Well, at the risk of boring you, though lovely Nomad maintains that I cannot....(am I the only one who's readership varies between 150 to 20 from one day to the next? Maybe I am boring, or bi-polar or, or, or...)
Getting back to the topic, I will continue on yesterday's theme, even if I do bore you.
First of all, elPadawan mentioned the problem of ensuring that you make it through the curriculum over the course of the year, and in fact in his question lies the answer, and it is this...you need to look at larger chunks of time, for instance in some of the classes I teach I have, say twelve units I have to cover over the year, and three terms in which to do it...that breaks down to an average of four units a term, which averages ABOUT three weeks each, this is quite approximate as the terms vary considerably in length....
So, you then go and look at the material that you want to cover over that unit...it is often surprisingly short. A typical unit for an English class, may cover: past simple, as in, 'I walked. Did I walk? I did not walk', also countable and uncountable nouns for example, rice is uncountable, you cannot say, "Hand me a rice". You must use 'some', or a quantified, such 'as a cup of' finally there will be some vocabulary.
That is all the grammatical and lexical list for an individual unit...they need to do some reading and you need to ensure that they understood it, so some comprehension work of some form. They need to do some writing work (see writing work is uncountable so I used some!) and some practice listening to the language and speaking it. If you are not tied and bound to the exercise book it can provide good feedback and opportunities for practice and winnowing out the problem, but beyond that, you are pretty much free to do whatever dance around those subjects you think will engage the kids. I currently feel overly bound to the exercises in the book
I prefer to have a single well done piece of work to show at the end of it, for instance a letter, or a journal entry, or an advertising or a song that the students have written and which encompasses all of these grammatical and lexical items in some way. This would be in lieu of a test, which simply rams factoids into short term memory, where they are shortly forgotten. The test also serves to cover the teacher's butt should there be a dispute with the parents about the child's education or abilities. The larger work gives them the review factor in an organic way if it is worked with meaningfully. At the two week mark, you had better be finishing up this work, and the final week is polishing up whatever they want to make, whether it is boring or simple or fascinating and complex like a group music video...
Then you have to only keep track of the weeks, and you are freed up to follow the children's lead from day to day...though sometimes you need to fire them up so that they will take the lead...there in is the rub and the work of a good teacher.
OK...that said, we went into BCN today and visited a working monastery, though in fact it is for nuns, not monks, so I am not sure that monastery is the correct name. I am going to have to go back again, I failed to bring my camera, as it looked so very rainy out and I didn't want to damage it...pics to come. It is a lovely spot...I may even pull off a feminist rant before I am done with that topic.
One last thing, is it just me, or is this shaping up to being the single most interesting Presidential races you've ever seen?