Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Planning

Do you spend part of your summer preparing for the upcoming school year?

I always have lofty goals for myself that I'll somehow create all these fabulous resources to use... and then summer gets in the way. I'll get in to a good book, or leave for a week to visit family, or get busy working in my yard... and before I know it, it'll be August and I'll be thinking about setting up my room, with nothing school-related to show for the 2 1/2 months I had at home.

I'm trying really hard not to fall into the same rut this summer. Next year, I will be the only fifth grade social studies teacher, which means that I am soley responsible for the curriculm. This is both great and terrifying. It's great because I can pretty much do what I want, when I want, and how I want. It's terrifying for two reasons. One, my state (Ohio) recently implemented new standards in social studies. Two, my district has no textbook/materials that align with the new standards. I loved our old textbook, History Alive, and am still pretty disappointed that only about four of the lessons correlate with our new standards.

Right now it feels like an insurmountable task to create a year's worth of lessons, activities, and resources - but I have to remind myself that I have 2 1/2 months.

Why am I wasting my time blogging about it? Because I know I'm not the only teacher out there in this situation. I find it so frustrating to spend hours scouring the internet for an idea to teach a particular topic, only to come up empty-handed. For some reason, I find this to be a much bigger problem with social studies than with any other subject I've taught.

If anything, I want to have a place to share ideas with other 5th grade social studies teachers, especially those of us in Ohio trying to work through the new standards.

I'm going to try my best to stay focused - especially if it means a more relaxed and calm school year. Bring it on.