It is Sunday and I am doing my usual of getting ready for the week. Right now we are getting ready for the science fair in April, getting ready for state testing in April and finishing our writing assignments due just before April starts.
All this means is that there is a great deal to do. I decided to do planning with a teammate, who happens to be my daughter. We met at the garden center so we could get supplies needed for several students experiments for the fair. We sat in a lovely little corner of the coffee shop in the garden center and talked out how to scaffold the steps needed for a science fair project. We puzzled out how we were going to get students to work in teams, develop the concepts needed and complete all the parts before we leave for spring break.
We reviewed the vocabulary and concepts students would need for the state science test in a week and a half. We sorted through writing expectations for 5th graders this year and decided what we could realistically get done between now and June. We shared plans for helping students get from yellow zone reading to green zone reading before the state reading test in mid April.
This list of discussions and topics just kept going on and on and on. We soon just stopped and wondered how is this all going to get done.
What we did notice along the way to being overwhelmed was the fun of planning with someone. How quickly questions could be answered when there were two people working to solve those questions. The ease of sorting things out when they are spoken out loud as questions with a friend. We naturally fell into one person typing and building student structures for the lesson and one of us gathering information and sorting for next steps.
I must say the Sunday planning session was much more delightful when done with a friend and in a beautiful garden center instead of sitting alone in my office at home. Yes, we are both still feeling a bit overwhelmed but it somehow is easier to deal with when shared.
Who can you share your thinking and planning with this spring in the wild testing season? What little change can you make to your routine that will make the process a bit lighter when there is to much work and to little time?