Friday, January 4, 2008

Mission Accomplished, Part ONE

This morning when I got to work and noticed how cluttered and trashy my desk looked, I vowed that I would not leave the building today until it was cleaned off.


Of course I really couldn't get a lot done until after school, so that's why I didn't get home until after 6:30 pm. But it was really worth it.

I don't like to leave on Fridays until my plans are all set for the following week, because you just never know what can happen on a weekend. Usually I get my plans done on Friday afternoons because that's my scheduled planning time. It takes about 3-4 hours to get everything ready for the following week, so I try to start on Wednesday or Thursday during lunchtime. I have to decide which books I'll be using, based on the needs of the students, so it can sometimes take a while to find the right book on the right level. Then I need to read the book, decide on the skills that I will emphasize and then make notes for myself as to what all I want to do with that particular story. After doing that, I have to make copies of the books I'll be using (I can use up to 4 a week, depending on how things go), along with any worksheets or quizzes. With third grade, I also like to create a skill sheet based on the skill they will be emphasizing that week. That doesn't usually take too long unless it's an "offbeat" skill like text structure...or generalizing...or something like that. Once all that stuff is done, I have a plan chart that I fill in for easier reference, and then a lesson plan grid with more detail. Then for each book I do, I create a 4 day lesson, with specifics on what I'll do each day, along with any homework I'll assign.

And that's why it can take 3-4 hours to do my plans and do them right. I used to do them in less than an hour, but they just didn't give enough information so that I could do my job effectively. The way I do them now helps me to be a better teacher. Of course I'm always willing to go off "the beaten path" and "wing it" with anything that comes up during the lesson.

As usual, I'm totally off the topic....I had papers and stuff piled all over my desk and table and I knew that today was the day to take care of it. So I did. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of time, and a little bit of chocolate, but I finally got to the point where I could see my desktop. Then I cleaned it with some spray cleaner and I feel SOOOOOOOO much better about it now!

When I go into work on Monday, I'll have a clean desk to start the week and it will make everything go much smoother!

(It's amazing what certain things can do for my outlook on life!)


Paulie said...

I understand -- that's what I always did when I was teaching.