Your Secrets for Advanced Lesson Planning

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cutNglue, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 18, 2010

    As my first year of teaching is coming towards its end, I am learning a few things that I plan to change next year. I have never been big on themes but if I teach lower grades again next year, I think I'm going to plan this way. I also followed the pacing guide our district has but did not use our school program (H.M.) to help me. I think I am going to change that next year and follow more of the program because I found as the year goes on, it does cover the material in the pacing guide, just a little differently since we have different materials than the one the district uses. The reason I am saying all of this is because I need to get a better grip on lesson planning. It sucks up all my time. I am still basically week by week. I just finally made a rough sketch for the first time on the remainder of the year for math. I was excited about that because I can't stick to day-to-day completely structured plans especially when little kids have different time-tables but to actually plan out the remaining sequence, was a step in the right direction. I've gotten better at tons of stuff this year including record-keeping for guided reading (I didn't have a plan at the beginning of the year and now I have found what works for me). The one area I need to really tackle next year is getting better at planning ahead.

    What are your tips and secrets?

    (Note: Although I read the curriculum at the beginning of the year, this year's curriculum was brand new for this grade level. Since I hadn't taught or been exposed much to K before, I couldn't see the general comparisons. I didn't understand how it was all integrated and repetitive. Because it was new, we got our pacing guides month by month or maybe one month ahead. It took some time for me to see the commonalities and the structure of the overall plan. Now that I understand what it is that I am reading better and how it all plays out, I think planning will be a bit easier next year. I am told that I may switch to 1st grade but they started this particular curriculum approach 2 years ago and I'm told it is much clearer. So overall I think next year will be easier but I am still looking for TIPS! I drown every Sunday trying to spit it all out. It's not as good as I want it to be because it isn't prepped ahead enough.)
     
  2.  
  3. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    96

    Apr 18, 2010

    I create a template in Word for my lesson plans and parent newsletters.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 18, 2010

    I guess what I'm looking for is how do you approach lesson planning (not the actual paperwork). Do you go by themes? Do you map out skills or curriculum objectives and when to meet them? Do you follow the sequence provided by program materials? Do you have certain routines each week?
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    65

    Apr 18, 2010

    I feel like I'm in need of help with this too... I think that a huge part of my problem, is that in the last three years, I've had four different jobs... The only time I knew in June what I would be doing in September, it was a brand new program that I couldn't possibly plan for over the summer, cause I had no idea what it was supposed to look like.

    It was incredibly difficult to get a call on Friday afternoon, asking you to come in and teach third grade for the next three months starting Monday... I couldn't plan easily at all, and it was week to week (if not day to day).

    Then in January, I had a bit more time when I was told I'd be taking a first grade class for the remainder of the year, but it was someone else's class... I couldn't really plan, until I knew where they had been.

    Generally, what I need to do is take some time before the year starts to really map out the curriculum. Take a look at the reading and writing standards... since our standards are based around the six traits, I would spread out teaching on the six traits across the year. Once I have an idea when I want to teach each concept, I'll break it down a little more by week (being sure to leave a bit of extra time for assemblies, field trips, snow days, and various other interruptions that happen).

    I can't wait for the time when I have my own classroom from the start of the year to the end so I can really use this strategy.
     
  6. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,833
    Likes Received:
    310

    Apr 18, 2010

    How do you have any idea how long things will take? I can't wait to learn all this stuff. :)
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    65

    Apr 18, 2010

    First year? You don't! :lol:

    My plan though, is to leave a lot of unplanned time at the end of the year, just in case I need more time on certain topics, so I know I have that buffer.
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    Lesson plans are on Word so that I can cut and paste.

    When I did teach all subjects, I had certain routines.
    I have a Word format for the plans.
    For example:

    Topic: Type it in
    Standard: cut and paste from the state standards page or previous day.
    EQ--again from the state standards page or from previous day. Make it as generic as possible so that it doesn't change much from day to day, just from topic to topic.
    Activator: That's the math review, a short story, a personal anecdote, a photograph discussion, etc. Sometimes the ones in the teacher's edition are just fine. I have lots of different ones. I'll probably make an activator page of ideas this summer to put in my lesson plan book, but since I'm only teaching writing this year, it's usually a book, poem, or paragraph on a chart tablet, etc.
    Teach: Lesson page, brief description of any extra such as "in pairs" or "in coop groups" or "check after 5" (meaning come check with me after doing five. etc.) I know that I'm going to teach it first, have them practice it with me, then work independently or with a group. I don't need to write it down anymore.
    Sumarize: I have a list of 12 summarizing strategies and I'll type #3 or #5. The list is on cardstock and in my lesson plan book.
    Homework: I almost always give math homework Monday-Thurs. Usually around ten problems. Some kids get spelling homework. Some get language homework. I don't worry about "fairness" in "Why do I have to have language homework and so-and-so doesn't?" I just raise my eyebrow and look at them.

    Having the format cuts down on a lot of work. Cutting and pasting standards and EQ's works well. Working on one or two topics per day works well so that I don't have to spend all day Sunday working on plans. Using the good resource books helps a lot. I've been working hard at not reinventing the wheel this year. My creativity can come when I put my spin on it in the classroom, not when I write it down.

    Did that help?
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    Every year is different in knowing how long something takes. So I may have plans for Friday that get cut and pasted over to Monday.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Apr 18, 2010

    Shouldbe, my plan is roughly similar to yours.

    I make a word document, a chart, over the summer. For each course I teach, I have a column for:
    - topic # (though it doesn't always match "lesson #)
    - title
    - homework
    - misc (as in "need graph paper/ calculator...)

    That gives me a bare minimum baseline number of lessons. From there I can extrapolate.

    But I can look at my chart, see what's coming up, and the number of topics I'll have to cover in the remaining time.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 18, 2010

    What I find so far is that I make a rough plan for the week, putting it on a chart so I can see all activities for the week at the same time. Then I make another sheet that lists my big objectives or goals. That way if I get bogged down or stuff happens, I look on my list of goals and see what I can pick that best fits that with the most impact. It's sloppy as all get out but it seems to work for me. What I want to get better at is outlining a scope and sequence for the month and eventually year so it will give me a clearer picture of where I'm headed and not just where I've been and where I'm at.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    1,114

    Apr 18, 2010

    I thought you'd had your own classroom for a few years? Are you in a long-term sub position this year?
     
  13. kacieann

    kacieann Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    I map out my Math and Social Living at the beginning of the year. I normally leave about a week at the end of the six weeks for catch-up days. For reading I am required to use the basal reader and the skills line up with my standards. I list my objectives in a monthly calendar. I need some structure because of all the material I am required to teach. I move away sometimes, but this does give me a guide.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 18, 2010

    I think this is what I'm going to do next year as well. If I could these mapped out (easier than language arts), then at least half of it is ahead.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. bella84,
  2. Ms.Holyoke,
  3. Linguist92021,
  4. futuremathsprof,
  5. MissCeliaB
Total: 395 (members: 5, guests: 365, robots: 25)
test