Spring means your last chance to obtain data to inform your teaching.

We’re almost there…it’s nearly time for summer break! You’ve made it and this year that’s no small feat. There’s so much to be proud of – so much to reflect on.

One of the things I love about teaching is that you can reinvent your class every year. Nothing has to be stagnant. Spring is the time when we start to think about what we would like to change or modify for next year. While we are exhausted, it can sometimes be uplifting to think about changes that could make our classes more effective or more manageable. Every year for the last 18 years I had some summer project to research for implementation in the fall.

Maybe we want to change the decor or setup of our rooms. Or try out a new grading system. Perhaps its new technology we would like to learn how to use. Next year could be the year to start interactive notebooks. We could even take on a big change like flipping our classrooms. Spring is the time to think about it.

What’s special about these last weeks is that we still have an opportunity to gather student input. A simple paper questionnaire, google form or survey monkey could give us incredible insight into how our students feel about these changes, or even the changes they would suggest. Plus, kids love to give their input!! They would love to tell you what they think.

Below are some ideas for possible survey topics and questions:

  • Seating Arrangements – ask the kids whether they prefer working in large or small groups – with friends or new people.
  • What was the toughest unit and why?
  • Communication – what could I have done better to keep you informed about how you were doing in class? Do you feel that you were aware of your progress?
  • Homework – Did homework help to prepare you for assessments?
  • Grading – Do you have any feedback for me on my grading systems? Did I update and communicate grades well?
  • Student Choice – Were there any missed opportunities to allow students to make more decisions about their learning or how they learn?
  • What do you wish we had done more of?
  • What was your favorite activity and why?
  • Roses and Thorns – a favorite event in this class from this year, and a least favorite
  • What would you change about my class and why?
  • What message would you like to send to next year’s class? (I actually had kids record these one year and showed them to my next class….super cool!)
  • What would you have liked to have done more of in this class?
  • Do you have internet access at home?

You get the idea. Even if you think you know the answers to some of these questions, it can often be interesting to see what students think about these topics. Sometimes kids will even have an idea we’ve never thought of!

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