This school year has just flown by, I cannot believe it. As always though I look back at the year and am bummed I did not get to everything I wanted to do this year, so many projects were not touched and books not read... but this is normal for any teacher. There never seems to be enough time to complete everything you have envisioned.
At the end of the school year, I gave my kids an exit survey and asked their feedback on procedures, projects, and activities we did during the year. I made sure to make the questions all required through Google Forms so that they could not skip through it. I also had kids rank activities and procedures on a scale of 1-4 (4 being Awesome!)
I read carefully over all of their thoughts and notes they left for me and highlighted ones I wanted to look into more. It was so helpful to get their feedback. I told them to be honest, but if they did or did not like something they had to tell me why and to be descriptive in their answer.
I was so happy to receive great feedback!
Here are the results:
Favorite Activity - Minecraft (of course)
Runner Up - Art activities that went with our core subjects
Least Favorite - Novel Unit writing along with any other type of writing text dependent answers (no surprise there) My kids said they were not as exciting as our other activities... now to figure out how to make it more exciting. :)
Top Awesome Activities/Procedures-
*Makerspace - This area consisted of Legos, K'Nex sets, Play-Doh, 3Doodler pens, and more! The kids were given free time to go back and build!
*Minecraft - A post is coming up on this. :)
*Guardians of Time project - See these two posts for a description: Part 1, Part 2
*Art Boxes - Students shared these art boxes which held art supplies. It worked really well for my class! Students were given the opportunity to sign up and be responsible for these art boxes. I had to have them sign up so I could track who was responsible. I only had half a class set so when it was time to use them the people who had art boxes had to work with a partner who did not have one. Art supplies were kept in a medium pencil box and all the boxes were numbered. Supplies inside the box such as crayons, colored pencils, and markers, were neatly held together with a rubber band. This worked very well and I was able to hold kids accountable for anything broken or missing.
But... here are my favorite notes at the end of the survey when I asked for additional comments:
"No, this was my favorite school year that I have had so far. "
"I love this class and I hope I am in it again. You are the best teacher ever and I hope you have a great summer!"
"This school year was the best school year out of all the other grades and I would really love to be in your class again if you do have a 5th-6th combo again."
"The thing that I would want to tell you is that you were the best teacher I had ever had, and it's not just about the Minecraft, but you ar fun because we can do lots of things, and write stories, dialogues ,projects, and other fun stuff.I really want to be in your class next year because I know that it will be fun with you,I also think that I will be able to finish more of the work than I had this year."
"Everything about this past school year was great because we had a great teacher who gave us fun project that we could do and if you didn't turn something in on time she might even give you some more time if you behave. I have loved everything about this school year it has been the best yet and all of my classmates are helpful care for everyone in the class. The nice thing about having classmates like this is they will help you with any problem you face."
This... these comments... are what matter... they learned something, they're taking away life lessons and problem-solving skills... they learned to work with each other in a group setting, to have compassion and have empathy. My favorite is where the last student above talks about the classroom atmosphere. I work very hard at the beginning to make my class a safe place where students feel safe to fail and ask for help... that statement... lets me know I did my job... These things are things that a standardized test will never show. I am happy to know that my students have built amazing memories in my class and will carry them with them. :)