Last year, I was assigned the role of grade chair for my grade level.
Leading your peers can be an overwhelming proposition. With a little planning and preparation, grade chairing can be a breeze.
Becoming a successful grade chair is more about how well you empower others to work collectively and much less about ‘leading’. One of the ways that you can very easily facilitate communication is to use a shared drive for your collective work.
On my team, we put all of the items related to teaching and learning in one centralized place. Everyone knows they can access it. This cuts down on unnecessary meetings! It also allows folks to curate lessons based on what their students need most!
STEP 1: Create a shared drive.
I like having drives for specific things. I created a drive for my third grade team and created a similarly styled one for my fourth grade team for this year. In the drive, I house several different folders for work. Let me show you what that looks like.
STEP 2: Create a folder for each subject.
I have two primary folders, the first is marked 1 Collaborative Planning, the second is marked 2 Standards. The Collaborative Planning section includes a set of plans for our subject areas and they are all color coded. We are building some power points to go with the lesson plans to support us all being on the same page throughout the year. You may have noticed we also have two ‘random’ looking files in our Collaborative Planning folder. We schedule out the facilitators for each meeting. That’s called our Common Planning Schedule. We also have something called and Emergency Split List that we use if someone is absent and quickly needs to split their students to everyone else.
3. Create uniform folders for your subject areas.
Each folder has a copy of the unit plans. We use Wit and Wisdom for reading, Reveal Math and McGraw Hill for Science. Besides our team, our coaches and admin team are also on our shared drive. A simple system for them to come in and find things has been helpful!
Keeping things streamlined and tidy helps the drive to be more accessible to everyone! The photo above is my first quarter reading plans. The series we use is developed into large thematic modules. Each module has several arcs. For the purposes of my planning, each arc has it’s own set of plans. Usually the arcs are about 2-3 weeks. In math and science, the units are similar.
4. Keep a resource folder for shared team ideas!
I have one other folder that I use on my team. This one is for shared resources. Lots of goodies in here for all of us to use and stay on the same page with! One of my favorite things that we’ve done together is develop a shared mission statement that we use throughout the year! It’s been really great to go back and look at that throughout the year and recommit to the things that we truly believe in as a team!
We really DID have a wonderful year together using this system. I hope it helps you as much as it did me!