Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Planning....for a variety

I am working on a multitude of plans this weekend- my first History unit on Confederation, English- a mystery unit, and Health- healthy eating and fitness. This is the first time in 6 years that I have had to start over completely from scratch as far as my lesson and units go. I had been teaching the same Grade 7 subjects, with a little change here and there, for the last 5 years and I was starting to feel like I was a really good history and geography teacher. Now I am re-learning all sorts of history and geography information and to be honest, making it up a little as I go.

When I was a student learning Grade 8 History and Geography I was learning it all in french! It was only my second year in French Immersion and even though the teachers spoke 100% in french to us by no means did I understand 100% of what they were teaching, nor do I remember. (On a side note, I don't think the word "nor" is used often enough. While teaching my students about conjunctions this past week none of them had really even heard of the word nor. Let's bring it back!)

So I find myself re-learning a curriculum I learned many years ago and figuring out the best way to teach it to the iPod generation who is bored almost immediately upon entering the classroom. Seriously, they all have the attention span of a rock! Right now we are simulating Confederation, not that they know that. They have been put into 6 groups and are in charge or running their "country". We've created flags, names and coat of arms- all very well done I might add. I have been very impressed so far. This week an "unknown foreign country 10 times our size is threatening to invade" (yes- the USA) and they will need to decide to unite together to fight this foreign power or stay separate. It's going to be interesting.

On top of all this new learning for me and my students I also have an ISSP cluster for the first time...EVER! Now I am sure many people and thinking, "HUH?". An ISSP cluster is where we group students who have IEP (Individual Education Plans- a learning disability) together in one class so they can better receive support from the ISSP teacher. This means I need to plan and create assignments for students working not only at the Grade 8 level but- Grade 2, Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6. All in one room. So my job is to learn the Grade 8 curriculum, teach it to my class and discover a way to assess Grade 8 information with a student who is working at a Grade 2/4/5/6 level. Fun times.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed and tired, and not a little nervous. I mean this is the last year these students have before they start high school and start making some real decisions that affect their futures. What if I mess it all up?

0 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe