Teachers who do not plan for the week ahead

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SpringGirl14, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. SpringGirl14

    SpringGirl14 Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Is this the norm for most teachers who have been teaching for a very long time? Just curious as I know of someone who does not write any lesson plans, other then the few times she had to, for administration. Also, when asked what the students will be learning in any subject for the weeks ahead, she will start saying I have no clue, all we get are teaching points and they are so vague. I know the school year has only began, but I have not seen any formal plans being taught by her other then a few independent writing exercises and math which is taught by her flipping through pages of the children's workbook and just writing examples from this. This could just be a warm up I'm assuming:unsure: So is teaching from the textbook and going along with that, is this how most teachers do it? I've also asked her certain questions pertaining to what the curriculum is, for say, social studies, and I will get the answer "I haven't taught that in so long so I don't know and all they give is a teaching point and it's too vague":dizzy:
     
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  3. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I have to plan out each week or else I feel completely unorganized. I don't like the feeling of "winging it". During my planning period each day, I look at the next day's plans to make sure that they are going to work, and I'll tweak them if I need to take extra time on something.

    I've been teaching for a few years, so I know the basics of what units I'm doing when, but as far as specifics, I have to plan them out in order to stay sane.
     
  4. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I do admit that I wing it most of the time but I do not use a textbook. My subject has a logical progression so I do know what subject I am teaching next but I often do not know what lab or set of problems I am using until I send it to the copy machine each morning.
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I do not plan out everyday on paper. I only do lesson plans a couple times a month and then I barely follow them. I can tell you, however, what I am doing each day. This is after hours of research of things online and in books. For me personally lesson plans don't help, especially how we have to do them. But I also know people who have to write everything down so I think it depends on the person and teaching style.
     
  6. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I have to have plans out and ready for admins if they walk in. I type them then put them in a notebook. By the end of the week they are rarely accurate or they have been written all over.

    I 'wing it' if necessary (like when my team doesn't get me the copies for the week but that is a different headache) but most of the time my curriculum has a set flow that I've been teaching for a few years so I know what is coming up and the only thing I really look at is the page numbers.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    We have to have lesson plans turned into admin. There's no set time for this, but we do need to turn them in. I have to have at least a general plan laid out for the week or I would be very stressed. I can't wing it. I do know teachers on my campus that go day by day, but they've been doing it for awhile and it always works out for them.
     
  8. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I don't write formal plans, but I'll write out like unit outlines, and then pencil in activities from week to week. I always know what I'm doing, but it's never written formally.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2010

    We have district-wide "Pacing Calendars" for each grade-level. The pacing calendars tell us what we need to be teaching each and every week for both language arts and mathematics.

    Because of the pacing calendars and also due to the fact that I've been teaching the same grade for five years, I don't write formal lesson plans. I know what I'm teaching each week, though!!!
     
  10. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I do write them; but if I forget to or skip it for a week it does not matter at this point. However I would not claim I do not know what I am doing. The district I work for has a pacing guide which is followed. I have been teaching the grade for five years and have the routine pretty well memorized.

    Are you a student teacher, a student, or a parent to a child in the classroom? Are you in the classroom all day or just every once in a while? If you are not there all day you may be getting a misunderstanding of how she teaches. What grade does she teach?
     
  11. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I do a rough outline of what I plan to achieve in the week ahead and then go from there. Regarding units, I do try to plan those out too. It sounds like the teacher you mentioned is completely winging it, though. Having a general idea of what you want to accomplish is so reassuring....I can't imagine going blind into a week without having planned anything, much less thought about it!
     
  12. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    We have pacing guides as well. These aren't detailed lesson plans, but they tell us exactly which page we will be on at any given time. I do teach out of the teacher's manual, but as I am not a terribly experienced teacher, I need to review it in advance.
     
  13. prek176

    prek176 Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I'm really bad with keeping up with plan books. (Thankfully, I don't have to write formal lesson plans.) For the most part one page leads to another (math, science, reading). I keep a lot of ideas in my head and based on the needs of the class can pull something out. Years ago I learned to be flexible. With that being said, a seasoned teacher taught me a trick that I do use. She wrote lessons/ideas on sticky notes. This made it easy to move around the lessons as needed. If I don't get to something on Mon. I can move the sticky note to Tues. (This works great if there is a snow day. I don't have to rewrite everything.)Same thing if the lesson takes longer than planned. I write a bunch of fun reading activities etc on sticky notes which I keep on the side and can fit them in as needed. Everything we do fits the frameworks for our state. And honestly, I don't have enough hours in my day to write formal plans especially since I've lost prep time this year.
     
