Previously I discussed making 2 stars and a wish for giving critical feedback to students and for myself. A colleague of mine told me another version: 2 stars and a STEP. The difference is that a wish is something passive, something we hope for with no plan to reach it. A step is an action, a goal we actively pursue. So, from now on I will reflect on my practice thinking about 2 stars and a step.

My first star for today was our language block. I was able to fully implement the Reader's Workshop model and it worked wonderfully. We started with a mini-lesson, which was really a couple of housekeeping items I needed to review with the class and a short discussion about where we should start writing in a notebook (I had noticed that a few of my kids just flipped it open to a random page to write, instead of starting on the first blank page). After our little lesson, I sent them on their way to their literacy centres. We had made a list of acceptable reading and writing activities last week, as well as how many people could do each activity at a time. I also added a new activity today that built on something we did last week. While students worked independently at their centres, I was able to listen to a few of my students read. I was able to listen to about a quarter of my class to get an idea of where those students were in their reading level and the kinds of decoding and comprehension strategies they were using. This will help as I prepare to do formal Reading Records in the coming weeks. At the end of our block, we came together again and shared about what we did during centres. The whole block ran smoothly!

My second star for today was our very first gym class in the gym. Although the students wanted to run around and play games, I made sure I was very clear, consistent, and diliberate in teaching the routines and rules of the gym. We practiced the routines a few times and the students did a great job of being good listeners and following expectations. At the end, we were able to play a round of Freeze Tag before heading back to class. Tomorrow we have another period in the gym, so we'll hopefully have more time to play and less time spent on reinforcing rules and routines.

My step is to work toward planning further in advance. So far, I've mostly just been planning a day or two in advance, although in my head I always had at least a vague idea of where I was headed. It has been hard to plan in advance up to this point, because I'm still getting a feel for where the kids are at and what their needs are as learners. Now that I'm getting a clearer picture and we are all well versed in how the classroom in functioning day-to-day, I hope I can start planning a little further into the future and finalize my long-range plans for the year.

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