Let's just stomp that craziness right now.
I am realizing/re-learning that the best teachers have well-established curriculum. They know all the main steps of their year-long journey with students, so they can get creative with HOW to teach without getting distracted about WHAT to teach. That's even part of my advice to new flippers: set your learning objectives first!
Today I declare that I will commit at least 90% of my summer-planning efforts on tightening and improving my curricular objectives: the DOK 1-2 "need-to-know" essentials and the DOK 3-4 "big idea" applications.
The early American period feels so vast! It contains so many developments, formative events, interesting people, and relevant life-lessons .... but I cannot cover them all. I can save myself a lot of grief and grumbling next year by making the tough decisions in the summer. That means mapping the year all the way to June, not just making a strong start and hoping that I'll bridge the gap later. That hasn't worked for the past few years
Some general calendar-based goals:
- We must get to the Continental Congress more quickly: October, not November. That means shrinking the colonial regions and French&Indian War mini-unit.
- We will "win the Revolutionary War" before Christmas. (That was last year's goal, but we miserably failed.)
- The Civil War unit will not get crammed into the last 2 weeks. We will wrap up the year in a more meaningful way.
Let's see how long it takes for me to screw up and/or abandon this wonderful plan!!