Innovation Plan Update
When I began my innovation project I knew I wanted to roll it out slowly. I saw many other learners in the program hit the ground running and get approvals and so forth, but I wanted to create this innovation with myself as the living proof that it works. I have had many conversations with people on my grade level team and a few administrators discussing and explaining what exactly I’m trying to accomplish. Although no one seems majorly moved by my dream, I still believe that once they see the learners that come out of my classroom I will have people knocking at my door to share with them my strategies and knowledge.
I’m currently implementing blended learning station rotations within my own classroom, but I’m still working out the kinks that have come up and continue to arise. I can guarantee, to implement something like this at this time last year, I would have given up and not wanted to try it again while I revert to my own selfish ways. With a growth mindset and knowledge about the outcomes, I want my students to grow from the significant learning environment that I am providing. I also no longer get discouraged when difficultly sets in. I am capable of sitting back and assessing what worked and what didn’t. I am also able to realize that even though it didn’t work that doesn’t mean I should throw in the towel, it has allowed me to question why didn’t it work and what do I need to do to make it work.
One thing that has worked while implementing my innovation plan has been giving my students choices in their work. I often feel privileged to teach Kindergarten because of some of the flexibility that it gives me. I believe that educators are always looking for different ways to give their students this possibility such as genius hour, stem, or other variations of this idea. The downfall is that sometimes this isn’t every day or for a lengthy period of time. Within my classroom, I am able to give my students this time to have choice during stations. I provide them with tools and manipulatives that encourage them to stretch their brain and have the freedom that I know their little minds crave.
Something that I want to be able to do better is creating ePortfolios in my classroom. I have considered online folders as a start or digital folders as a placeholder until they are old enough to get an ePortfolio built, but I just know there is a better way to get this implemented successfully. I know of the simple variations of this like Seesaw, but I have seen how much my own ePortfolio has benefited me and do not think a watered-down version would do any justice. I look at my students daily and see how much they give me when I give them rigorous work. They do their best to work through the difficulty and find so much joy once their success is met. Their love of learning drives them to work past the hard and crave the struggle. With this being said, I do believe they are capable of more than I even give them credit for, and I believe there is a way to create a true ePortfolio without “them being in kindergarten” hindering that.
The way that I have promoted my innovation project has been through word of mouth and social media. I have a class Facebook page and post weekly of the different activities that the students have been allowed to participate in. I encourage my learners to go home and tell someone about their day. My goal is that the more it is talked about, the more people will want to know more about it and want to help implement it across the district.
I have said this to multiple people by this point, but the one thing I would do differently is I would have dove in deeper, sooner.
I wish I wouldn’t have been so hesitant at the beginning with what might happen or what could happen and I wish I would have gone for it all.