When you look at schools that outperform their peers,
one of the telling differences is the urgency of May instruction.  Sadly,
most schools in the month of May start to ease up and coast to the finish. 
Those who don’t begin to separate themselves from the pack.  It is amazing
what an extra month of focused instruction will do for student performance. 
This isn’t a sermon where I say, “Shame on you for not sprinting
to the finish.”
  That would be the easy way out and doesn’t attack
the real question, “What does sprinting to the end look like?”
So here are a couple of examples:
1. Loop Teachers.  Instead of taking the first month of school for
students and teachers to get to know each other, use the last month.  Have
teachers from the next grade teach a week or two at the lower grade.  They
can preview upcoming content, review pre-requisite material, set expectations
and begin to build relationships. 
2. Fact Month.  Every teacher I know complains that students no
longer know their facts.  Use May to teach the facts most critical for
next year’s content.  Build in a sense of competition with weekly team-based
fact bees.
3. Capstone Projects.  Use May for students to work on
interdisciplinary and/or capstone projects.  These can be either
individual or team projects.  A consistent teacher complaint is that
standardized testing has robbed us of the opportunity to connect and extend the
curriculum.  What better time to do exactly that, than May?
4. Start Next Year’s Curriculum.  For most schools, the actual
curriculum delivery schedule is from the first day of school until the state
(or district) summative test.  Then from the day after the test to the end
of school, the pace of instruction rapidly ebbs.  The actual curriculum
delivery schedule of many high performing schools is quite different.  On
these campuses, the first day of instruction of new content begins on the day
after the state (or district) summative test and goes full speed until the
summative test next school year.
Just remember, May is what campus leadership makes it.
Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn…
  • Call Jo at (832)
    477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies
    available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5
  • Call Jo at (832)
    477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School
    Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on
    Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook
  • Now
    at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite
    (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool)
  • Upcoming Presentations: Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference
    (Multiple Presentations)
  • Follow
    Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and
    like Lead Your School on Facebook