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Five Weeks

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I don’t want to be one of those teachers who counts the days until summer.  Alas, I am anyway.

Well, I’m not counting DAYS, yet, but I’m fully aware of how many weeks are left.  Part of that is because I’m trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing for the last five weeks of school.  Will I have time to do this or that?  Will I have to stretch stuff or cram stuff?  Can I keep the students’ attention with this topic when it’s May and I know they are counting days (not weeks)?  Next week is state testing, so I won’t have my 8th graders for two days.  I’ll spend the last three days of the week wrapping up To Kill a Mockingbird.  My 7th graders finished The Giver today — they had some lively discussion about the ambiguous ending — and I think I can stretch another week of follow-up activities from that book.

And then what?  Well, for 8th grade, we’ll read The Diary of Anne Frank, and both grades need to do persuasive speeches.  But other that that, I’ve no idea.

I have been thinking about next year, though, and ways I can collaborate with social studies and science.  Happily, both of those teachers are really excited to do the same.  I’m cleaning out cabinets and figuring out what stuff in there I really need or might use, and what can be discarded.  I’ve given away a ton of novels that were on too high or too low a reading level.  (Other teachers snatched them up.)  I’m looking through lots of resources, too — some of which are completely outdated (an MLA style guide from the early 90’s, a record album entitled “English Pronunciation Through the Ages” or something like that) or simply not useful to me (teacher’s editions of textbooks for which I have no student editions, a handwriting manual).  And then I need to sort and organize the things I’m keeping.

So, in general, I’m thinking about a lot of stuff, and kind of nesting as well.

I just need to be sure that I’m not thinking just of next year, but also of finishing this year well.


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

2 responses »

  1. I think it’s a fabulous idea to coordinate with the social studies and science teachers! What kind of history do they study in 7th and 8th grade there? What topics are they covering in science? It’s enough to get the creative juices flowing, to think about how to tie in good books and writing to these other disciplines!

    • Eighth grade social studies is US history from the Revolution to the Civil War. Seventh grade social studies covers the Eastern Hemisphere, I think. Science I’m not so sure about, though I know that 7th graders study energy. When I was in school, 7th grade was life science and 8th grade was physical science, but I don’t think they do it that way anymore.


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