Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting Ready for 8th Grade

Overloaded! That’s how I felt when I started looking at curriculum for 8th grade. Until I…
  • Weeded out anything with an ultra-conservative religious slant
  • Took out anything with outdated information
  • Removed anything that had to be followed exactly
There was still a ton of options left, but it all still fell into place. I’ll detail the resources we’re using in posts by subject.  My next goal in pre-planning was to map out the timing of each subject for the year. I didn’t want to end up just to WWI in May for history! Naturally, I turned to my personal security blanket – Excel – to create a spreadsheet that would automatically enter start and end dates for each unit by subject.

First, I typed in a master list with all the dates we planned to have school. We follow the local school calendar, so I used those dates. Next, I numbered each day, starting with one, referring to the day in the overall school year. 

Each subject had its own sheet with the unit names and how many days each should probably take. So, if a unit stated on the 10th day of school and took 5 days, Excel looks up the calendar dates for the 10th and 15th day of school. The next unit would automatically be scheduled to start on the 16th day of school.

The unit names were added to their respective start dates on the master list by subject.  This list could now be used either as is, or pulled into a sheet with a more normal calendar layout.

Now, when a unit runs long, I can update it in just one place and all the other units’ start dates are move accordingly!

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