Use Your (Summer)Time Wisely

Monthly Mondays with Meghan

Summer: the time for a little R&R, vacation, and, if you are like me, GETTING AHEAD!

Thus, here is a little “To-Do” list (including both ideas and resources) that we can use to prepare for next year!

  1. Familiarize yourself with any additions or changes to your curriculum and end of year assessments. If possible, TAKE THE ASSESSMENT YOURSELF. This guarantees that any materials you create align to the end goal and give you accurate data that indicates which students are on-track toward reaching the goal and which students need additional support. (PARCC Practice Tests, Smarter Balanced Practice Tests)
  2. Edcite-itize your current curriculum:  This is what I will spend MUCH of my summer doing. I currently have a word document containing the lesson materials for each day of the school year. I am working to turn each of these into Edcite assignments. (Ex: HERE is the original lesson in word document form. HERE is the assignment now that I have Edcite-itized it!)
  3. ReadWorks: Free to register!! AND they are consistently updating their bank of fiction and nonfiction passages. Download the passage onto your computer and then use it to create an Edcite assignment!
  4. iXL: You need a subscription in order to access the full program. However, you are still able to access MANY practice problems without a subscription!! Also, because this is a computer-based program – it gives additional ideas for creating strong Edcite assignments for your class!!
  5. Engage NY: THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES HERE! WOW! I have only gone through 2 modules. It would be possible to create a year’s worth of assignments simply with utilizing the FREE resources Engage NY offers. You can view either as a word document or a pdf, download the answer key, and Edcite-itize away!!
  6. BULK UP YOUR RESOURCES!
    1. I have posted on random websites/blogs/etc and had teachers who are retiring offer to donate books, whiteboards, projector screens, etc.  One of our teachers wanted to do a hot air balloon theme – she posted her idea on a hot air balloon forum – had an old basket and balloon donated and used it as her reading corner!!  We posted on a skydiver’s forum to get old parachutes donated for our use in our elementary P.E. classes!  The ideas here are endless!
    2. Donorschoose — always a great way to gather additional resources!
    3. Thrift Shops — Because it is the end of the school year, many people are donating books, book bags, belts, etc. to the local thrift shops.  THIS MEANS IT IS A TEACHER’S PRIME SHOPPING TIME!!
    4. First Book — Free to register and books are up to 80 & 90% off retail price!
    5. Ebay — It can be easy to forget about, but there are consistently great deals here on calculators, protractors, science lab equipment, books, personal white boards.  Often you can get free shipping as well!
    6. Scholastic Fair — Find out if and when there is a local fair near you.  School supplies at great discounts!!

Use the extra time wisely: gather useful resources and get ahead with curriculum planning, but make sure to take time for yourself as well — you deserve it!!!

 Thank you to Meghan Gieg for all of your great Monthly Monday Posts this school year. Have a fabulous summer! 🙂

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