Juggling ELA Looks Ahead



I still have a few more weeks of teaching but even though the year isn't over I can't help but think about next year. In my mind I have a checklist already. As I count down the days left of this school year, I count the items I want to change from this year and the items I want to replicate next year.

One of my big issues this school year was the upkeep of my assessment folders. My school requires us to have an assessment folder for every student. I spent countless hours filing papers until I gave up on them. Next year I need to have students help me with this tedious task. Also some assessment folders were overflowing with work while others had one or two items in them. I have decided that I should place a blank copy of each assessment (quiz, test, essay prompt, etc) in the folders of students who are absent and I'll write absent on them. I can have a student do this for me to save me some time. I'll have to find one or two responsible students in each of my classes to help me with tasks like this.

Another thing that I need to work on is grading in a timely manner. In my opinion grading is the worst part of teaching. I love the kids and I enjoy writing lesson plans. When I think about grading papers I get exhausted just thinking about it. I often find myself leaving piles and piles of papers until the end of the marking period. This is way too stressful. I've decided that next year I'm going to stay late at work once a week just for grading. I'm also going to collect less papers. My school uses Skedula (an online grade book) and a couple of months ago I was notified about a Skedula app. I now use my iPad and I grade all classwork and homework right away. In the past I collected everything and it piled up like crazy. This has saved me a lot of time. Staying after school one day a week to grade assessments will hopefully solve my grading dilemma.

This was my 15th year of teaching and I think I finally know how I want to have my room arranged. Here are a few pics of my classroom. Who said that high school classrooms can't be colorful?

Student work displayed in my room. I don't have a bulletin board so I put bulletin board paper on the side chalkboard. The chalkboard was so scratched up that I couldn't really use it anyway.


The papers that are taped down to the tables are rubrics that we use often. I had a ton of anchor charts in my room. I'll write a separate blog about those at some point this summer.



My classroom library. We did independent reading one day a week.


I want my room next year to look similar to my room this year. I loved how colorful it was and I loved having all of my anchor charts on the back wall for reference.

Although I'm really looking forward to my summer vacation (June 27th where are you?), I know that my job is always in the back of my mind. I'm not saying I won't have fun but in the summer I always make lists and organize files (electronic and paper).

In case you're already planning for next year you should check out this free product for the first week of school in my TpT store:

 The First Week of School Forms/Handouts