Ready To Go (2013/2014 School Year)

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As the last 20 or so days of the summer (school not regular people’s calender) come to a close, I’ve already begun to go into out with the old and in with the new mode of thinking. I’ve just printed my lesson plans for 2013/2014… Class notes have also been completed for next year – all in Microsoft word format. I had planned to take it easy this summer, and for the most part, I am doing just that. I’ve prepared two major things for next year, lesson plans and class notes. That being said, there are obvious pros as well as some not so obvious cons.

First and foremost, I have a plan as to where I want the students to go according to each quarter. Another pro, I have more time to focus on direct instruction as well as adjustments/enrichment/remediation instead of planning day to day or week to week. The last major pro, and perhaps the best reason that I planned the entire year out ahead of time, it lets me enjoy the students w/o worrying about creating lesson plans under the pressure of grading, other responsibilities, and just day to day life outside of teaching.

There is a con to this mode of thinking, what if my plans aren’t working, engaging, or students aren’t learning what they need to according to the new standards. That all could happen, but starting from scratch would be a lot more time consuming than adjusting. I’ve had a pretty good formula for the past two years, so I’m not too worried about the previously mentioned. That being said, I do know that I have plenty of room for growth. However, growth occurs best when not under pressure 😉

Looking forward to an excellent 2013/2014 school year…

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15 comments on “Ready To Go (2013/2014 School Year)

  1. I read this and shuddered with empathy and excitement at the same time. I use to hate the feeling of impending doom as holidays drew to a close and the back to school adverts flashed before your eyes. Sad because holidays are over but then excitement in the air at beginning a whole new school year. I don’t know many other professions that get that sense of renewal each year ….a real buzz!

    • It is a great part of the job. The summer has given me the time to recharge and plan for next year. I can’t wait for school to start and to get back in the flow of things… Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I, too, am getting ready for the start of a new year. This is from necessity, however. I am changing grade levels–from kindergarten to 2nd/3rd grade combo. Anyone have any usual advice for me on combo classes…….?

  3. If your lessons are already planned, how will you allow for adjustments that must take place due to formative instruction and assessment? How will an “exit slip” on Tuesday affect your already planned Wednesday?

    • Good question… There is always room for remediation, adjustments, reviews, etc when I see there is a need. I try to do tickets out of class every time I give direct instruction to let me know if the students have gained some level of comprehension to what I’ve taught them. When I begin to see a pattern of that not occurring, it lets me know I have to adjust or add some things for the next day. That pattern can be with one student or many students that may need another lesson on the objective or some one on one time.

      Are you suggesting that I should lesson plan on a daily basis instead of planning ahead? I’m not following…

    • Excellent, Barbara…I learned to write lesson plans for the powers that be, but I found the same dilemma that you are talking about re: formative instruction and the ole assessment. Mind you, lesson plans are important and if you don’t plan you don’t get things done and you aren’t pushed. The one thing I have learned is to link subjects together and attach…it is amazing how students realize that there is a purpose for school and what we teachers are teaching them. I was teaching Math and easily went over to Soc. Studies and talking about the pyramids and angles. I, also use this “hook” method. When the kids saw the same learning word in one subject, they would say “hook” in the next subject. You had to be prepared for this b/c I would hear hook everywhere and some they really worked at it being a hook. It was fun and this had them have on their toes! You guys, all of you have a really good year and God Bless You for being teachers!!! Susan (retired teacher)

  4. In a sense, yes. I have known many educators over the years who used the same plans from year to year without adjusting for individual student needs. I utilize a class syllabus with goals for quarters, but daily lessons must be driven by each student’s progress and differentiation. I would find that difficult to plan for an entire year in the summer without knowing my students. Your response, however, does indicate that you are adjusting your lessons as needed. Hope you have a great year!

  5. Wow, that is impressive. How detailed are you plans? I have never been good at planning that far ahead, outside of a general outline of units and items to cover. Do you have all of your daily plans finished??? Good luck to your year. We don’t go back until Sept, so my summer is just starting. Whew!

    • Thanks for stopping by. My plans are pretty detailed, but I leave room for adjustments (remediation or enrichment)… Feel free to check them out here @ https://lablog101.wordpress.com/lesson-plans/

      I’ve found that planning ahead lets me take the students to where they need to be in regards to the 7th Grade Standards that I have been tasked with getting my students to master. We get out pretty early, but the down side to that is we start super early – Aug 1st. I’m looking forward to get back in the swing of things. Hope you enjoy your summer break…

      • Excellent! I also plan the year in advance. That gives me the freedom to adjust and modify as I go, instead of prepping day to day. Have fun this year!

  6. My husbands says: I don’t get it. If you’ve been teaching the same grade for decades, why don’t you just use the same lesson plans each year?

    I have a rough outline for all subjects: I teach 6th grade, but teach EVERYTHING!
    However, the detailed lesson plans are driven by my students. Some years students get hooked on current events and I infuse all my lessons with a sprinkle of those passions. Sometimes the students have behavioral issues that can be addressed through certain stories, articles, or even social studies and math lessons. I let the class and their needs drive my instruction while also covering the Common Core Curriculum.

    It’s exhausting!

    • Dear Teacher, I use to teach 6th grade. I love were you are coming from at changing your lessons depending on your students interests and needs. I, also change things yearly b/c I want the year to be enlightening, challenging, and fun for me. But, the one thing I have learned through all my teaching is to be sure to take time for me. You can’t help anybody if you are not getting other things in your life. Maybe, your husband wants you without the students in any way shape or form, that includes thinking, saying things, like, “That would help little Suze.” Remember, nobody will love your students as you do in the classroom and out of it. Have a great 2013-14 year!

  7. Wow! Early start! I can’t wait until I get to the point where I have things mostly planned and only need to adjust. Good for you!!

    • I knew I was going to have a busy next couple of months with my 1st born coming last Friday. We actually go back Thursday for teacher stuff, and we start August 1st, yiiiikes;) This summer has flown by!

  8. It is great to have a well thought out plan! There are always going to be those “teachable moments” when the best laid plans get set aside. No harm no foul! Some things may sink in slowly and need more time to process, while other objectives may be absorbed more quickly than than you planned. I bet it all evens out by the end of the year. It is, in the end only paper, well, cyber space. You will be able to adjust if need be.
    Congrats on the new baby!

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