Episode 265: Use Your Planning Period for Grading (Not Planning) - EB Academics

Episode 265: Use Your Planning Period for Grading (Not Planning)

Welcome back to another episode of Teaching Middle School ELA! On this episode, we’re going deep into the strategic use of prep-periods to do more than just stay afloat!

You’ll meet our new co-host Megan Wyant, from Team EB, who will be joining Caitlin and Jessica this season to provide a fresh perspective on all things middle school ELA!

Tune in to this episode and walk away with practical steps to transform your prep time and maximize grading efficiency.

From tips on batch planning and boundary-setting to strategies for effective communication, this episode is packed with practical advice to help you reclaim your planning time for what it should be: grading, not planning.

Get ready to walk away with fresh ideas on how to make the most of your prep-periods, streamline your grading process, and find joy in your teaching practices. 

Listen now!

Tune in now to hear:

[00:01:00] Caitlin and Jessica discuss upcoming topics on the Teaching Middle School ELA podcast, and introduce Megan as a new co-host in the upcoming season.

[00:05:10] Jessica dives into the topic of teacher “prep-periods” and how this time is actually used by so many classroom teachers.   

[00:10:38] Caitlin reminds listeners that at the cornerstone of being able to utilize your prep-period for anything other than last-minute planning, you truly have to have batch planning your lessons within the foundation of your habits. If you do not already batch plan, then reflect on what changes you could make to begin building this habit into your routine.

[00:22:34] Jessica focuses on an example prep-period framework you can begin to use that includes assigning different “topics” to each prep-period that will allow you the time and space to focus on specific tasks. Tasks include responding to emails, grading, making copies, and including a “floating” day that can be utilized in any way that you need that week.

[00:32:04] Megan discusses processes she utilized during her prep-periods to identify priorities, build habits, and stay consistent.

[00:33:53] Caitlin and Jessica wrap up this episode by reminding listeners about building their discipline muscle and positive self-talk. These are the keys to actually making changes that have a lasting impact on us and how we operate in our teaching careers.

Links mentioned:

Starbucks drink: https://www.pepsicoproductfacts.com/Home/Product?formula=STAR_DSL_605&form=RTD&size=6.5

Grading playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6NTHZhBj1LwIvfRF5gAFd8?si=u6l09x6KRQ6eSFyhOPqqEg&pi=u-MVxrgkKoQuuN

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  • Love that Jessica loves to read young student literature! I’m the same way! Just finished reading one that a student gave me for Christmas 💕

    I’m great with locking my door and working on my own; however, when you have a colleague you have to plan (and I do love planning with her, but we do it in her room and she leaves the door open) with and she doesn’t shut her door. She is amazing and has made this year an amazing year for me after last year (which wasn’t a great year…different grade level, different teachers).

    I’m working on the batch planning. This is a brand new grade level in which I have to teach all subjects and have only taught 6 weeks of 6th grade ELA summer school for 17 years with no curriculum (wish I would have known about EB Academics back then). My colleague who had only taught 6th grade for at least 20 years (and lead teacher) plans 1-2 weeks ahead.

    Thanks for a great podcast and welcome Megan! So exciting!


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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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