Looking Ahead Blog Hop

For years, I have admired and studied a revered philosopher and yogi who once said,
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

Wise words from Yogi Berra.

Through his influence, I’ve come up with this:
“Looking ahead is the same as looking back…except it is forward.”

Powerful, right? Thank you.

Plan Now, Enjoy Later

I am a planner. During the summer, I find that it’s imperative for me to look ahead and spend a little time making plans for the next school year. That’s the only way I can sit on the beach with an umbrella drink and truly relax. There are a couple of things I do in order for that delicious relaxation to happen.

First, I expand my classroom library. My students read 8-9 independent selections during the school year, and 2-3 class novels. Many read much more, and it is directly related to the wide selection of books available in my classroom library. Most of the books were acquired because I stop in every thrift store I come across during my summer travels. Thrift stores have wonderful middle grade and young adult books. I always tell the clerk that the books are for my classroom, and they will often throw in a few extra books for free.

I admit that thrift stores have some garbage too. I always pass up the books that smell like the crazy cat lady’s house. And when I bought the books on the right, the sweet little clerk wanted to throw in a National Geographic vhs about woodpeckers, insisting my students would love it.

I was totally honest with her. I said, Darn. I already have that video! I used a similar excuse when she tried to give me some World Book Encyclopedias circa 1972.

But look at the bargains I got! The total came to $4.70, and she told me to just give her $4.00.

I just love little ladies with blue hair and cardigans. I plan on being one myself one day. Maybe I’ll be a crazy cat lady with blue hair and cardigans. A girl has to keep her options open.

Second, I sneak into school to make copies of everything I need for the first week of school. I pick a day right after school ends- because NO ONE wants to be there right away- and I usually end up having the machine to myself. My go-to resource to copy is this close reading unit.

This resource is #1 in my teaching bag of tricks. My content area teammates also count on it, so I know I am setting my students up for success in ALL of their classes by teaching them what to look for in fiction and nonfiction. Once they practice how to read closely and annotate, we can move forward to tackle challenging texts.

It’s important for kids to have a plan when they read. It’s important for them to know where they are going with a text…so that they don’t end up someplace else.

Now go and have an umbrella drink. It’s on me. After all, I’ve saved all that money at the thrift store.