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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012-2013 Prep: Updated List

August starts tomorrow and I'm energized for school year prep and planning.  I'm revising this earlier list to share with colleagues near and far and to organize my work in the days to come. As teachers know, there is a great deal of work that goes into planning and preparing for the school year ahead--work, when well done, results in optimal student learning, engagement and success.

School Year Planning and Preparation Action List

Update website.  Delete outdated material and update with new pages, links and information.  The goal of the website is to serve as a quick class reference site that parents, students and colleagues can easily refer to during the summer and school year to learn about and interact with the classroom program. (completed)

NING: Our class social media, NING, is up and running and ready for student-family guided social media exchanges this year. Some families have already signed up and are actively involved.  I will work at getting all families to sign on during the first weeks of schools and taking the time to teach children how to use this media effectively.

Communication Protocols and System: I will devise a streamlined, regular communication system for our classroom learning team. I will outline the system on our class website, and introduce the system during Curriculum Night at the start of the school year.

Room Organization: Put aside about 40 hours for room prep--I'm going to give this task extra time this year as I know it makes a significant difference in student learning, engagement and success.

Program Review: I've organized the essential goals and process, the next steps include sharing, discussing and revising this work with the learning team i.e grade level teachers, coaches, curriculum directors and assistants.

Field Trips: It's almost impossible to plan and schedule field trips during the school year so I'll try to do as much of that work as possible during the summer months.  I've pruned this list down and now I have to spend a few hours making phone calls and completing forms to organize my share of this job.

Summer Study: I will center my summer study on learning more about brain-friendly education. I will continue to work away at my reading list and continue my efforts related to Hattie's Visible Learning for Teachers #educoach chat.

iPad Exploration: I continue to not find the time for iPad exploration since I utilize the computer mainly for composing and I like the quick access to multiple windows, the keyboard and the many other tools the computer has that the iPad doesn't.  I will set up a schedule for iPad exploration with students in the fall, and let that exploration continue with student learning. Also one of my new colleagues is an iPad aficionado, so I'll learn from her.

Schedules: Once schedules are shared with staff, I'll create a draft schedule plan for the class to make sure I include all program objectives.  Then I'll work with the many specialists and assistants that work with my class and students to make sure we make time for all targeted instruction. I'll add the schedule to the website as soon it is available so students and families will know what to expect.

 Program review and collaboration with colleagues: During the first days of school, we'll meet as a learning team, grade level teachers, specialists and leaders, to discuss the following topics:
  • computer share schedule
  • year-long calendar, rotation schedule
  • schedule for special programs i.e. Just Like Me, Plate Tectonics, Immigration Museum, Field Trips.
  • Nuts and Bolts for first six weeks.
  • Materials sort, extra ordering if needed.
  • Parent-student tech mornings.
  • Curriculum Night: agenda, sign-up sheets, parent conference sign-ups.
  • Recess duty schedule.
Establish optimal routines including a birthday routine: I will think through the main routines for the classroom and work with grade-level colleagues to draft a plan, then I'll work with students to finalize a plan for the important patterns for a happy, productive classroom.

Committee Work/Professional Development: I'll have an open ear about the initiatives, professional development and committee work presented during the initial days of the school year.  I'll choose a few areas to commit to, areas where I feel I  have something to both learn and offer.  I also plan to use my student teaching voucher for a local University math course. 

First Six Weeks Curriculum Preparation: I'll also begin to prep and plan materials for the first six weeks of school lessons including the following:

What have I missed?  What would you add?  Note that this is a working list I'll modify and enrich as the weeks unfold.