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GWHS Planning Calendar 2013-14

I’m going to resist the urge to explain the multitude of reasons for my extended absence from this website and to apologize for the multitude of emails and posts I haven’t responded to … and go ahead and post the new calendar I made for my school: George Washington High School in the Danville (VA) Public Schools.

So … We’re moving to a new schedule this year, going from a 7-period day to an 8-class A-B block (with rotating A and B days, each with four classes). Before, each class was 48 minutes, and we generally had 26-30 classes per grading period. This year, classes will be 95 minutes each, and we will have only 13-15 instructional days per grading period.

This will probably be my framework, with a nod toward the opening-work-closing model.

I wish I could post a DOC version that is editable, but I made it using OpenOffice, which will only export PDFs. I’ll see what I can do about conversion at school this week. For now, download the ODT if you use OpenOffice (and feel free to change to suit your needs). Otherwise, you can print the PDF and write on it.

If you want to print copies to write on or simply use as a reference, I suggest the PDF version. If you want to try to type your info, use the DOC, but be aware that I converted the calendar to a Word DOC (from OpenOffice Writer’s ODT) online and haven’t been able to check it on a copy of Word…please let me know if you experience issues.

**The careful proofreading award goes to Randy, who pointed out that November 8 is NOT a half day. Thanks a bunch, Randy! (Aiieeee…my old foe copy/paste got me again!!!!!)


  1. 2013-14 GWHS Calendar DOC (10 pages – Microsoft Word)
  2. 2013-14 GWHS Calendar PDF (10 pages – Adobe Reader)
  3. 2013-14 GWHS Calendar ODT (10 pages – OpenOffice)


  1. Holidays are marked and greyed out.
  2. Last days of grading periods are marked. (“SW3 ends” = the last day of the 3rd six weeks)
  3. A/B days are marked and numbered. (“A3-6″ = the 6th A day of the 3rd six weeks)

I also made a file that shows the dates in grading period tables. I wanted to know exactly how many A and B days there were in each six-weeks to check myself on the calendar. If you could use it, here’s a PDF of it: A-B Days (3 pages).

And here’s the district calendar, downloaded from the website: DPS 2013-14 Traditional Calendar.

Let me know what you think!

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Diigo Bookmarks to mrshawke-dot-com (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Diigo Bookmarks to mrshawke-dot-com (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Diigo Bookmarks to mrshawke-dot-com (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Post to Twitter

Beginning of the Year Materials

At the beginning of the school year, I usually try to share as many of the forms and other materials that make my life easier.

Rather than send the regular email to my school colleagues, I decided to post the papers here, so I could share with other people other places, as well.

If I make changes to anything or make new things or remember things later on, I’ll just update this page.

I’m uploading these as Word DOCs, so you can edit them however you like.

OHHH…one more note. I have this flash drive where I stored all my teaching stuff that hadn’t been backed up since before last summer. Yeah, well, I kept meaning to back it up, but, um, one day last week, well, it broke. :( :( :( I was sick about it for days, scouring the Internets for hours upon hours. So, well, some of this stuff I’ll have to remake before I can post it. Luckily, most of it was still available elsewhere (websites, email, my laptop, Carbonite, etc.) in an older version. So, yeah, don’t feel sorry for me; I knew better…

These are in no particular order now, really. I’ll try to come back later and organize a little!

  • UPDATED 08/06/2014 –> 2014-15 GWHS Calendar. This is a regular month-to-a-page calendar with blocks for each day. Pertinent Danville Public Schools’ calendar dates (for nine-weeks grading periods) are already filled in. The days that school is not in session are grayed-out, and the weeks we aren’t in school are minimized. (See more about DOC calendars here; please note that they can be tricky to work with.)

  • Signature Sheet. This is a form with four sections: (1) Parent Contact Information, (2) Syllabus Acknowledgement, (3) Website Release (permission to post work, etc.), and (4) Internet Usage and Student Email (informing them that both are requirements for English classes). I attach this completed form to an Intervention Log and the student’s survey (see below) and place in my class binders.

  • Student Survey. This is in three parts: (1) “Your Bio” for student and parent contact information; (2) “Your Tech Skills,” a checklist of their computer skills; and (3) “Your Interests,” a bunch of questions about what they like and like to do.

  • Materials Log. (set of five) I just came up with this last year. I’d been keeping records of who didn’t have what or left what all over the place, so I finally sat down and came up with a format that works. This way I can hold students accountable for having what they need to succeed without minimum hassle. The penalty for the first offense is a warning; every other offense is a day of lunch detention. (Or change it to suit yourself.)

  • Detention Assignment slips. (sheet of six) This comes six to a sheet. Each time I assign a student detention, I hand them this handy little slip with the specifics of detention and the date by which they have to serve it.

  • Detention Log. I keep one of these taped to the wooden pull-out tray thingy on the side of my desk and add students’ names to it as I give them detention. I can check the names off with the detention attendance emails that are sent every day.

  • Roll Chart. (set of five) I use these to backup the online attendance program, and also because I give points for being in class on time every day. I always type in the names of my students once and then copy/paste to the grade sheet and materials list and whatever else I can.

  • Grade Chart. (set of five) I use these especially at the beginning of the year, until the adds/drops taper off. They also come in handy for small daily assignments that are too numerous for my gradebook.

