Before you leave your classroom this summer, use our quick, handy dandy flow chart to get you to the heart of your summer goals with a kick start to the fall.
The flow chart is based on a reflection tool called “Plusses and Arrows” that I learned while coaching preservice teachers in grad school. You list what went well with your day, year, lesson, etc. beneath the plusses sign. These plusses are things you want to acknowledge and keep. Next, we use an arrow because it indicates a moving forward. The arrows are what you want to improve. In the flowchart, you divide your arrows list into things you want to improve upon during the school year, and what you want to improve upon during the summer. Once you’ve established your arrows for summer, make them into goals! Once you’ve got goals, prioritize them in order of importance so that you know what to tackle first on your calendar.
For convenience, we’ve created a downloadable calendar of the summer months and a quick list of bullet points to help you plan strategically for the summer (and by strategic, I mean planning self-care days and activities to nourish your mind, body, and spirit).
First, print off the calendar and mark off all the days you are not available:
- 1-2 weeks (or more) for vacation,
- 1 day a week off to not think about school on your non-vacation weeks
- Days for professional development and workshops
- Self-care days to recharge (Very important!)
Once you’ve blocked off these days, add your summer goals. Break these goals into milestones and write them into your calendar. As you do, be realistic — you will probably not get to all your goals, and things will take more time than you plan. It’s summer, so let stuff go, and focus on the things that are most important.
While you plan your vacation, we will begin shifting from ending the school year to giving you short, easily digestible STEM bites over the summer. We’ll also talk about different sources of funding, building a list of volunteer helpers, and where to go to learn how to teach STEM/STEAM subjects so they align with the science standards. Our goal is to help you make your STEAM lessons rigorous and fun!
Here are the links to all of the downloadable planning documents again, just in case:
- End Of Year Reflection Flow Chart
- Summer Planning Calendar (Color)
- Summer Planning Calendar (Black/White)
- Creating a Balanced Plan for Summer – Checklist