Plan for Success For a Happier and Less Stressful Start to the New School Year
How do you do this? Consider and answer the following questions in advance of the school year:
- Look back over the standards appropriate for your grade level and subject matter. Think about those in blocks of instruction that might last for a 30-day cycle (sometimes called a 30-day plan). What related smaller units of instruction could you teach in each week within that 30-day period? How will you assess for each of those instructional periods? Write learning goals for all instructional cycles. And, very importantly, what steps will you take to help those students who don’t perform well on those assessments?
- Think about the physical arrangement of the room as related to the students on your roster. Are there any students who will need to sit closer to you, or away from obvious distractions like windows, doors, and particularly stimulating artifacts? Be thoughtful about limiting extraneous items to only those things that will truly impact learning and enhance your students’ learning experiences. Think carefully about introducing special or “unique” seating arrangements within the first weeks of school (flex balls, snap together tables) until your students are comfortable with your basic routines.
- Think about (and create drafts of) basic routines and expectations that you will implement from “Day 1”. You may want to have older students suggest ideas and validate with you that they can live with and abide by them.
Dr. Diane Kelley, TeacherReady®