Lesson Plans and Unit Plans

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by newengltchr, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2013

    I'm new to A to Z and I am loving it! It's great there's a resource for teachers, especially new teachers.

    Of course, throughout college, we had to create unit plans and lesson plans for everything we were to teach in our field placements. I will be completing my student teaching this upcoming semester and then begin looking for a middle school ELA position in Massachusetts.

    Thinking about unit planning and lesson planning is ALWAYS on my mind because I have no clue whether or not my future school district will have a curriculum map, lesson plan requirements, etc. I plan to create detailed unit plans; however, lesson planning for each class seems a bit much.

    What if a district does not have a curriculum map? Where would I even begin? Experienced teachers - how do you lesson and/or unit plan? Do you have your units and assignments created far in advance, or do plan for the following week once the week has ended? Of course, I understand that lessons might have to be moved forward or backwards depending on the class, but I am only talking about the planning part of this.

    I am curious as to whether or not I should plan one unit at a time throughout the school year (and have all the assignments I want to use created) or if I should have all my unit plans completed (even if I have to make modifications) before I begin teaching.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2013

    We don't have curriculum maps or pacing guides. We do have curriculum expectations (standards) for each subject--these tell us what we need to teach. They why and how are up to us.

    We are expected to have long-range plans (an overview of the year), unit plans and daily plans. I like look at the expectations, figure out how to group them and think about assessments that I can use. Then I think about themes/topics and resources and pull it all together. I'll try to have most of my planning for the first 4 months (until Christmas) done before school starts in September.
     
  4. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2013


    Yes, I am the same way. I, too, need guidelines to follow; especially for my first year! If you wouldn't mind, I would love to see an example of your completed unit plan. Do you create new units every year? Do you reuse any previous assignments/units? I have my own style, but I am interested in seeing what a completed plan looks like. My email is jm7782@mcla.edu. Thanks for your reply!
     
  5. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2013

    I like how you try to have the 4 months planned out. It would seem too stressful to create plans while teaching, assessing, grading, and all the other responsibilities. Do you use one theme for the entire year, or do you switch after Christmas break? If you wouldn't mind, I would love to see some examples of your completed unit plans. Do you create new units every year? Also, when you create a map of the year, how detailed are you? What does that look like? My email is jm7782@mcla.edu. Thanks for taking the time to address my questions!
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2013

    newengltchr--I'll do several units/themes throughout the year. The length varies depending on the topic--anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 2 months. I also try to integrate subjects whenever possible--incorporating procedural writing during science, and non-fiction text features during geography and history, for example.

    My long-range plans are quite general--outlining the topics/themes I'll cover when and the approximate time each will take.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2013

    It sounds like you are really worried about something that has yet to happen. Chances are that, that when you get hired, you will be provided some kind of guide to your teaching. This will definitely include standards and may include units, pacing, guides, daily lessons, etc.

    Take a few deep breaths, think about your student teaching, and relax. These next few months will be stressful enough without jumping to the "what ifs."
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2013

    This is what I have so far:
    - we'll start with about 4-6 weeks of short stories from the textbook. This will focus mostly on reading and writing standards (common core) I want to do this because it's easier for me, I will feel more comfortable (I already have complete lessons done from the past) and I don't want much discussion to go on in the beginning. My P said we'll probably have a lot of fights in the beginning of the new year so I'd rather have them busy reading and writing, too much creative things and class discussion can lead to trouble. I have to consider that.
    - then we'll do some novels. I thought about 'Living Up the Hill' by Gary Soto (he's from the same geographic area where we are), I also found the book 'The skin I'm In', these are very short novels, we could probably do them in 3-4 weeks each, maybe even shorter time.
    - then we'll do a writing unit, but I will probably connect that to the novels (writing narratives), so the novels could take much longer and then move on to a writing unit. (persuasive)

    That's it so far, but this could last until Christmas, I want to do other novels as well. I want to stay flexible and see how things go, what works, what doesn't.
    I have a lot of freedom in what I'm teaching, so that made it harder. I am thinking focusing on a theme 'coming of age' and choose novels based on that. We could do a lot of journal writing as well. My P said the real focus will be on the end result, students creating things, so I want them to tell me their stories.
     

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