Creating Unit Plans/Calendars for Students? Helpful?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Ron6103, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I tried something last year that I wanted to get some input on. I went through and created a version of each of my unit plans to give to each student in a course. And while it didn't include my own notes on a given topic, or page numbers and details I planned to use, it provided them with a broad outline of each topic.

    Each document would have a summary of the unit, the objectives, a set of mini-assignments, and a calendar of each day of the unit, indicating major topic for the day, and any assignments that are due.

    While I did this all year, many teachers expressed surprise at this, and very few of them actually do this in my building. So my question is... why? Do students simply not usually bother to use them? Are they not useful for any reason? Is this more of a "college level" thing?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I've done it on occasion, usually when I teach the same prep a few years in a row and can accurately guage where I'll be in a week or 2.

    My kids always love it, and are patient with the idea that it's not set in stone.
     
  4. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2009

    I give out a syllabus in the beginning of the year. By principal's decree it includes approximate dates for each unit and (also approximate) deadlines for major projects, finals, etc. I think a hugely detailed syllabus is not really necessary for HS, particularly if you're teaching out of an anthology or other structured textbook. But an overview of what they're about to study is never a bad idea, anticipatory set and all that.
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2009

    I just do a calendar with assignments, tests, quizzes and like Alice indicated with a big note "calendar subject to change." I do try to include objectives and standards on assignments when necessary.
     
  6. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Jul 21, 2009

    This is my ultimate goal. I'd love to give out a "unit guide" to my students with approximate due dates, assignments, readings, etc. Having just finished my first year, I don't have my timing down yet. I'm going to try to start little this coming year (maybe an "end of unit guide" or something?)
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2009

    This will really help with your pacing. Did you plan out your units last year?? I think this is the most valuable thing a teacher can do to help themselves. When you "lay out" your year you don't tend to get as side-tracked. My second year teaching I spent 4 week on the Romans :eek: I was supposed to get to present day history and I only made it to WWI. After that, I knew I had to get myself together in the best interest of my students. Just start with a simple calendar posting maybe reading assignments, quizzes and unit test. Do your best to stick to the calendar and that will help your timing issue.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I have most of my unit lesson plans written up and have an idea of what I will do on each day. I make a termly calendar and decide which and unit and lesson for that unit we are doing on each day. I number each lesson and write on its space on the calendar: Unit 1, Lesson 1, etc. Any time I want to add something to a particular lesson I place a star on that day, so I know to go back to it. I try to stick to this calendar as close as possible. I keep each day's lesson plan (very short basically an outline of what we are doing and the hw) in the binder I have for that unit. When I add new lesson or revise them I place them in the binder.

    My students get two types of planners. I give one at the beginning of the term which notes (generaly) all reading assignments, tests/quizzes, due dates, as well as time slots for each unit etc. This aheres to the same timeline as my calendar and helps my students and I stay on track.

    Every Monday my students also get a weekly syllabus which confirm the homework, classwork, agenda, due dates, tests/quizzes, and reminders for the week. Baically I just copy and paste my lesson plans for each lesson and revise when necessary. My students seem to like this becuase they can see what we are doing ahead of time.
     
  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Thanks for the input folks. I will stick with it, and see how things go this year. We just begun using EdLine (an online content management system), so I might actually start putting this stuff completely online now too. If anyone will actually bother to check it.......
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Ron, we use an online course management system, and the first thing my kids do everyday when they come in is log on and check what we're doing.
     
  11. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Interesting. Well, then I suppose I will most certainly post everything. Do you find yourself posting extra copies of readings, worksheets, etc, online as well? What else do you use the online system for?
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I post EVERYTHING, except for tests and quizzes online. Those I do post but students have to log in to use.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I'm the same as Brendan. My whole class is run through the online system. Check out the Moodle thread for more details! :D
     
  14. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2009

    I find if I make a tentative calendar, I am much more likely to stick to it because they are holding me accountable for it and I will follow through on it all.
     
  15. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2009

    I don't do a calendar, but I've done weekly newsletters to let parents know what was going on in class and about assignments. I really liked it, but putting it out every week was difficult and so it was more "hit and miss".

    This year I think I'm going to do a "unit newsletter" at the beginning of each unit with the big ideas, vocabulary, highlight some upcoming activities, and a tentative calendar for quizzes and tests.

    I try to post everything as well - last year I did that through Engrade but I found that it was too difficult maintaining two sites, this year I will post things only to my website.
     

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