This year's back to school prep looks different than normal. If it were a normal school year, I would be spending the last week of summer laminating everything within sight. I would be spending as much time as possible in my classroom. Not this year.
Oh, I've got plenty to do. But, I've been waiting to find out for sure what I'm teaching this year before I do too much prep. And, I only found out my teaching schedule yesterday. This year I will be teaching 4 hours of Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, 1 hour of Statistics (non-AP), and 1 hour of Algebra 2 (on-level).
Today's big accomplishment was printing my lesson plan book for the year. This has been on my list for awhile, but I didn't want to press print until I actually saw the master schedule. And, I'm glad I waited since the Algebra 2 class was a bit of a surprise. I'm not too worried since it's a class I've taught the previous two years. Though, the strange circumstances of teaching in a pandemic means it will be like starting from scratch this year. I hope to do a bit of tweaking to my lesson plan book soon to make a shareable version in case anyone wants to print a copy for themselves. Be on the lookout for a future post about my lesson plan book!
What else have I been accomplishing lately regarding school?
I've decided I want to continue my puzzle of the week tradition. I'll be switching out my traditional magnetic puzzles with pieces to manipulate with puzzles that can be solved using your brain/pencil and paper. Since I have some students who will be in my classroom for the third year in a row, I want to remind them that the puzzle corner is a bit different now thanks to COVID restrictions. I'll be cutting apart these no touching signs, laminating them, and hanging them up. One is for the puzzle corner. I'm not sure where I'll use the other 3. Maybe my dry erase boards which have been used by students in the past???
Our bell schedule is changing this year since we have a traditional day bell schedule and a distance learning day bell schedule. I typed up the bell schedule in a nice font and printed a few copies on orange card stock.
I've been doing a bit of back to school shopping. I decided to trade in my traditional teacher tote bag from the last couple of years for a backpack. It will be interesting to see how I like it.
I also picked up a couple of new water bottles at Tuesday Morning while I was waiting on my new glasses to be ready at the eye doctor earlier this week. In the past, I've used plastic cups with straws that stick out the top to drink from in my classroom. The thought of COVID-19 flying through the air of my classroom has me too nervous to drink from a straw that has been exposed to classroom air all day long. So, I picked up these bottles which have a cover for the drinking spout which can be easily opened/closed without touching the spout. I never thought I would have so many crazy paranoid thoughts floating through my head while standing in the drink bottle aisle...
I do know that I need to make a real effort to stay hydrated this year. I find that I don't drink nearly enough when I am wearing a mask.
It's kinda hard to tell, but I had to turn my supply drawers in my classroom around so students can't access my class sets of markers, glue, scissors, rulers, calculators, etc. We are not allowed to share any supplies this year, but I don't exactly have a place to put all my large supply drawers. So I'm hoping that turning them around does the trick. Maybe I will cover the backs of the drawers with paper so students can't see the contents. Hmmm...
I also did some classroom decluttering and got ride of 5 chairs and two tables from my classroom. We have to have assigned seats this year, so I can't have students grabbing an extra chair and pulling it up to work with a group or set at the puzzle table. It's definitely going to be a strange year. But I'm excited to get to teach again. I haven't taught a proper math lesson since March, and I miss it dearly.