of lesson plans and flexibility

I had a plan for Saturday:  run ten miles with Noodle in the jogging stroller.

Then a number of things happened.  First, Noodle woke up at 3 am when she is normally a super sleeper (don't hate me).  Then she threw up at breakfast.  She wasn't sick, just drank too much too fast and it all came back up.  She finally got her appetite back just as I had all our gear ready and was about to head out the door.  I knew she needed to eat, and I also knew that if I waited for her to finish eating before my run then she would be in the stroller during sleepy zone.  If she napped in the stroller, then she wouldn't nap in the afternoon when I would desperately need a nap after running ten miles.  It just wasn't going to happen today.

So we made salsa and played with blocks and she chipped her tooth, but that's unrelated to this story.

I really didn't want to postpone my run because that means I'll have to run Sunday instead of going to yoga class, but forging ahead with my plan would have been more miserable than missing yoga class.  It took some knowledge of Noodle and her daily patterns to really make that call and feel confident in it.  

When school starts, I'm not going to know my students very well yet.  I won't yet know if they are the type of class to be super independent or need explicit instructions, to work in small groups or to prefer one large classroom discussion.

Last year I had two sections that met six out of every seven days.  I would deliberately leave my lesson plans blank for the day when one section met but the other had a drop day. So really, in each seven day cycle I would have five lesson plans and one "free space".  By the end of the year, I knew each section well enough to know if they would use that blank lesson plan day to review, to catch up with the other section, to forge ahead with some extension activities, or just to take a break.

This year I have three sections of that same course, so it doesn't line up quite so neatly.  But I still hope to find a way to leave blank lesson plan days in the mix, so if I have to make a last minute call to change my plan I don't have to worry about one section getting wildly out of sync with the others.

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