  14. rdgrocks

    rdgrocks Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2010

    The other 8th grade teacher and I plan a rough sketch for each 6 weeks, then every Tuesday we get together and talk about the following week--what copies need to be made, what resources need to be pulled, etc. I put those notes in a lesson plan book that is just for me to see and that is what I go off of each day.
     
  15. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    We don't have to turn our plans in to anyone, but we are expected to make them. I find that I am not as effective in my job if I don't sit down once a week and think about where we've been and where I want the kids to be at the end of the next week. From there, I think about how I'm going to get them there. My plans are definitely tentative; I don't write out the Madeline Hunter-style plans that were required in college, but I do write down what I plan to do for each segment of my reading/writing workshop for each day. Otherwise, I feel adrift.
     
  16. kimberlyalice

    kimberlyalice Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Well, our lesson plans are posted on our website for the parents and students (technological advancement.) Since plans change, I have to modify them as we go during class.

    Before our new change, I used to draft a loose plan for the week and each day type out the specific daily plan on the SmartBoard for the children.

    I miss my old method, it worked better for me. So far we haven't had too many issues with our plans on the web.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 21, 2010


    I don't write formal plans. I do have a plan book, and know what I'm teaching each day. But I don't do a plan.

    I've been teaching since 1980. If I did still need a big formal plan, I would wonder why. My plan book at this point contains the name of the topic and the homework. In class, I have a list of things I need to include. (So, for last Thursday's class on pairs of angles, it read: "Pairs of angles: comp's, supp's, vert" That's it.

    At this point I can make up problems of appropriate difficulty; no two of my classes will have exactly the same notes. If kids in one class struggle with an easy problem, they're going to see another of similar difficulty. If they breeze through it, they'll see one that's a bit harder. I don't pull problems from the textbook, but I don't have them pre-done either.

    Some topics, of course, DO need pre-set problems because it's hard to come up with examples on the spot that work well. So today's notes (for me) have a list of problems involving complements and supplements in two variables. But I still have no formal plan written out; my plan book says "more" and the homework.

    I did have my week all planned out, but they went out the window yesterday morning. One, my kids needed an extra day on the topic, and two we have no classes on Thursday so we can attend the funeral of one of our teachers who died yesterday. So my plans for the week were revamped yesterday to accomodate these two changes.

    I know I'm being observed on October 3, but I can't tell you right now what I'll be up to; I'll know that the day before. (But I don't put on any sort of a show for my department chair or anyone else. John will see whatever it is I'm teaching that day in whatever method I would have taught it without him.) I do have a long range plan, but it's fluid enough to accomodate the changes I sometimes need to make.
     
  18. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I have 3 preps to juggle, so I just write a weekly calendar for each one. On it I put the daily objective, activity, and homework (if any). I don't have time for a full page plan per day per prep. I'd go nuts!

    I keep the calendars in a binder on the table in the front of my room in case admin comes in.
     
  19. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I make plans, but they're general. I made a format in Word (so I don't have to retype the standards for the things we do every day), and just plug in the things that are different...

    table work:
    stations: 1. 2. 3.
    story:
    group activity:

    The rest of the week is pretty much the same from day to day (snack, free choice time, etc), so I don't write it down.... just use arrows :)

    That's about all I write for mine. We turn that week's plans in the first Monday of the month.
     
  20. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Our school has a weekly homework page that goes to our website for parent's to visit when their students are absent. The extent of my lesson planning is preparing for that. Each day I know what standard I'm teaching to, what I'm covering, and how I'm going to cover it. I've been teaching for almost 14 years so I do know in my head how I'm going to teach the subject. We also have pacing guides that help us get through all the material before the state test.

    Any formal lesson plans for the week are basically blown on Monday because something always comes up that causes there to be a change in what is happening for the week. So, if you ask me what we are doing 2 weeks from now, no, I don't know because that depends on what we are doing now and what happens between now and then. I could tell you basically what we will be studying, but nothing more specific than that. After many years doing this, it works for me. If kids are absent and I have to plan 2-3 weeks in advance, they are usually a day or two ahead of where we are in class.
     
