Summer Planning Made Easy: All You Need to Prepare for a New School Year
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
We all know we shouldn't be planning in the summer and that we should be resting, but the reality of it is, many of us have no choice. We are often switching grade levels or are tasked with revamping curriculum. It can be super challenging to change things up, but it can be much easier with lots of my tips!
Check out all my blog posts that will help prepare you for a new school year.
All That You'll Need to Prepare
6TH GRADE PACING GUIDE
Here, I outline all the units I do with my 6th grade classes. I also discuss what my daily routine looks like, because it's super important to have a routine!
MY FIRST YEAR IN 7TH GRADE
This was my first year teaching a 7th grade section. I still have a lot of room to grow, but read about what I did. I think it went pretty well!
It's important to have a document with your expectations and grading system. This way, if a parent or student wants to contest something, this will cover you!
Conferencing in middle school is just as important as it is in elementary. It does NOT need to be super involved. This post will explain how I do it.
I don't create my plans based on standards. I don't make standalone lessons. All revolve around genres and units. This explains the importance of why to plan that way.
CHANGING UP BOOKS
I don't think I've ever taught exactly the same way each year. I definitely repeat a LOT, but what I teach now is 100% different from 15 years ago.
STARTING THE YEAR OFF RIGHT
I always see people asking about what to do the first week of school. I don't do anything super academic...read about what I do.
I don't do whole class novels. I only use them as mentor texts. I base my whole curriculum on choice books. It's important to give students autonomy in their reading.
40 BOOK CHALLENGE
This is a fairly well-known challenge. It is not a graded assessment in my classroom. It's a goal, though. I have multiple ways to approach it in my classroom.
I don't give tests. Ever. My reading program is strictly workshop-based. Many say, "how can you assess students if you don't read the books they are reading?" You can!
CHANGE IT UP
I know a teacher who has been teaching The Outsiders for 20 years. The same thing every. single. year. It's so important to progress with the times and change things up. Read about how I do it.
I would say this is one of my strengths (these past two years have really tested me, though!). There is no specific system in place. It's about recognizing middle schoolers as humans.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT A THEME!
I don't have a classroom theme. It's not a necessity to a successful learning environment. You can still have a productive classroom without one.
GOING DIGITAL IN ELA
I was digital before covid and still am 90% of the time. It's so much more practical and saves you tons of time!