Making Plans, Part 2

The mountain has a captivating magic which inspires me to stretch my possibilities.

The mountain has a captivating magic which inspires me to stretch my possibilities.


Well, I planned some things for last week, and I would have done them all except I got sick and didn’t do anything but cough and sleep when I could, which wasn’t often since laying down made me cough. Still does, but I’m recovering. So now I have two days left. Next weekend is a 3 day-er, plus a buyback day, so I have to plan for a week, and then will have a little more time to figure out the longer picture. Okay, so having said that, I”ll make another list I think.
1. The seating chart and composition books are definite. Seating is imperative, and composition books seem tidy and manageable. No further thought needed there, other than what exactly will go in the comp books. More on that as I think about it.

2. Poetry unit: I’m excited about this, because there are some great poems in our anthology, as well in the world at large that I can use with the kids. We can do a lot of writing and experimenting in this area and can mix some art in with it. So poetry seems like a good way to begin the second semester.

I read a post on the English Companion ning by a teacher who did an interesting poetry activity. He discovered that you can remove permanent marker ink from desktops with whiteboard cleaner, so he used the desktops as a source of words for student poetry writing. He wrote words, phrases, names, randomly on the desks of the classroom. Then he had kids go around with a pd of paper and write down at least 72 things that caught their eye. From those things they wrote their own poetry. This is such a catchy idea, as long as the board cleaner really does clean the desktops! I wonder if it would give the students tacit permission to do the same thing? I’m so careful to keep my desktops cleaned off so they don’t assume permission to write on them, yet this seems so unboring it might be worth a try. I’m going to experiment with a sharpie and whiteboard cleaner before I try it!

3. Revamping the grammar: Can I find a grammar book or some overhead masters that are engaging, funny, somehow less deadly than McDougall Littel? I need to cover the standards that are indicated for this quarter, but how can I do it in a more palatable manner? Games, stories, activities?

4. Behavior: What sort of behavior management activity can I devise on the fly this weekend? I tried tickets, but didn’t like the drawing for prizes so much. First I had to provide prizes, second it became too commonplace at the school and third, only a very few kids got to win and they did not necessarily include the best behaved kids. What if I gave out tickets, and they could be used to buy something. Like an extra bathroom pass, a no homework pass or a pencil or even a snack, like a granola bar? That would definitely reward the good behavers and the tickets would have value to everyone. I could put a price list on the wall: Bathroom pass 10 tickets, Pencil 15 tickets, etc. I’ll keep working on this. I think it has possibilities.

5. Doing the other, non-classroom work: This includes AVID data, which I plan to finish on Monday come hell or high water. It also includes doing the redesignations and notifying parents of their children’s CELDT scores. It also includes a presentation for the next DELAC meeting, some Writing Project work, AVID recruitment for next year, and a host of things I don’t know about yet. The school related stuff I will have to do during my last period of the day. This is hard because I’m cleaning up after the day, but it is my time for doing this. If I have to stay late, so be it.

6. Last thing, but highly important: Making sure to fit in time for non-work activities. I let this go because I think it only impacts me, or me in a less direct way than not planning for my 60 seventh graders. But it impacts me in a much deeper way than not planning, and I need to keep that in mind. And in my actions!

Okay, enough of plans for now. I haven’t mentioned AVID plans, but they are part of the deal this weekend as well. If anyone who happens to read this has any ideas to contribute to my above six plan categories, please, you are more than welcome to toss out your ideas in a comment. I’ll appreciate it!

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

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