  21. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I plan them for the week (sometimes 2 or three). Like others I would feel unprepared without it. Plus I post a sketchy plan for each subject for the week, plus learning goals. Administration requires the posted learning goals, the other is for students (and myself) to refer to so everyone pretty much knows what we will be doing in class.
    I usually overplan, so we fall behind the posted schedule, never more than 1 day. If something takes longer than I thought, or I determine I need to alter the plan for a reteaching activity, it is OK. After all, it is a "plan", not written in stone.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    My partnership teacher did not have formal plans. she had a notebook that she used to house past worksheet, overheads, etc. And she just used them in order. She had taught the subject for so long that she didn't need plans.
     
  23. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Our plans our due every Monday, so I plan on Sunday and have the entire week planned out. When I was student teaching, my CT told me she never planned until the morning she came to class. She would roughly plan something on a sticky note. I always thought that was a little odd. I do very intense plans, and it is exhausting, but they are so helpful.
     
  24. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I plan by each unit. Students get a copy of my Unit Plan. It notes class activities, homework, test and quiz dates, and due dates for assignments. It, on the bottom, has a big SUBJECT TO CHANGE disclaimer. If I do change the unit plan I repost it to my students on the website and/or email them. I will reprint it only if I make very significant changes. Example: For my first unit for Western Civ. I decided to give two tests over the material, so I had to restructure my unit plans. So of course after that I handed out new unit plans.
     
  25. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    I have been teaching 7th grade math for five years now, so I don't write out a single lesson plan. I wish I were the kind of person who was organized and focused enough to know what they were teaching the entire week. I usually have it worked out in my mind. I do use my textbook sometimes depending on the lesson. I mostly just use it for example problems. For science, I pretty much plan what I am doing the night before, but it can always change when I show up to school that day and my mood. We haven't used the text at all this entire week and most of last week. We have been doing labs and other activities. Tomorrow, I think it is going to be a quiet review day while I pass out papers and deal with students who are missing a assignments.
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I like the sound of this--talk w/team members about where we want to go (i.e. where to be in 6 weeks), then get together to touch base weekly... and otherwise, just find your way (as a teacher) to every point. Simple. Not overly structured. Allows for freedom, but still maintain continuity.

    Simple is best.
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2010

    That's kind of how we do it.

    We have a syllabus and we all know where we need to be by the end of the trimester.

    And we all chat, so I know I'm pretty much 2 days ahead of one of the teachers, and a day ahead of the other. We share worksheets and tests (to be used by other teachers as review sheets) and anything else we can think of.

    But then we each teach on our own.
     
  28. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    We have to have these huge formal lesson plans written out now.

    But before they decided to do this, I would just write the topic, page number or a note or two (like "charades", or "partner murals") or something that made sense only to me.

    And, if I had my choice, I seem to naturally like writing plans down about two days in advance.

    But it's not up to me anymore. :(
     
  29. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I'm a first year teacher so I'd be lost if I didn't plan everything out. I even write down discussion questions that I want to pose to my students. But that's me.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    No, that makes total sense!

    My "plan" is the topic and homework. And sometimes it wll include a list of things I want to be sure to include. Not the formal definitions or anything, but kind of a "to do" list for me.
     
  31. teachtoday

    teachtoday New Member

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    Oct 3, 2010

    Can you just use last year's plans or why do you have to write new ones if you are experienced? Just trying to learn, thank you!
     
  32. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Oct 3, 2010

    My partner teacher across the hall is excellent at "winging it" and does not need plans. She has the GT class and often takes our lessons to another level... in the direction that the students take it so her lessons often look different than mine. She is an excellent teacher.
    If I tried to wing it, I'd be lost! I'd be frustrated, flustered and wasting my students' time.
     
  33. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I do use last year's plans. At least I use the plans from two years before!

    My goal this year is to keep as much reflection going each week as I can. I am following lesson plans written by the teacher whom I replaced, lol. We try to teach as close to each other as possible in the department. Of course there are some differences but it leads to a lot of collaboration. I figure it worked well for her and everyone else over the years so I might as well start there. I add it what I want to and remove what I felt was not as helpful when I taught it.

    Every day I go back over the lessons and make notes. On level students needed ten more minutes on this activity. Next time group by ability instead of personality. Try using a color overhead instead of black and white. Reflecting on the day not only helps me next week but it should make things a lot smoother next semester when I teach the same thing all over.
     

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