I’m noticing my mind begin to turn around, beginning to focus once again on school, and what I might do differently. I think I’ll make a list here, for starters, of things I need to change.
1. Make a seating chart for the new desk arrangement. Hold it firm, changing for my convenience, not theirs. (They like to move to sit by their friends, and I can see the effect of that on their second quarter grades. What was I thinking to allow that to go on for so long?)
2. Give each student one of those little composition books to use for beginning of class warm-ups, be they writing or mini-lessons. I think possibly one would last a quarter, and I could hand them out and pick them up each day. Possibly tell them they will receive a grade at the end of the quarter which will reflect their condition, completeness and attention to detail. (And I’ll keep track of how many and which assignments shoulc be in them. Maybe even check them on Fridays and put stickers in that are worth points. Algo así)
3. I may rearrange the furniture in the room to create more space. They get so squeezed into their rows it feels claustrophobic to me. I also want to move my desk so they are not so likely to sit at it. Stuff disappears.
4. Learn to make iMovies to use to begin units. (take my computer to Barnes & Noble and find an iMovie book. I can’t be as hard as I’m making it.)
5. Make and use a classroom blog or wiki or ‘ning. FIgure out the schedule for giving kids access to it.
6. Figure out a poetry unit. Reading them, writing them, making art about them. Can Susan W. come to class?
7. Find a grammar book that seems more fun/engaging than the McDougal Littel materials, but meets the same standards. I have one saved in my Amazon cart that sounded pretty good. I’m just not sure how deep it goes.
8. Set aside some specified time to plan for the following week, each weekend. Stop trying to wing anything. Use the methods I know and teach others in my own classroom. Duh.
9. Make time for myself every day. Move my body and calm my mind. E.V.E.R.Y. D.A.Y. Punto final.
Okay, that is a good start. I can do all that this week, I think.