My mind can't wrap itself around the fact that school starts in less than two weeks. I've been spending the better part of my summer planning for the two months I'll be working. When I'm running, I'm running my "welcome back speech" through my head. When I'm on vacation, I'm devising ways to make my labs meaningful and exciting for my students. I'm constantly working, and thinking about work, and yet I still don't feel prepared for the first day of school. I guess I won't feel fully prepared until I'm in the school, in my classroom, implementing my lessons to my students.
I said before, I have been doing an inordinate amount of prep this summer (although I have heard you could never do enough planning), and one thing I have noticed is that there is a multitude of information on teaching online, yet little way to organize it. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can see how much I have pinned to my Teacher's Toolbox and For the Classroom boards. This is the main way I have been able to organize all of the material I have found online. I may not read through everything as I find it, but I know where it is when I want to go back to it. With a quick glance, I can peruse through my toolbox for lesson ideas, management strategies, and other classroom activities. I would highly recommend using this method to organize your life; I think it's safe to say Pinterest is one of the best sites to have come around in years.
I've also found this blog incredibly helpful when it comes to creative lesson planning and, well, anything! Rachel Lynette has tons of worksheets, lesson ideas, and resources that align with common core standards. It's the perfect resource for any elementary teacher. Unfortunately, I'll be teaching 7th grade in the fall, but I have been saving these resources to my hand Pinterest board should I find myself in an elementary class in the future. I've recently been grabbing worksheets and resources from Laura Candler as well, and would definitely consider buying her books if I ever have to teach the reading workshop. She has a lot of great resources and tips, and many of her materials can be modified for middle school students.
One problem I often find when planning lessons is that I have the perfect worksheet in mind to go along with it, and then I spend a couple hours making one up. I wish there was a site with blank worksheets that I could pull from (especially concept maps). Sometimes I'll find the perfect worksheet, but it's in PDF version and I can't edit the template to fit my needs. I have found this site incredibly helpful, and am often downloading the free science resources. Yet I wish there was a better place for me to find the templates I need to create my own worksheets quickly and efficiently. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)
In other news, both my mother and father had a birthday this August. We celebrated my mother's birthday with this angel food cake roll, which was well received by everyone. I would highly recommend making it for your Labor Day party! We celebrated my dad's birthday with a special pasta and fish dish, which I will post sometime next week when I can get the pictures off of my camera. See, my camera won't connect for the computer, so the only way I can get my pictures off of my camera is to insert my SIM card into my dad's laptop, which he took with him to Pennsylvania. You know what else he took with him to Pennsylvania? This cupcake. Which he ate without me. But, I did receive a picture.
It's going to be a pretty crazy week next week as I begin to finalize my plans for the first few days of school. Any tips other than establishing consistent and firm procedures would be greatly appreciated :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!