For each class, I have three things I have to do each day: lesson plans in Chalk, Google classroom assignments updated, and then I have to go back and grade the work for the day. Using a sharpie marker and a simple template I made in Canva, where I am with those habits, is a quick glance away.
The Quick Glance Can Be Powerful
I've been thinking about this concept of the power of the “quick glance” from something I read.
The smartphone provided a new technique to banish these slivers of solitude: the quick glance. At the slightest hint of boredom, you can now surreptitiously glance at any number of apps or mobile-adapter websites that have been optimized to provide you an immediate and satisfying dose of input by other minds.”Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology
I don't want to get out my smartphone and waste time; I want my quick glances to nudge me toward productive habits instead.
Harnessing the Quick Glance for My Benefit
As for me, I want to get most of my work done at work. Yet, for years I found myself grading on nights and weekends. Likewise, I realized that If I picked up my smartphone during the day, I would waste time glancing at this or that.
But now, I glance at my teacher habit dashboard for my classes. This way, I can see where I'm behind. I aim to stay a week ahead on revising lesson plans (I imported all of my plans from last year). I also want to have a week ahead of Google Classroom scheduled. And then, I like to keep up with grades with the goal that one week before progress reports or report cards, I will have everything entered and can email parents about updates and what needs to be done.
As a parent, I wouldn't say I liked surprises.
As a teacher, the purpose of grades for me is to provide feedback and promote additional learning. I have no idea what kind of benefit a quiz given back two months late has for the student when the test for that unit is already done. (This is why I use tools to help me grade as quickly as possible so that most of my tests are graded on the same day. Granted, these projects I do with kids are enormous and can take a week to grade, but if I've given good formative assessment throughout the project, it usually comes out well.)
Create Your Own Teacher Habit Tracking Dashboard
So, as a teacher, you can have a free Canva account.
Then, click this free template.
You may have to ungroup things to work on them or build your own.
You know your habits and your goals. How can you track them to harness the glance so you can easily see what needs to be done?
Seeing Visible Progress with Grading and Planning is a Joy to Me
I love getting out my Sharpie and marking what is graded, and with homecoming week last week, I will admit that I'm a bit behind. This simple habit tracker will help me get back on track today as I squeeze grading in between everything else going on today so that I can come home tonight and not stress.
Do you have any at-a-glance trackers or anything that can save teachers a lot of time? Please email me at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com – I would love for you to share them!
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