Do you do lesson plans?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I was having a conversation with my team on Friday. Three of them are very frustrated with our district and very burnt out. They have what I call "Screw the Man Syndrome." They don't want to put in very much extra effort to do their jobs. I believe that they are all very good teachers, but they try to leave right away at the end of the day, not bring work home, etc. That's all fine and dandy-to each their own.

    I, however, leave pretty much right away after school, and rarely bring work home, but I do go in on Sunday to plan lessons and get organized for the upcoming week (usually for about 5 hours). This has been my "system" ever since I began teaching 5 years ago. It works for me at this point in my life (no kids of my own). One of the teachers on my team told me that I should really stop doing that. I get really frustrated and annoyed when people say this to me. I can do whatever I want to do. How many other teachers come in early, stay late, and/or take work home with them? This is my way of doing things, and it's my choice.

    Anyway, the teacher who told me that I should stop coming in was like, "You don't even have to turn in lesson plans, do you?" (You only have to turn them in if you are in your first 3 years of teaching.) I told her no, and she said, "Well, then why do you do plans?" :eek: :dizzy: Well, because I have to know what I am going to teach!!! This teacher is 1-2 years away from retirement...I can't believe that she doesn't think I should be doing lesson plans!!! How could anyway begin their week without guided reading plans, math plans, shared reading plans, etc.?!

    Even if you didn't have to turn in your lesson plans, would you still plan what you are going to do for the upcoming week? Apparently I'm weird for doing this...
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've never made lesson plans except for the nine I had to do during my first year internship. I know what I'm teaching...I have plans. I just don't have "lesson plans".

    Yep, to each his own. Do what makes you happy. I do less as I get older because I am claiming more of my life for myself...but I still do too much and I'm at school too much. Give me a couple more years... ;)
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    We don't turn them in but can be asked for them. I am a big believer that lesson plans should be what you need to actually teach and not something that you spend hours writing to just to impress an administrator. I usually do my plans a week at a time for each subject. I write the day/subject, special materials (to remind myself if I need to get something together, I don't bother listing "pencils" or whatever), the objective (required to write on board) and a couple of bullet points about what I'll be doing in that lesson. For guided groups I write who I want to see and then a brief statement of what we'll be doing that day. It's usually about three pages at the most for the week with all subjects combined. I do know teachers who still do the college-type lesson plans where they write questions that they want to ask, play-by-play of what the students are doing, specific assessments, etc. If you really need that for yourself I think that's the teacher's business, but personally I don't feel this is something I need to spend time on as it doesn't really help me or the kids. I would say I spend about an hour on plans for the week and much longer on actually creating/gathering resources since my school doesn't provide a lot.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I would absolutely still do plans even if it wasn't required. Especially with those younger kids-5 minutes spent trying to figure out what you are going to do and you can totally lose them. Now what I do often changes from the plans (the book I read, for example)-but I would need all those objectives laid out for me.

    It would also make me angry if someone on my team was telling me how to prepare-especially since you are an experienced teacher.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    When planning a unit, I usually brainstorm a bunch of stuff. I decide how much time I want to spend on it, eliminate or brainstorm more if needed. My 'plans' can be as simply as going through my brainstorm list. I can keep it all in my head, so I am terrible about writing it down. My P knows I have it all (she can ask and I will tell it all to her), but she feels that I should write it down in case of an emergency. Meh. I have an emergency sub folder that has 2-3 days work of plans.
     
  7. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I have to turn in very long detailed lesson plans each week. Before this was a requirement though, I still did my lesson plans each week only they were much more basic.

    I will give myself an hour to work in my room each day after school to get everything ready for the next day and I try finish everything on Friday. This way I leave the evenings and weekend for my family and for rest.

    I will change up the plans I make during the day, but I really don't feel as though I would be a very effective teacher if I tried to "wing it" all the time.
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I do my plans a lot like waterfall. I write each subject, the objective and the accompanying class work and page number that goes with it. The only time i write super detailed lesson plans is when i have an observation.

    I don't come in on Sundays anymore because the mice scare me. (When the building is quiet they take over. it skeeves me out). i think Sundays are good to come in when you can because you get so much work done. when u are there with other people you have to wait for the machine, make small talk, etc. very distracting. when i used to go in on sundays, I would get more accomplished in an hour then three to four hours working after school on a weekday.

    anyhow my m.o. now is to stay about one to two hours each evening unless I have something to do.

    If someone gripes about Sunday it's because they are jealous or feel guilty that they aren't staying longer and doing more. Tell them what you told us "it works for me".
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I do plans every week. We have to upload upload them to the staff server on Monday so our P has access to them. Also, i do all my planning at school because I come in very early and leave at 4. Every teacher has his or her own system, so I don't think it is fair for anyone to try to get you to change your system that works for you.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Exactly!

