Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ready to Go Back???

Here it is, just days before returning teachers has to report back to school and I feel like I have little to nothing completed.  I haven't even touched my classroom yet.  The items I have purchased for the upcoming school year are still piled on my horseshoe table waiting to be put in their place.  My desk and shelves, refrigerator, and other furniture (i.e. student desks & chairs) are just piled together on one side of the room.  Oh, how am I going to get this daunting task of having my classroom ready for school, let alone meet the teacher night ... next Thursday!  There is a good reason I am not as prepared as I have been these past 4 years ... see my mom had a procedure earlier in July and I have been temping for her job until she gets to return, which will be July 31st.  Don't get me wrong, making some additional money until I get my first check of the school year is welcoming but, yikes I am going to be rushing to get everything done.  I could be managed if I was allowed to only work in my classroom until then but, of course, there are the back to school staff meetings which take place on Monday & Tuesday.  So, that leaves Wednesday & all of Thursday to get my classroom into some assimilation that I am prepped and ready for the impending school year.

While I have been working I did manage to get two big things checked off my To-Do list.  I was able to get my classroom information packet done as well as my syllabus for the 1st Trimester.  I used a program I learned about from Pinterest called Piktochart to create the information packet.  I turned out really nice and quick to learn and maneuver around.  As you can see by my finished product ... it's eye-catching.
To get it to print in PDF format you have to pay $40/year.  But, with a little ingenuity and knowledge of Microsoft programs I was able to get it to go on 3 sheets of paper, quite nicely.  I just wanted to give students and parents an idea what will be introduced this coming year and what content they will be expected to learn.

I also informed students and parents to the new formats which will be introduced in the curriculum like Google Classroom, Genius Hour, and Hour of Code.  I wanted the parents to know their student will be entering into a content rich school year and how all this information will be learned.

Alongside the creative information packet for the students and parents, I also finished my syllabus for the 1st trimester.  My administrator doesn't require one, or they have yet to mention we need to have one, but what I have learned from my previous school it is a valuable tool to help keep parents and students apprised on what they will be learning and expected to know by the end of the grading period.  Just like posting the schedule is beneficial to the students and to avoid the never ending questions of "What are we doing now?" or "When is this subject over?" or my favorite ones "When is lunch?", "When is school over?".  Having a syllabus for the students allows them to track what they are learning and what they will be learning next, and what will be covered the 1st grading period.  Below is what my syllabus look like which I will have available on Meet the Teacher night as well.

Hopefully, these will help avoid some of the questions and allow me to focus on the curriculum and create a more open line of communication between student & parent, as well as parent & myself.

Here's to the new school year !!!  Good luck to us all!!!

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