We went back to school this week which means I have been overwhelmingly busy. Our district redistricted which resulted in my school, previously grades 4-6, becoming a sixth grade-only school. This was a first for the district, so teachers, parents, and students were in complete chaos! The first day was definitely tough, but the second day calmed down. Hopefully, next week it will all even out and we can begin teaching.
This year I will have approximately 100 students. I’m already a little overwhelmed by the prospect of grading that much. But I’ve been working out a new schedule and think I have a few ideas. If any of you also teach language arts for 50 minute periods (4-5 periods/day), please let me know if you have any advice!
I will be teaching language arts to 4 classes each day for 50 minutes at a time. Until this year I had almost 2 hours to teach language arts daily so this is a huge change. I’m still angry about losing my time (and feel like it is so unfair to my students) but I am committed to doing the absolute best I can for them. I’m planning to teach reading for 3 days and writing for the next 3 days, alternating all year long. This will allow me to continue teaching with reading and writing workshop. I also plan to have two classes doing reading while the other two are doing writing, hopefully allowing me to spread out the grading a bit. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this year’s class will not get the scope and depth of instruction that previous classes have received. However, I will continue with my read-alouds daily and booktalking. I already do very few whole-class novels and I will continue with those. But the 50 minute periods will force me to focus on my mini-lessons and not get off-topic. This year will take a lot more planning but I think I can do it!
How do you schedule your middle school language arts classes?