This can also be interpreted as bringing back an old concept, recycling vocabulary, or progress indicators that your students have already met. Retention is a big challenge for us language teachers, but giving students regular opportunities to incorporate the old with the new will help to cement their learning.
2. Something new - the goal of all good teachers is to constantly improve and each year we seem to know better than the year before. Use the experience and insight that you have gained by creating something new. I like to create things around a certain goal. So, if my goal is to have students speak more, I will create a speaking activity. If it's listening, I will find an audio sample or video and create activities to accompany it.
3. Something borrowed - using lessons created by other teachers, either from colleagues or virtual colleagues, not only saves you time but also exposes you to new ideas. I always have my out for great products or ideas. Trying new things keeps our creative wheels turning. In addition, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and when we borrow a lesson from someone else we can harness other teacher's strengths.
4. Something true - In each unit, try to think about using authentic materials. This brings the content to students in a very real and "true" way because you give them the chance to see and work with the same things they would if they were actually there.
I would be THRILLED if you would leave some comments below with examples of how you use this mantra with your own lesson planning!