Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flexible Lab Request Sheet

Are you a Science Teacher? Do you have trouble keeping your lab equipment requests organised?

At the school I'm working in now, there are so many science teachers that laboratory equipment really needs to be handled by dedicated staff to prevent clashes, fix breakages, and manage inventory. For me this presented a new challenge because I was accustomed to digging through the supply closet myself and pulling out whatever I wanted on the day. Now I have to have my lessons planned more than a week in advance. I have to actually be organised!

The big issue there is that in the space of a week, a lot tends to change. I found that I was spending too much time chopping, changing, and re-thinking plans I had already laid out. Flexibility in planning will always be necessary so instead I did the next best thing and made my planning process more adaptive. I wrote a Google Sheet that automatically organizes and re-organizes my lesson plans. Major features of the Planning Template include:

  • Planning is done chronologically in a single column for easy cutting and pasting big blocks of lessons.
  • The planner automatically fills in a week-by-week template of what equipment needs to be delivered when based on the chronological plan and automatically updates based on any changes
  • Disruptions (like holidays, or sick days, or surprise assemblies) can be added on the fly and the week template will adjust.
  • The planner can be shared with students, parents, and colleagues so that everyone can know what is going on, and when.

Walk-through of features and set-up

If you want to try out the planner for yourself, you can go for it! If you need to make major changes to the structure of the template, here's an unprotected copy. In either case, you'll need to either make a copy, or download as an excel file:

Make a copy

Download as Excel File

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Winning the "Pick Things Up for Me, Daddy" Game

I guess my daughter is still too young to intentionally drop things on the floor so she can watch me pick them up, but I think I'll try an ounce of prevention.

I picked up a suction-cup hook from Daiso meant for hanging your loofah in the shower. I replaced the hook with a length of ribbon and a small carabiner. The suction cup sticks to the surface of her high-chair and the carabiner can clip to most of her toys.

I think I might cut the ribbon to be a bit shorter so that:

  • Toys don't fall off the edge of the chair at all
  • the ribbon presents less of a strangulation hazard.
Pictured: Strangulation Hazard.
Or maybe I'll try a slip-knot so I can adjust the length as needed.