Thursday, May 30, 2013

SUMMER: Relax or Regroup?


The kids have left...

The classroom is sort of put away for the year...

You take one last look around and then you walk out your classroom door for 80+ glorious days of summer vacation.

No students...

No grading papers...

No school on the brain...


If that last statement fits you, then you are way ahead of me. I don't think that I EVER stop thinking about how to make my classroom a better place, how to tweak a lesson for next year, what book I need to read over the summer so that I can be a better prepared teacher in a given topic (currently, my assignment next year is that I am teaching writing to 64 student, and all the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade science).

Summer time for me, is a chance to rethink, re-plan, revise, revisit and "re-" just about everything I can think of. I tend to spend a fair amount of time in my classroom over the summer. I like to clean out my filing cabinets, my desk drawers, poster drawers, storage room shelves, and my computer files. (This year our school is getting new computers school wide, so I should be able to carefully select what I add back on. I just backed ALL my files on to a portable hard drive. That way they are backed-up AND I don't have to worry about putting all the files back. YEA!)

After I get my room all cleaned up, I turn my attention to my classroom library. If you haven't had a chance to see it, click HERE to see a post on my classroom. I currently have over 5,000 books that belong to me personally and I provide for students grades 4th-6th grades. I even have parents that will come and borrow books from me. I know it is bragging, but I have books from guided reading level J all the way up to high school. It has been quite the process to maintain and track them. I acquired a library system program that our school no longer used. It took quite some time but all my books are barcoded and in the program. Now I just check the books in and out by name. PERFECTION!

Okay, so that was a detour. Sorry. During the summer, I go through my library and repair damaged books, add the box of books that tends to build up near my desk during that final crazy month of school, and dust the shelves.

Once all THAT is done, I turn to my curriculum. Last year our school started rotations in the upper grades (4-6). That was quite the change and I was scrambling to find materials and lessons. I feel the year went pretty good. This year we are using Scholastic's writing program. I am excited about that. The curve ball this year will be learning 4th grade science from the ground up. I taught 5th grade for a few years and have a lot of materials that I saved. Now I know why I was hoarding those files for 8 years... ha ha. So, I am not too stressed about 5th grade science, and I already teach 6th grade science, so that will be a piece of cake. WAHOO! :)

This summer I am adding a new component as well. I am going to be the host of an on-line book club. If you are interested in joining a few friends and I as we post questions and reflections (of which we would LOVE your input too) then you need to order THIS BOOK:

I know this book say PreK-2, but the link will take you to the 3-5 book, which is the one we are doing!
More info will be coming soon right here on this blog with a schedule for reading and which blogs you will need to visit to participate in the discussion. Let me know if you are interested by leaving a comment below!

As far as relaxing, yes, I do that too! From little league games, traveling to see family and friends, vacation, and summer cinema night hosted in our backyard, there is plenty of time for rest... but school is always on my mind.

Have a great week! Don't miss the Share the Wealth Freebie Linky tomorrow- I encourage you to share up to THREE FREE RESOURCES!

-Mr. Hughes

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Mr. H. :) Your dedication to your students and colleagues is so very much appreciated. Just make sure that you actually do add a good amount of "relaxing" in along with the "revisiting" and "regrouping." :)


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