Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Preparing for the New School Year and my MANY thoughts!

I start with the kiddies on Monday.  I've been reading all these BTS posts and seeing how a lot of you have to buy your kids supplies!  I am not sure where you teach but I was surprised.  I thought the kids bought their supplies, at least, ours do, except the composition notebooks, folders, pencils, and paper, but our county allocates money for our school to divvy out to the teams to purchase those materials.  I would love to know where you teach, how your district works in terms of buying needed student materials, and how you feel about it, and if there is anything to be done about it.

My second thought is about my vision for my year.  I usually start every year out with a vision of how I want my year to go, the feel I want it to have, ways I am going to accomplish that, and things I need to improve in my teaching and in my logistical manner.  I've learned that without organization and thoughtful planning my year usually goes down the toilet and pretty quickly because I end of winging it day to day.  I hate that feeling.  And as you all know, planning takes time, getting the materials organized takes more time, and delivering engaging lessons just doesn't happen without it.

So here are my goals:
1.  Meet DAILY with every group in reading and math! (sometimes I was only able to meet with one or two a day and the others 2/3 times in the week)
2.  Stay on top of my grading, and not let it pile up! (plan my assessments better; with this new curr. assessments could be anything so I was grading anything and everything and became bogged down)
3.  Give feedback to assignments quicker.  (I am great at feedback when it comes to my observations but those longer writing assignments and projects that go with them, not so much)
4.  Figure out how I am going to do silent independent reading every day in my packed schedule.
5.  Make Science and Social Studies more fun.  (It is already fun material, but I have 20 minutes to do it, that's it!)

BIG GOAL!! Figure out how to make composting happen at my school.  If you have a composting program at your school, or some other kind of GREEN project, hit me up.  I'd love to know how your school does it.

I had a friend of mine come into my room today looking for help.  She needed a plan to organize her room because the sheer amount of things she thought she had to get done was overwhelming her.  And I know that feeling.

So this is how I helped...

1.  Visualize your room
2.  Start from your door and work clockwise listing all the things you need to get done
3.  List the days you have to do them in, so today is Tuesday, so she had today until Friday
4.  Thinking about how much time she had in each day to get it done we divvied up the items so by Friday she was all done.

At the end of the process, she didn't feel as overwhelmed and saw she didn't have as much she needed to get done as she thought.

The trick is, do one item at a time, and cross it off before you move to the next item.  And add-ons need to wait til all other items of the day are complete.

I was going to create a cute To Do worksheet for you, but something occurred to me when I was in the shower, which is where all my good ideas pop into my head, that or my car.  You can use a loose leaf piece of paper, or a page in your notebook, which I am sure you have.

I don't say that to be mean, or judgmental of those that like cute to do papers (I like them too) but you are just going to write on it, and then toss it when done, so why waste the ink and energy to make it.

Onto another thought that came into my head...I am not going to sell anything I make.  It is ALL GOING TO BE FREE!!  Once I do figure out how to do all those cool things, and use them, I am going to just let you have them.  You know why?

In my county, we use Outlook, and we have this shared folder that all the teachers in the county per grade can post to.  One of those shared folders is named Elementary Roll-Out and it is meant for all grade ___ to post and share ideas and attach (Powerpoint Presentations, Flipscharts, videos, worksheets, WHATEVER).  This one woman, whom I've never met, posts the best stuff, and she is always happy to share.  It is always useful, and I plan on sending her a care package.  Because of Kimberly, I plan on just sharing.

And if you also want to do that, great and here is a Facebook page that also gives out freebies!

1 comment:

  1. I bet your friend really appreciated your help! So sweet! That's my problem with the list...I move on to other things before I complete the first project! I teach in Central Florida and I buy many of my students' school supplies because I like to get them when they're on sale and I want them labeled and in their desks before school starts. :) I also like folders all the same color for a quick management tool and those usually have resources stuffed in them too. I work at a Title 1 school so many of our kids don't come with supplies. I don't mind-it makes them happy and in the long run makes my job easier.
    Head Over Heels For Teaching