just had my formal eval in November. I decided to go with a writing lesson too for the same reason. It went really well. Good luck with yours!


  3. How are they using Marzano to evaluate? Is it from one of his books? One of my principals at my old school loved Marzano, but I didn't know he dealt with evaluations? If it's a book, I'd love to know what it is. :O)

    I saw that you were featured in the TpT newsletter and I meant to congratulate you before now! That's amazing!! How exciting! You deserve it!

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  4. We have not started the new evaluations yet. I would imagine it is coming though as schools in other districts are starting to change theirs. Good luck!
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