Monday, July 31, 2017

[Almost] Back to School

It's crazy to think that this is my last real week of summer break. I don't technically begin until August 22nd, but I have a training next Monday and we get access to our schools next week so I will essentially be back to work as of Monday. 

Along with the change to my new school, we are getting three new curriculum programs! (I guess it's a great thing I agreed to stay in third...learning three new curriculum programs for two grades simultaneously sounds pretty awful.) We are switching from Reading Street to Journeys in reading, from (the very old version of) Everyday Math to Go! Math and from FOSS kits (assuming we had any and they were stocked) to the Discovery Education Tech Book.

Years and years ago...like third year I was at Former School, I piloted the tech book and it was awesome. It's different now of course because now it is all aligned with NGSS. Plus my new school is 1:1 iPads so we will be able to do groups and modules and whatnot that I didn't have the ability to do before. I really enjoyed the lessons and activities in that program when I piloted it. I am NOT a science person. I didn't have a single class in undergrad that taught me how to teach science to kids. So I've always just flown by the seat of my pants with it...but the tech book is laid out so well and now that I do have 1:1 devices, it will be awesome because the students will be able to do the simulations and activities right on their devices. I especially liked the program because it was a nice mix of online simulations and paper/pencil explorations. They need to get hands-on when possible.

Next week Monday I have a full day training on the new edition of the Tech Book. I am super excited about it...which is great since I have mentioned I am so not a science person. I'm really stoked to have a science curriculum that will make science more enjoyable to teach and hopefully for my kids to learn.

Next Tuesday I am moving into my new building. We get access on Monday but I'll be at the training all day. The Husband took two hours off on Tuesday so he can help me move in. We are literally going to load up all of my crap stuff into the back of his truck and onto his trailer and haul it all there. With his help and using the trailer, we can get it all moved in one trip, rather than the 20 trips it would take me to move it all in my tiny car. Then he can go to work and I can spend the rest of the day organizing, cleaning and making the room presentable. 

Tuesday is really the only free day I have next week so I plan to be there as long as I can (typically we can be there from 8-4 on non-school days once we have access). My game plan is first of course to get everything moved in. Then I will spend time deciding on furniture arrangement. That's huge for me. I need to decide where I want my class library and my teacher area (this is especially important because I need a space for not only me but also my intern). Once the furniture is arranged, I can move boxes and materials to their respective spaces and then unpack one section at a time (i.e. all library books will be moved over to the library, all teacher desk things will be put by the teacher area, small group materials/supplies will be moved to the small group table). I find when I am systematic like that and tackle one area at a time, I get SO MUCH MORE DONE and it doesn't feel as overwhelming. 

Really if I can just get my furniture arranged to my liking, I'll call Tuesday productive. My new room is VERY long compared to my almost square room I've had previously, so it may be a bit of a job to decide how to arrange everything. Plus, I have no idea what furniture will be left in the room. I plan to set up for 30 even though I am only slated to have 25 (but who knows who has left or enrolled since then, you know?). I'd rather be prepared for extra friends, just in case :)

It would be a super awesome bonus if I arrive and my math and reading curriculum materials are there. I'd like to at least get a peek at what I will be teaching this year. 

In the meantime, this week I am attending a virtual math PD and defending my dissertation proposal (eeek!). So I will be plenty busy this week too. If I play my cards right, I can spend the one day at school next week moving in and getting some things arranged and then spend one more day getting everything how I want it so I can still enjoy some time off before we actually go back. 

I am excited to start this new adventure in a new school. I think it will be just the change I need. 


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