Back to the To-Do List and the Bullet Journal

It is time to get serious about my home care, that is, care for my home. I've been neglecting that lots lately, and it shows. To my immediate left, there is a pile of papers, colored pencils, books, notepads, sheet protectors, and much more that just needs to be addressed.

I have a day to do this, and I'm going to try my best to get some semblance of order back into my home life.

How am I going to accomplish this? 
R2-D2, of course.

This is my handy helper. My timer. R2 keeps me working on tasks for short bursts of time. I set him to alert me when 30 minutes has passed at a particular task before I go do something else. For me, the opportunity to do things for short periods of time makes chores pass more quickly. Cleaning the kitchen for 30 minutes and then taking 30 minutes to make file folder activities is a process that allows me to keep going.

So, the to-do list starts to form.
Here's the start of today's to-do. There are more things on the "really need to" side of the list than are on the "get to do" side, but that's typical.

A bullet journal update now...

As many of you know, I am trying a new way to keep track of my session strategies and my future planning. I am taking the idea of bullet journaling and making it my own. (If you are interested in finding out more about what I've done, click here for all the posts that include "bullet journal.") It seems to be working well for me.

I'm not fancy when I am journaling in this format. I don't have pretty banners or fancy stickers or washi tape to delineate different sections of my journal. I use a teacher planner to organize what I want to do during a week.
Yesterday, I took some time to set up my journal for the next two months. I put in my headings and started my planning process. (For those who don't know, I do a rotation of music education topics in my clinic to supplement our therapy. We address coping skill development, music notation concepts, instrument exploration and experience, and, the most popular by far, a Musician of the Month.) I have outlined the next nine weeks of topics in my book, and my session strategies are shaping up.

I started the process by labeling all of my boxes. The "subject" line is reserved for the type of information that goes into the box. On the page above, I have three types of large group sessions - the Novas, the Cosmos, and the Comets pods. I do two groups per classroom for the Novas and the Comets kids. I do one group per classroom for the Cosmos kids. So, my session strategies are based on the number of sessions that I have per group. On the other page, I have columns for "Focus" - the topic of the week and anything for future planning; "Individuals" - keeping track of each of the individuals I see daily as well as anything that needs to be noted; "Meetings" - keeping track of what is said in the different meetings I have each week; and "Miscellaneous" - a place for everything else. I also include my schedule for my Fridays. I have no large groups on Fridays - everything is either planning time or individual sessions. As a result, I have to plan my Fridays or I fritter my time away.

So, I labeled all my pages from now until the beginning of December. I've figured out what we are going to do for our coping skill development, for our notation concepts, and for our instruments. I wrote those down in my boxes. Once the beginning concepts are chosen, I then start my brainstorming process and start listing every TME that I know about each one of the concepts. Everything goes on the list.

I use pencil, by the way, to do all of my planning because I add and take things away often. While I live by the thought that there are no bad ideas, I sometimes find that an idea in one place is better in another, so I make sure that I can erase and reformat as needed.

What are we going to be doing in the next several months?

Woodwind instrument play, recorders, melody composition, Orff instruments, string instruments, Halloween mystery songs, and two more Musicians (no hints!).

The best thing about this? I have it written down, so I don't have to spend lots of time trying to come up with an idea at the beginning of each session. I still have those weeks where ideas are scarce, and I have yet other weeks when what I strategized just doesn't seem to work, but I at least have something down.

Now, I never think of my ideas or strategies as set in stone, so things change within the natural progression of implementing therapy. I still have my ideas categorized and thought through, though. This will help next year when it is Halloween time - just flip back to this year's list and, voila! Instant session ideas!! 

Time to start up R2 as the rain is starting to come down outside really strongly - almost sounds like hail. 

I think I'll start with the dishes and the kitchen. Happy Saturday, all!

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