Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Preparing for the first week

We are approximately one month away from school starting again. I'll have trainings again the week before students arrive and then it's back in the school zone. I've been pinning on my teacher board and am overwhelmed by great ideas to make my fifth year in fifth grade my best yet.  By best, these are my goals:

1. Work smarter, not harder.  I want to leave work at a reasonable time at least twice a week.  Wednesdays for body combat at the gym and Friday because, well, it's Friday.  I want to take less work home and work on the whole work-life balance.  This doesn't mean I will slack as a teacher. It means I will make time for more joy in my life, thus translating to being happier in the classroom and my room being a more positive place.

2. Be more organized and return papers in a timely manner. I want to work on being better at giving specific, meaningful feedback.  To help, I made these:

 This will be attached to a plastic tub by my door or desk.  

My desk tends to get a little messy and by using this system, students can put things for me inside when they enter the classroom (and then the notes won't get lost in their desks).  

This will be attached to a plastic crate and I will use file folders to divide by students' names. 

 Naturally, the plastic crate will also be pink and was on sale at Target!

3. Being more flexible with small groups, especially with writing.  

I tried to write my first week lesson plans but was having difficulty figuring out which read alouds to do on which days and the best sequence for introducing procedures, setting norms, etc.  I don't really want to start the year off with "sit and get" talking. I want students to be involved in the norm setting (or at least feel like they're involved, since I plan to reuse the norms sheets we made last year).  I know I will revise these plans more than once between now and August, but it feels nice to be a little bit productive.  Even if it's just being on pinterest and calling it research!

Happy start of the school year!

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