Doggie Paddling

It’s October. Which is kind of crazy, because I’m not entirely sure where September went. This school year is very different from years past – for a variety of reasons. More days than not, Jenny and I feel like we’re just barely keeping our heads above the water. The stress level is definitely high, but knowing that what we’re doing is what is best for our students is getting us through.

One of the new things we took on this year as a district is attempting to implement Curriculum Companion, which is a scope and sequence for teaching the Common Core Standards. We’re finding that the timing we originally planned was way off, which is due to us also taking on the workshop model. There are routines and expectations that need to be taught and practiced, which is what filled the majority of September. We needed our seventh graders to be on the MorningsideDuo train – and that is taking some time.

Now that we have those routines, procedures, and expectations down (well, for the most part anyway), we were able to dive in to some of our planned content. We’re starting our year with a focus on dystopian literature – a huge passion for both Jenny and I. This week, we worked on objective summaries with the short stories “The Lottery” and “Harrison Bergeron.” Kids are begging us for some stories with sunshine and unicorns that poop butterflies (their words, not ours!). 🙂 They are starting to make the connections to characteristics of dystopian societies, which is awesome! We can’t wait to launch our book club unit on them.

The book club unit is going to be awesome, and it’s what our kids need. Our students this year are largely reluctant readers, and seeing the results of the unit last year has us hoping that dystopia will help light their reading fires.

While we wait for that unit launch, we are continuing to work on Fisher-izing our classrooms, conference with students about their reading, work with Curriculum Companion, and keep our own heads on straight.