Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School Chaos

So apparently I don't have a class schedule and I'm making it myself 3 days before school starts. Yesterday the staff was told they were using our schedules as a master to make copies to give parents at our back to school picnic on Sunday. This was all fine and dandy, until 2 of us discovered we don't have a schedule at all. It doesn't appear to have been made along with the others. The one part that was created was PE and somehow I had PE twice a day, every day, which seemed a little silly. I worked with the PE teacher and we got it all sorted out and we're down to one PE at a really good time.

So tonight my homework is to edit my schedule from last year to make it work for the new PE time. Plus add in "scheduled break" time because we had parent complaints about being too academic (which I find kind of funny, but I'm not going to complain about a break that means 15 minutes less of academics I have to prep for 3 grade levels). The nerve of me using school time for learning instead of playing... So now I'm going to do "brain breaks" every afternoon for 15 minutes. Any ideas?? Do you have a favorite "brain break" activity?? This break will be greatly appreciated during the 2 1/2 hour block in the afternoon which didn't have a break before (I used to sneak my kids outside anyway most of the time for a few minutes). It really shouldn't take too long to fix the schedule, but it's frustrating that it wasn't made.

My other homework for the night is to figure out how on earth I'm going to give 3 levels of testing at the same time, in the same room. We have these great assessments that are a nice set of pre- and post-testing to measure growth over the course of the school year. It really helps us measure the kids academic skills in the beginning of the year for reading and math groupings. Then at the end of the year we can test them again to see how much they retained and "grew" during the year. This works out really easy for all the teachers...except me. I am the only one with 3 grade levels to test, and the lower grade tests often have to be read to the students because obviously my kindergarten kids can't read yet. Since I don't have 3 heads, this is not an easy task! The high school resource specialist offered to try to help if she has a free period in the mornings. I'm going to look over all the directions and see which parts I just need to give directions, and which tests I need to read every question. Then I can schedule a plan of testing attack. This includes lots of sticky notes! And a priority list for which tests I really would love an extra person to help with if at all possible. If I can't get a helper, it looks like my kids will take turns on Starfall.com and really quiet centers activities while I test.

My couch is evidence of beginning of the year chaos:
-3 teacher's manuals for curriculum
-6 teacher's manuals for testing (1 reading and 1 math for 3 grade levels)
-scraps of laminating sheets/paper
-sticky notes...lots of sticky notes!

Ok... off to work I go! At least I'm on my comfy couch with relaxing Spotify music!
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