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Friday, April 01, 2016

Planning for End of Year Complexity

The PARCC tests and fifth grade play rehearsal schedule signal the beginning of the end-of-year complexity. With many special events planned, resources and rooms are shared differently which requires a lot of coordination among multiple parties in a school. Google calendar definitely helps in this regard.

This morning I took a few minutes to look closely at the calendar and plan for these events. What does this include?

PARCC Practice Test
I'll lead my homeroom students through a practice test as described in the test prep materials. This dry run is important to test success and comfort.

PARCC Practice Math Test
I'll lead all students through paper and online practice math tests to familiarize students with the format and give them an opportunity to review all the questions and standards. At one time or another we've reviewed all the standards for this test, so now it's a time to apply that learning for test success.

Complementary Teaching and Learning
To keep a sense of organization, we'll work to compliment big, active, whole class events such as a grade-level play rehearsal with quiet, focused research, writing, and reading.

Room Organization
I need to revisit the STEAM supplies that fill half my room and make space for serious attention to the tests and a number of upcoming presentations. I'll give the room a big makeover someday next week to prepare for this.

Student Supply Check and Clean-Up
It's time to take a first cut at student supply clean-up. Time to clean desks, drawers, and other supply bins.

STEAM Projects
We have a large number of STEAM projects planned, and I want to work with my team to think carefully about how we might use time and staffing creatively to support these projects in the days ahead.

Expert Visitors and Special Events
We have a long list of expert visitors and special events in the weeks ahead. We have to make sure the schedules, spaces, and necessary prep including CORI forms, permission slip/money collection, and other matters are completed to support that.

Fortunately April vacation will give us some time to plan for this with greater attention before the true complexity begins and leads the final eventful days during the last six weeks of school.