Sunday, August 12, 2012

Planning Time and BTS Joke Activity

Jessica at Mrs. Standford's Class is having a combination Linky and Giveaway party! 

This linky about planning is very timely for me.  Last week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday teachers in my district had training to do planning for our new Communication Arts Curriculum.  Our district purchased an online system for storing lessons, and this system is tied the Common Core standards.  While this may be a good idea in theory, it has proven to be upsetting overwhelming because we are having to write every single lesson for every grade level for the entire year.  Here is what part of a sample page looks like:
Really inviting, huh? (NOT)  We have so many questions.  At this point we can not print any of the lessons that we have created, so we're wondering if we'll be running back and forth to our computers to remind ourselves what we're doing throughout the lessons.  Oh - and did I mention that after three days we are planned until the end of September, and have zilch in place for the 8 months after that.  We have no reading series, but are using the workshop model.  Luckily I have some experience under my belt and have a few reading tricks up my sleeve to fall back on.

We also have a revised math curriculum this year, and I am piloting a new science unit for the three third grade classes.  My life as I know it will be over come September 4.

On a lighter note, last year when I sent my welcome back to school letter I asked the students to come with a joke to share.  They copied and illustrated a favorite joke, and read it to the class on the afternoon of the first day.  Then, we used our computer lab time to type up the jokes, added the illustrations, and put them together to create a class book.  It was a favorite read throughout the year!
You can find a copy of the letter and joke template on Scribd here.

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