Saturday, May 21, 2016

Summer is Here; Now What? - The Importance of a Planned Foundation

Summer has arrived, or at least the end of the school year has.  As usual, this year flew by!  I know I haven't kept up with my blog as I had wanted, but I have a good reason!  Baby girl #2 arrived in mid-December and it has been a whirlwind ever since.

Adapting to life with two kids and being a full time ELA teacher was a challenge, but I got through it due to the planning I did beforehand and along the way. I know I didn't keep up with the blog, but my family is an important part of my life.  Therefore, it was something I let "slide".  You have to decide what is important to you and plan around those things.  I know people rush off to the pool, camps, vacations, and Netflix right as the summer begins.  However, I make sure that I have my ducks in a row for the next school year first.

In true Chameleon-fashion, I am going to be not only changing grade levels, but will be changing to a resource position next year.  In order to get ready for this, I spent time with the teacher who will be leaving getting on the same page about students who are on plans, undergoing evaluations, or need help in general.  My first month in the job will be full of transition meetings, student accommodated testing, and getting up to speed.

To make MY transition easier during any year, I fill out my teacher planner's calendar, put in standards for the year, and try to put together my pacing guide/curriculum map together for the year.  This year, the only pre-planning in that sense that I can do is fill out my calendar (preliminary) and print of the standards for K-8 as those are the grades I will be teaching.

Here's how I got through the last 4 months of pregnancy as a classroom teacher:
1. My calendar
 My calendar and planner were pre-filled in with the important dates for the year. This allowed me to see what was going on each month and week at a glance and I could plan accordingly.
2. Curriculum Map
I have an idea of where I want to be and when.  Teaching the same grade level, I knew from the past years where I "should be".  This is why I used #3...
3. Last year's lesson plans
I always save old lesson plans.  I've referenced them to jog my memory on how I taught certain things and when.  This was especially helpful with the mommy brain fog!
4. Meal Planning
This was a necessity as it saved me time in order to grade, lesson plan, create flipped lessons, etc. I use a few things to help with this. Wildtree has great freezer workshops that I did 2 of (20 meals) before I had the baby.  I still plan on using them along with the Deals to Meals service.  It's 4.95 a month and gives you a shopping list, recipes and what's on sale in your area.

These are just a few of the things that helped me pre-baby, but you might find helpful in general.  I also use my weekly planning sheets and check in monthly on where I am and where we are going.

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