Thursday, June 10, 2010

Writing and Planning

I recently took my Spanish Language Proficiency test and to be honest, I’m trying not to think about it too much. I have a bad habit of worrying myself to death about little things and big things alike and I am trying to make a change for the better. I do, however, think I did fairly well...I get the results back on July 2 so I will provide the fantastic update that is to come!

I’ve been trying to take it easy this week because I have all week training on our Every Day Math curriculum. I am really excited because I know very little about it and I cannot wait to learn more about implementing it in my classroom. Since my posts have been so scarce lately, I am trying to set myself a goal of posting the highlights about it at the end of next week.

This week, I have been reading up on our district’s writing curriculum. There is a teacher’s book in the series called “The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing”. It has given me a lot of insight into what Writer’s Workshop really looks like. One of the things that the district in which I student taught lacked was a Writing curriculum. In 5th grade, we were able to squeeze in about 90 mins of writing in each week…on a good week!! With this curriculum, we have 45-60 mins each day of writing!! I think this is so awesome and truly necessary to developing great writers. I am excited about all I am learning.

In preparing for the upcoming school year, I would like to know what suggestions you all have about using your summer to think/plan/organize for next year. What are priorities for you in the summer, in preparation for the upcoming year? Thanks for sharing!


  1. I think it's good to focus on becoming familiar with the curriculum, creating an overall yearly plan, and getting organizational/management systems in place. If you do that kind of stuff over the summer, you will have a better idea of what needs to get done closer to the start of the year.

    We also had the Lucy Calkins writing curriculum at my school last year. I remember reading it and loving it, yet we had NO time for writing. It was so sad. We tried the best we could to implement mini lessons but a writing workshop needs time and we just couldn't swing it....I wish I had those books for my own. Not sure if my new school will have them or not.

    Good luck with planning!

  2. We use Balanced Literacy/Four Blocks in our district K-5 so we are required to have at least 30 minutes daily of reading, writing, working with words and read aloud/self selected reading. I was floored when I student taught there and had that because the school I had previously been in taught writing "when they had time"!!!! Makes a huge difference when the kids get to write every day.

    I have kiddos of my own so my plan for this summer, since I am moving to a new building and a grade I haven't taught in a few years, is to work on school related items on the days that they do their Summer Bridge workbooks. We made a calendar up for the summer so they get some "free days" and some days where they are working on their review activities. We can all sit at the table, them doing their review and me working on school work. I typically look at my curriculum for science/social studies the closest because a lot of our other curriculum is more or less scripted (like Everyday Math). This year I want to implement a Math workshop and Daily 5/CAFE so I will spend some time planning for those as well.