Saturday, September 22, 2012

Keeping Track of It All

By far the most challenging part of the year has been keeping track of all the stuff. Three new buildings, new curriculum, new kids, new principals. I knew I had to pick one area and just deal with it. I started with curriculum by setting up an excel spreadsheet with multiple pages. The first page I created was a brainstorm list of all the lessons I wanted to try with elementary kids, typing them in as fast and furious as I could.

From there I went on to create a page with the elementary portion of our district's published curriculum. This became a scope and sequence and this is where I started using colors to code everything. The post it note colors in every book and lesson plan now match the column headers in the excel file. Extreme? Maybe. Remember...three schools. As I get farther into the year this will help me make sure I'm getting to it all and not repeating. As soon as I finish typing a lesson plan I go into this file and check off which standards were used. Some are obviously used more than once. If I feel that it was more of a focus the second time around, I would replace the old lesson name with the new one.

I set up a tentative plan for the first two weeks of school so I could start writing lesson plans. This weekly planner is very helpful as I'm planning what I need to pack each day for specific buildings. In the trunk of my car I have a carrier for my hanging files. I color coded those by school (different than those in my grade level colors) so I can quickly grab and go from the trunk in the morning.

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