Red shoes next to happy new year 2015 written in chalk
Inside the Classroom

Closing out the Semester Positively

One of the pieces to closing out the semester positively is finding time to recognize all accomplishments, big and small. It’s important for teachers to acknowledge growth in the classroom as well as school-wide growth. Take the time to recognize the achievements of individual staff and students. While we work hard planning the next semester, we should also be looking back and reflecting on where the class as a whole started, and how far it has come. Finding ways to encourage continued success and planning moments to celebrate helps everyone recognize the dedication each student has shown leading up to their anticipated break.

Clean up

Oftentimes, we customize our students’ learning by making modifications and accommodating their learning needs. When using an online curriculum, it is important to keep the data as “clean” as possible. Just as any classroom teacher would organize their filing cabinet by removing old students and coursework from it, an online database must be cleared and cleaned up. Any courses that have been created should be removed from the list if they are no longer needed, and students who have moved on after the semester’s end should also be removed. Making these adjustments can help in making search options much quicker and eliminate confusion when looking for student information or enrolling students in future coursework.

Reevaluate

When we think about the end of a semester, we often know that planning for the future is the next piece to firming up this part of the school year. It’s always important to take time to look at many forms of data to have a better understanding of what’s working in our classroom and what isn’t. Looking into the structure of the classroom is very important. Sometimes students need a change in seating, or perhaps a new routine when entering the classroom. Making simple changes like these can be highly effective and serve as positive reinforcement in any learning environment.

About the Author

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Jessica Mansfield

Jessica Mansfield has nearly a decade of experience in education. As an elementary school teacher, she gained experience in all content areas including SPED/Inclusion, and received greater insight into the needs of all students. She then took on a role as an implementation coach for Scholastic and worked with teachers and district officials to create successful models for intervention in mathematics. Later, Jessica began traveling across the United States building effective systems of support nationwide within a blended learning setting. While working with Edgenuity, her passion for changing the world of education elevated. As a Professional Development Consultant, she worked to improve education student by student, one teacher at a time, by way of finding new and innovative ways to combine teacher expertise with online curriculum.