Actually, I met with my principal early in July to discuss some things because I simply would not be able to relax this summer if they were still on my mind. He told me I needed to take a break and to stop thinking about Geometry for a few weeks. Instead of working on finishing the changes, I threw myself into creating new products for Teachers Pay Teachers, starting a YouTube channel, and improving my blog. I have not gone back to making changes since. As I write this, I have one last unit of Geometry to fix, and all of my General Geometry course to fix. I think this will easily be done within a week because of the notes I have to guide me.
If I'm correct, I was inspired by similar work that misscalcul8 did. (I know I got it from somewhere.) I believe she even recommended completing the task in Google Sheets, which is what I did. Last year, I used an Excel Spreadsheet, which was good, but Google Sheets worked out better for me. As I'm teaching, I usually have an Internet browser open, and I could easily keep Google Sheets open and that would remind me to take notes throughout the day. Even as I was delivering my lessons, I would start thinking about the changes I would need make to note of in my lesson reflection.
As teachers, we are constantly reflecting and making notes to ourselves about the things we want to change or improve. I like this method of documenting those thoughts.
How I Set Up my Sheets:
- Every course I teach has its own sheet.
- The first row are all of the units for the course. I widened the column for each unit.
- The first column is numbered for the different topics in the unit. This numbering generally corresponds to how I save my files.
- I formatted each cell to keep the text in the upper left corner, and to wrap the text.
Once the sheets were set up, I was ready to start reflecting on my lessons. I typed out the title of each topic in bold, and then started typing my reflection of the lesson. If there was an additional day for the topic, I would write in bold "Day 2" and then type the reflection of the second day's activity.
Here is what my lesson reflections now look like:
At the end of the year, I read though everything I wrote and color-coded the text. Anything I need to add is in pink, anything I need to remove is in purple, and anything I need to change is in green. This has helped guide and focus me to knowing exactly what changes I need to make and where. In short, it has been a game-changer in my summer back-to-school preparations.
My goal for this up-coming school year is to remember to refer back to this document before I teach topics for the reminders and tips I wrote to myself. And, of course, I will be making a whole new set of lesson reflections for the new school year.
How do you keep track of your lesson reflections?