  • Materials Checklist. (set of five) I use these to check initially — and throughout the year — that students have the required materials for class. The first day I check, I check for everything, but some later checks may be for just one or two items.

  • Tardy Log. This is my biggest hit. :P I keep one of these in a binder for each class to make sure I’m following our tardy policy. The newest version has striped rows to help me keep them straight and a blank row to make notes. I usually write students’ names on these as they are tardy. (I’m crossing my fingers every year at this time that the policy hasn’t changed!!)
    Update 08/10/12: Well, the policy did change (the 4th tardy is two days of detention rather than a referral), so here’s the new one: Revised 2012 Tardy Log
    08/06/2-14 –> I’m going to leave this item here crossed out just to remind myself how fortunate I am not to have to track tardies this year. ;)

  • Issued Books chart I use this to issue books throughout the year: textbooks, novels, even magazines or booklets that must be returned.

  • Borrowed Books chart If a student borrows a book for a night or few (for a paper or something), I track it here. It looks a lot neater than the lists I use to write on my desk calendar continuously. :)

  • Grading Scale poster. I used to draw mine out, but a few years ago it got messed up, so I decided to do it on the computer instead. I pasted mine to colored paper and asked our sweet librarians to laminate it for me.

  • ‘Are You a Winner?’ poster. One of my sophomores last year years ago gave me a copy of this he’d been carrying around since elementary school. (Awww!) I laminated this on colored paper, too.

  • ‘Hall Passes’ log. (set of five) After I had to change my strategy for issuing hall passes last year, I decided to allow students to use three passes per grading period (half of my old method) and log them. This way, I could use the required hall passes and still give some extra points for not leaving class. It worked very well, thank goodness!!! I also made some official-looking (i.e. similar to the ones we were told we had to use a couple of year ago) GWHS hall passes: GWHS Official-ish Hall Pass

  • ‘Restroom Pass’ slips. (sheet of six) I used these for a few years, and they were soooo helpful!! Instead of having to stop and write a pass for every restroom visit, I would give each student one of these the first day of each six weeks. Then, I’d make it their responsibility to keep up with the form, fill it out, and get it signed. At the end of the six weeks, I’d give them a few points extra credit for any unused slots. It really cuts down on restroom visits and class disruptions!

  • Open House Sign-In Sheet. This only holds seven to a page, but it has a place for two parents’ phone numbers and email addresses per student. I added an extra column for a colleague who wanted to know how parents would like to be contacted: 2014 Open House Sign-In Sheet

  • Intervention Log. I keep one of these for each student to keep a log of any behavioral (or academic) issues I see, along with the steps that I take to remedy them. It really helps to track progress throughout the year. It can be particularly beneficial in conference situations.

  • Whole-Class Intervention Log. This had been rolling around in my mind for years, but I finally made it at the very end of last year (only to lose it on my busted flash drive). So it hasn’t been tested, but I think it has great potential. Used in combination with the individual intervention log above, it should serve to track behavioral (or academic) issues for the whole class.

  • Parent Contact form This has a place for date, student, class, and issue(s), along with a blanket “please speak to your child about these issue(s)” note. At the bottom, there is a form for parents to sign and return. I used to copy a bunch of these to have. Last year, I started pulling up the file and typing the information directly on it. The printed version looks so much more professional!

I also have some links on my class website that may help:

Please check back for updates!

Here’s to a great beginning to an awesome school year!

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Planning Calendars

I am posting two versions of a planning calendar for download.

Both are basically regular month-to-a-page calendars with blocks for each day, and they both have Danville Public Schools’ traditional calendar dates (for six-weeks grading periods) filled in. The days school is not in session (weekends, holidays, workdays, etc.) are grayed-out, and the weeks we aren’t in school are minimized.

The first is a generic PDF that you can print and fill in by hand.

The second is a Word DOC that you can type your own plans in and save as you go. (This one is the actual file I’ll use for my English 10 classes.)

I started using this format last year, and it was really awesome!

I blocked out units and then added specific activities as the days came closer. And if something took longer than expected (or not quite as long…which is rarely the case for me), I can just copy and paste and move it around to fit.

Here’s an example of how I filled it in:

For my inclusion (partial special ed.) classes, I have to provide my co-teacher with my lesson plans the Friday before. Instead of printing, I just attached the newly-updated calendar file to an email and sent it on, and it worked very well (especially when I remembered to send it without her having to ask :P).

I have to warn you, though, that it can be tricky to work with these tables in Word. Be careful not to try to fit too much into the boxes, and remember that you will probably have to adjust the font and size to make it fit well. Arial Narrow is a good font for this. (I think that’s my favorite Georgia in the screenshot.) And use abbreviations.

I used bullets to separate the different kinds of activities, but then I ended up spending a little too much time tweaking the indents to make them line up perfectly.

A lot of teachers pass out monthly (or six-weeks) calendars to their students, but I’m not that good at planning exactly how long something will take, so I made weekly calendars for mine instead. That way, I could tweak it and adjust before the next week’s.

You can see some examples of these at my class website. (I actually didn’t follow through on posting these for the whole year, but I still made some available in class and emailed to parents who asked.)

I printed these weekly calendars to staple/tape inside my planbook. (And I wish I had printed the full calendars as soon as school ended because my flash drive is busted, and I can’t access it anymore. :( :( :()

Well, feel free to use these any way you like. If you want to tweak the calendar for use with your school, please do!

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