    My plans are not very detailed, unless I'm teaching something that isn't routine (a new science unit vs. a read-aloud). It would just feel weird to walk into school in the morning and not know what you're doing that day! Also, I know that many of the teachers at my school who do not plan tend to run off a lot of worksheets to have on hand.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It is none of their business when or if you do extra work for you class. They might be saying it though, because it makes you stand out and thereby makes them look bad. Especially if they have a screw the many attitude right now. You coming in on Sunday makes it obvious that you aren't screwing the man and thus not on their side.

    About lesson plans - I would no more judge them for not doing lesson plans than I would be expected to be judged for work on Sunday. You can't very well get upset about them getting into YOUR business, when you turn around and get into theirs. If they don't need lesson plans, more power to them.

    Last week was our week back after Spring Break. I had lesson plans made before we left on vacation. Came back, had plans written on the board and within ten minutes of class realized I was off by an entire day. Because of the activities and need to share within the department, my entire week was messed up then. So each day I walked in with a "what am I going to do today?" I knew where I was going because I've taught the subject several times. So I made my plans on the fly.

    I could totally see how someone who has been doing it for 20+ years would not need formal lesson plans at all.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I take a weekly planner and write down what I plan to do for each class. I have so many different classes (3rd-9th grade science/biology and 9th English) if I didn't write stuff down I'd be lost. But my plans are exactly this descriptive:

    "Powerpoint with guided notes on mitosis, pg. 155-160, virtual lab"
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I feel the same way. Plus I am not good at trying to come up with something last minute. My plans are very important to me. I bring them up on my computer as soon as I get in and go through them. That also allows me to ensure I have everything ready for the day.
     
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I write down a basic outline for the day, but everything is planned. I know what I am going to teach and what my goals are for each lesson. It's not detailed, though.
     
  15. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I still write lesson plans for the week. They may not be as detailed as the ones I write when I am out, or being observed; but I still write them. I also save them from year to year to check my pacing and to see how I approached a topic from the previous year.
    With common core upon us, we are expected to be able to tell what standard we are covering on any given day. Thus, planning makes that easier-it is written in my plan book.
    We are not allowed into the buildings on the weekend, so I go to school early every morning and leave right after school. It works for me.
    I think whatever works for you is what you should do-regardless of what others may think.
     
  16. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I have to be organized, so even if I didn't have to write plans, I still would. I will admit that after I write them, I rarely look at them. I need them so I know what copies to make & how to organize the copies.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 7, 2013

    My plans are pre-set as a team each semester so we all teach the same thing at the same time (we've had students switch teachers for one reason or another, and this keeps it easier for those kids). Live teaching sessions have to be planned out in advance. We teach in teams of three or four teachers. If we didn't have a map of who was running what activity, it would be a mess.

    At this point, I cannot imagine trying to wing it in the classroom.
     
  18. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    What you are describing, is extremely common in teaching... that is, teachers (who happen to reside at the top of their district's pay scale) doing the least possible in doing their job...

    Do not let the attitude of others bring you down to their level, because that is common too. They try to shame you into not going the extra mile. I see these types of teachers bring an almost transient sort of existence to teaching, as if teaching is a side gig to them (they always seem to have their purse or their jacket or sunglasses on top of their heads, as if in a constant readiness to leave). I know elementary teachers who, even in the middle of the school year, didn't seem to know the names of all of her students!
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This is how I plan (English)
    we're reading stories from the textbook, include a lesson component (of a concept, like direct / indirect characterization), and vocab. I like to do assessments and conclude that 'unit' on a Friday, so because our classes are short (48 minutes), unit will take 2 weeks. I call it a unit, because I'm not following the textbook strictly, I can jump around all I want.

    So:
    - I know the starting and end point.
    - I know that I have to have enough vocab development for the students to master the words, so warm up every day is vocab.
    - the lesson on the concept is on Monday and then revisit throughout the 2 weeks
    - read the story, take a few days
    - questions - comprehension checks, interprations, etc. Include the concept.
    - writing component: 11 sentence paragraph, will normally take 2 days
    - review and test.

    This is actually all in my head, I don't even need to write it down. I always make a Powerpoint, that's how I plan, so my lesson plan is on a powerpoint, because the first slide every day is the agenda for that day.

    What I want t do is spend maybe 3-4 hours on the weekend to get all this done (2 different preps), and then just touch up / adjust during the week. I don't know yet how fast / slow we can go, things can happen that will cause an adjustment, so I'm staying flexible.
    But I don't feel the need to actually write a plan. If my P asked me for one, I could have it all done in 20 minutes.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Apr 7, 2013

    For the last 9 years I've had to turn in lesson plans for the entire week by Monday morning. I have never missed a deadline, but I know teachers who have not turned them in on time. They were first warned, and those who didn't comply were written up.

    Personally, I do think it goes a bit too far. I like to plan 3 days in advance and be really prepared. I don't see the necessity of having Friday's plans done before the students arrive on Monday except that this makes it easier for the P.
     
  21. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Apr 7, 2013

    We have to submit ours, but all we need is the objective and a few bullet points.
     

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