Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Start of School Nuts and Bolts

I've been chopping away at the 2015-2016 school year to-do list. Now it's almost time for vacation. So before I take some days to enjoy family and friends in places near and far (not too far), I want to visualize the beginning days of school.

Team Meeting
The school year will begin in earnest on August 28th when I meet with my grade-level team. We'll spend time solidifying the schedule, writing the early year family letter, completing the curriculum map, creating team logistics, and firming up other details for our new shared model.

School/System Goal Setting and Scheduling
Then on the first day of school, the superintendent and principal will relay the school year goals and vision. I'll spend some time matching the goals and practice I've set to whole school and system objectives.

I'll also make time that day to meet with special educators and other specialists to look over students' IEP's and then schedule services.

Room Set Up
Then it will be time to set up the room. I may do that before, but I know I'm getting new floors (the 30+ year rug will be replaced by new flooring) and it's likely that the floors won't be done until just before the start of school.

Students' First Day
I will coordinate first day plans with my grade-level team, but I imagine the day will look like this:
  • Welcome conversation, greeting, and questions.
  • Establish classroom protocols with students.
  • Practice transitioning from one classroom to the next.
  • Facilitate a STEAM or math lesson that's engaging, one that builds community.
  • Review school rules and protocols. 
  • Homework and newsletter review. 
Our year starts with a two-day week for students which is a nice way to ease the children in after summer vacation.

I know I'll continue to study, reflect, and write, but it's a lot easier to enjoy vacation when the plans are set for post vacation efforts.