Saturday, November 28, 2009

The last stretch of 2009

The schedule for these next three weeks is going to be torturous and convoluted. Keeping six different classes straight is always a challenge, but a special challenge right now.

I've planned a major middle school field trip that has already been changed to an earlier date for reasons beyond my control. Great trip, though...we are going to see "A Christmas Carol" at the beautiful Blackfriar's Playhouse. Arranging reservations, drivers, and permission forms, etc. has driven me batty.

As my usual plan, we will read "A Christmas Carol" prior to going. With the change in dates, I've had to squeeze up the plans for everything. So, this week, we hit "A Christmas Carol" with reading, questions, and study.

Then, I have a pre-arranged day off on Friday to take my mom for a neurology appointment. She's been seeing this neurologist for about a year, tracking her mental decline. We think there will be major changes noted at this appointment. But, she is still able to live on her own and continues to drive, though we see some significant decline.

On top of all this, I have a summons for jury duty beginning next week. Fortunately it is for the December-January term which is the short one of the year. I will have duty for two days before Christmas, but those two days are during the last week of classes, just when I will be wrapping up all chapters and having tests. In January, I will have, at the most, only eight days. I can handle the sub plans for that alright. But getting to Christmas break will be harrowing.

All of my classes have their next IRA due on December 14. IRA stands for Independent Reading Assignment. Reading is the investment, not money. I dislike having the students write a book report as much as they do, but I have to have some way to evaluate if, and how well, they read the book. I try to switch up assessments each time to avoid monotony, so I was absolutely delighted for find "Bloom Taxonomy Book Review Questions" online. Exactly what I needed; I will give the students their choice to complete several questions in each section. How I love Bloom anyway for the structure! Bloom's Taxonomy fits like a glove with trivium-base classical education.

In addition to this, we have the normal memory (catechism and poetry) and spelling work, grammar lessons, and history to read, think, and learn.

I encouraged my students before Thanksgiving break that we will hit it hard for the next three weeks and then have a wonderful two week rest with no assignments. I just didn't realize how hard the hit will be for me. Planning is essential. And all the stuff has to be ready for that plan: all the review questions printed out, all the tests planned and printed, all the schedules meshed exactly. Those are the things I have to urgently finish. By Monday.

Just pray nothing else happens to tangle the plans. Like illness. :)


Anonymous said...

Is the picture you posted one of the Blackfriar's Playhouse? If so---it's beautiful!

We've read a little about Bloom's taxonomy in my first education course. I hope we study more of it soon, because I know that you like his structure. I hope I can learn some classical methods or structures like Bloom's that apply more to classical education in my future education courses.

It's always encouraging to read your blog! Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

Michelle in MO

JSD said...

Hi Michelle!
Yes, this is Blackfriar's! Too bad we aren't allowed pictures inside.

Bloom is right on the money. His taxonomy meshes so nicely with trivium-based classical ed. It also parallels Scripture's knowledge-understanding-wisdom sequence.

Glad to hear from you!

Kristine said...

Loved catching up with you! I admire your dedication to this school, Janie, you ARE making such a difference in the lives of our young people, in our community. The Lord is blessing us through you. :)

JSD said...

You're too kind, Kristine. I need to stop by the library for a visit!