In my first few years teaching, I’d dedicate a few days of break to prepping for the next chunk of the school year. Now I’ve got it down to a science, and it just takes me a few hours. The further I get into teaching, the more I know ACTUAL BREAKS ARE IMPORTANT. Otherwise we’d burn out!

In this post, I’ll show you how I’m prepping today as February break comes to an end. This is a bit different than a normal year, because we’re remote still.

First I write down my normal to-do-by-Monday list:

Then I check my Google Calendar for this month and compare it to the same month last year:

Comparing these is disheartening, but necessary: I’m about two units behind in Physics and one unit behind in Algebra 1. There are SO many reasons why this is the case, but the most obvious is that this year we weren’t able to get the strong in-person start we did last year. Luckily, I usually have a bit of buffer room in my yearly plans, so this pacing won’t leave my students lacking crucial information by the end of the year.

Next I tackle some of the big-picture things. For example, I’m starting a new unit in Physics, so I’ll look through my Piovt Interactives for relevant labs and my Ranking Tasks book for good tasks for this unit. I’ll also move old papers out of my tiny Physics and Algebra 1 binders and put in papers form their corresponding big binders in preparation for the next few units. Ideally, I can fit all the papers I’ll need until April break!

Finally, I just do each task on those check-lists. You could start with the easiest task or the biggest. Personally, I switch it up every time.

Yours until April,


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