Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Return

The end is near...the end of my maternity leave, that is! I'm back after the winter holidays after being on mat leave with my second daughter since October 2015. I'm so blessed to have been able to spend 14 months with my two turkeys but I'm also looking forward to being back in the classroom.

Lists help keep me organized so I'm using this post as a way for me to track my progress over the next few weeks. I so need to be organized! Here's what I'm doing to get ready:

1. Meet with my LTO (long-term occasional teacher)
How awesome is it that the teacher who did half of my mat leave with my first baby also covered my mat leave the second time around?!? We spent two periods chatting about what curriculum areas he's covered already, kids for me to know about, and routines that have been working well for him. 

2. Fill in my timetable and set up my daybook
I've used the same timetable blackline master my whole teaching career. I could use the one given to me by the school but I like the nostalgia of using my original. It wasn't designed by me so I can't share it but here is a link to my daybook. I developed this style of daybook a few years ago when I started only teaching Music. I find it saves paper and also keeps me accountable in terms of planning three-part lessons with learning goals.


3. Plan my first week
Starting with the Grade 8s and working backwards I have been reviewing my first week lessons from the September start to school as well as my January start a few years ago. I'll do a few more posts with what I've done once I've tried them out in the classroom. 

Each lesson starts out the same - I introduce myself and share some pictures of my adorable family. We discuss procedures such as lining up, learning goals, team leaders, and the signal I use to get their attention. I'm also having the students (except the 2s and 3s) write their own names on popsicle sticks to save me hours of time. Check out this post on my Pick-a-Stick strategy.

Most classes will have a "Show what you know" lesson where they will work in their music teams to perform something for me that highlights what they have learned over the past few months. Diagnostic tests based on rhythm and note naming will also be conducted. 

4. Deal with my stuff
I will need to get in to my crawlspace and see what I have stored away. Then I will make a trip back to school and move in a bunch of things and get some photocopying done for my first day back!

I'm feeling good about this and am excited to get back to blogging!

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