L/A teachers-where to start?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teachertime, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    I have been out of teaching high school for about 10 years and recently got a position where I will be teaching all 4 grade levels for about 40 students. These students are mostly higher level or that's what the principal says anyway.

    The leaving teacher has left me all her teaching material, including quizzes and tests (though no answer keys), calendar schedules, syllabai and weekly schedules for each grade, books, and students' files from previous years with their papers still intact so I could look to see what is expected of me.

    The question is cause I'm overwhelmed: where do I start? I've been pouring through the books (novels and short stories), looking at all the teacher's manuals, except for 12th, and trying to make sense of the teacher's schedules for each class. I feel more prepared now for the three grades as far as materials.

    The principal and the Jewish spiritual advisor want to see every lesson plan, any materials--papers, magazines, books--before I present it to the students. I bought a teacher planner and have the first day completed for most grades, but now what? Do I just block the time for novel studies, block off days for that, or do I go deeper and write more specific questions, materials that I'll need, vocab words for each work? Then how much time do I block for say a Helen Keller unit which would include: Her autobiography, the play Miracle Worker, two scenes from that play, and an excerpt from Light in the Darkness?

    School begins on Aug 26th with new teachers returning the week before.

    A very sincere thanks for any and all responses to these questions. You are all the best.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 4, 2009

    They want to see all materials before you present them to class? I hate to be negative, but that would be too much for me. I think I'm spoiled. Well, I can't be of much help at all, but I will say that I imagine you'll need to provide rather detailed plans opposed to just blocking off time for the novels and whatnot you'll be covering, considering they want to preview all papers, magazines, and books being used in the classroom. Good luck.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 4, 2009

    I am assuming this is a private school - does the school require you to follow state standards? If yes, I think you should set down with your standards and start from there.

    As far as what is required for your lesson plans, I have never had to write detailed plans for admin so I am not sure what or how you go about writing your plans. I would ask your principal specifically what he/she wants to see in these lesson plans to be on the safe side.

    Good luck
     
  5. inlovewithwords

    inlovewithwords Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    First of all...DON'T PANIC! I am in a very similar boat. I just got a job at a private school and they want to see each week's lesson plans by Sunday night. I teach 9th grade and I will be doing a thematic study of various genres. Here is what I am doing:

    1. Plan for the whole year without details. Figure out how long you want to spend on each novel, text, etc... Get a calendar and do a rough sketch of the year.

    2. Ask yourself some questions:
    - How are you going to approach vocabulary? Will it be a new
    list every week, unit?
    - How will you include grammar? Mini lessons....
    - Is there anything you will be doing consistently throughout
    the year that you don't have to plan for? For example, vocab
    quiz every Wed., current events...etc.
    *Then use the answers to all of these questions and incorporate
    them into your planning.

    3. Once you have decided what text you will study first, plan for that unit. Try to at least get the first 3 weeks written down with details in your planner. I have a template that we use at our school for turning in lessons to the administration. Just pm me and I will give you my e-mail.



    PM me about the novels you are teaching and I will be glad to assist you with whatever resources I have. I have some great things that you can use for the first week.
     
  6. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 4, 2009

    At my previous school I had to submit weekly lesson plans, tests, and any materials used in class the Sunday before the week began. It really wasn't that bad, it forced me to plan my lessons out thinking about the whole week.

    What do you want your kids to know by the end of the Helen Keller unit? Write your unit assessment, then work backwards and create your lessons and unit. Think about whether or not the reading will be done in class or as out of class assignments. Are you teaching reading or writing skills during this time?

    I recommend reading and using the book Understanding By Design (aka backwards planning) to make you the most successful in your teaching and preparing your lessons.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 4, 2009

    The other posters have given some great advice. The first step is to look at your big picture goals. You really need to know in general what you want to accomplish for the year. Which novels will you teach? How many papers will they write?

    I agree that the Understanding by Design book is very helpful in guiding you in lesson planning. One of the biggest mistakes I see new teachers make is that they jump into a unit or activity with no clear idea of what they wanted the kids to learn and how they were going to assess that. You have to decide that first; it's the whole "Begin with the end in mind" philosophy.
     
  8. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Jul 6, 2009

    Wow!! So many good ideas. I've ordered the book, should be here by Wednesday. Sent out the pms.

    Now my next question is how long does it "usually" take to read a novel? I will have 4 students--so far--in 9th grade, 12 students in 10th and about 5 or 6 in each of the next two grades.

    The principal told me there should be a little over 40 students by the time school starts. These numbers were what the secretary told me early last month.

    Thanks again for any and all advice.
     
  9. jessi.lewis

    jessi.lewis Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2009

    Great lesson plan advice I got my first year:

    Set up a layout (using Word, etc.) with each class and the lesson plans for that week. When you have multiple classes, it gets very time consuming to write out objectives, standards, etc. for each class. This way, each week you can just type in the info., or copy and paste if you're still working on the same thing.

    The other great part about this is that if you print out an extra copy each week, you will have a complete book of your lesson plans to copy (in case you need to turn them in at the end of the year). AND - next year you can follow them/change them easily!

    Hope this helps; it was a life saver for me! :) If you would like the format I used, let me know!
     
  10. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Jul 8, 2009

    Got my book

    I received the book Understanding by Design today and I'm busy reading it. So far, so good. Thanks for the advice to get it.
     

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