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15 June 2015 @ 03:27 pm
Preparations  
There is a tropical depression in the Gulf. For someone who has lived in Texas since 1970, I know what that means. Models show that this might become a hurricane and head toward Galveston. So, this morning, BH and I hightailed it to the store to pick up some bottled water, canned goods, snacks, etc. The store was empty at 7:30, and the shelves were stocked. I am willing to bet that this is not the situation some will face later today and tomorrow as the weather worsens. We live 80+ miles north of Galveston, so generally all we will get are wind and rain and some possible tornadoes. But we want to be prepared.

Why the talk about preparation? Now that most of you are enjoying summer break, it is time to think about about preparations for next school year (you can do this while lounging at the pool, so not biggie, right?). Here are the questions I consider between semesters:

1. What books do I need to read to prepare for a new crop of students? Professional, YA, children's books are constantly being published. I need to have some sort of TBR policy/approach so I can prioritize reading. And I also need to carve out time. Lately, that has been later in the afternoon for me instead of the morning for some reason. But, it works, so I am making sure my plans allow for a few hours of uninterrupted time in the afternoon.

2. What changes or tweaks do I want to make? I am still doing this after 25 years at the university teaching classes in literature for children and young adults. How will I help community form in our online courses? What assignments can be flexible (differentiation) and which are dictated by our accreditation? I seek advice from my friends and colleagues. Last week, I crowdsourced some YA titles with the help of my #bookaday community.

3. How will I get reflection and feedback? The instrument my university uses is not very helpful when it comes to feedback, meaningful feedback, so I want to fund ways for students to reflect throughout the course.

Okay, the rain is arriving along with the wind. So, it is time to crack open the Fritos and hunker down with a book. Be prepared.
 
 
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