#starringthesixers,  academics,  back to school,  classcraft,  classroom,  sixth grade,  student engagement,  students,  summer,  teacher

Let the Planning Commence!

Okay, yes. I know that we are barely starting our 3rd week of summer and that I should still be enjoying relaxing, kicking back, and basically doing nothing. And I am. But I’m also getting bored with that. I’m ready to start planning for next year. I don’t want to spend hours at my computer every day, typing away at this that and the other. But I want to do a little bit here and a little bit there so that I don’t get overwhelmed come August. 

In case you were wondering (or had any suggestions, comments, critiques), here are the main things I would like to accomplish this summer as far as planning for the school year goes:

First, I want to flesh out and really hammer out my new classroom theme for this year. For the last 5 years of my teaching career (okay, all 5 years of my teaching career), I have had a “Red Carpet” theme in my classroom. I did the whole movie posters on the back wall, ‘Oscar-worthy’ work displayed, literal red carpet hot-glued to the wall…it was pretty cool. But a few of my posters got ripped last year and I just decided it was time for a change. Since I teach Ancient Civilizations and I have already created some videos for my students where I ‘time travel’ to different eras, I decided to go with that theme full-force. I’m even planning to come to school on Day 1 dressed as a time traveler (so I have to figure out what that even looks like) and then have the time traveler go missing, resulting in a year-long hunt across the eras looking for her. In my mind, it will be epic. In reality…who really knows. But this is something I have to get cracking on! 

Secondly, I want to consider switching over to Cornell notes instead of interactive notebooks. I’ve gotten kind of tired of the oodles of time spent cutting, gluing, folding, etc and, with the addition of 1-to-1 Chromebooks last year, our interactive notebooks weren’t even used all that much. After reading through Teacher Mom 101’s awesome blog posts about switching to Cornell notes, I decided to look into it this year and perhaps give it a shot. So I plan to get cracking on that either today or tomorrow. Wish me luck! 

Third, I really want to plan some kick-butt activities/lessons for the first week of school. This is the first year where we’ve actually had a full week of school that first week. Typically, the kids come on a Wednesday or a Tuesday. But not this year. Nope, they’re coming on a Monday. Woo-hoo! I really want to try and move away from the boring procedures PowerPoint and do something different, more hands-on. I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet (other than my super awesome time traveler mystery activity and I don’t even really know what that looks like) but that’s what the summer is for! 

Fourth, I want to create some more Classcraft Quests. I didn’t have a lot of time during the year last year to create more than 1 of these but I hope to use the time during the summer to get more done. The kids really liked these quests and they’re a great technology tool. Plus, they’re fun! I need to get busy with simply setting up my new classes on Classcraft and whatnot so I’ll just do this in the meantime! 

And there you have it. Those are the main things I want/need to accomplish this summer. I’d also like to read the gigantic stack of books I currently have checked out from the library, finish Timeless (which I will probably do this week), watch a lot of movies, get in shape, be a better blogger, and spend time at the animal shelter. There’s plenty of time for all that, right?

What about you? What are some of your goals for this summer? Are you someone who plans during June and July or are you someone who refuses to even think the word school until that first teacher workday? I’d love to hear about it! Sound off in the comments.

For now…that’s a wrap!