Hello! I hope everyone is having a restful summer. I think it took me about three weeks to get over the feeling that I was missing a deadline when school first ended. I don't ever want to be as over extended as I was last semester. I bit off way more than I could chew, that is for sure. I am still surprised that I survived. Anyway, I am preparing for my last semester of student teaching. I know the grade I'll start off in and the grade I'll finish in. I know both the mentor teachers and worked with them both in my first semester of student teaching. All is good. Before school ended, I was able to work out which subjects I'll start with. I have been gathering materials to put together my unit plan (3rd grade math), but realize I don't have much of an idea what a unit plan actually is. I don't have an assigned university supervisor/liaison yet (won't be the same one I had last semester). My mentor teacher does not want to have her summer interrupted, so I won't be able to get her input for another 3 or 4 weeks. I want to get as much done now as possible, but I don't have anyone I can hit up for help at this point. But this forum has been such a great resource for me, I thought I would ask here. I have access to everything I need through the curriculum resource center on my university campus. I have all this stuff (the student text book, the teacher edition, standards I need to hit, lesson plan ideas, etc.) and want to dive in and get to work. But I don't know where to start. Can anyone share their unit plans with me? How do you start? What do you include? I am inclined to use it as a road map for the unit, touching on the objectives for each week and outlining the individual lesson plans I would use daily to reach those weekly learning objectives. I truly appreciate any and all help! Sheilah

I start with my assessment, so I know exactly what I want my students to be able to do at the end of the unit. Then I figure out my time frame. My next step is to look at the standards I am teaching and determine how many days to spend on each standard--some take longer than others. Finally, I develop lessons for each standard.

Unfortunately, I don't think you can do very much planning-wise until you find out which math unit you'll be teaching. See if your county/school has a scope/sequence for math. Our county gives out a math and science calendar every year.

I always start with the standards that will be taught in a unit. Then look at how to assess those standards so you know what your students need to know how to do. Then begin planning out lessons and review for the standards as well as formative assessments to use throughout the unit.

I always use a backwards design model. What do you want the students to learn, how will you get them there and what materials will you need along the way? Factor in differentiation and varied forms of assessment with plans for reteaching. Have fun! Student teaching can be such a wonderful experience.

Thankfully, I still had enough brain power to get my unit identified before the end of the year. I know where I am starting and where I am ending. I think I have everything I need to put it together, just very unclear on what it should look like. I am getting great ideas here, though. This has helped a lot! Sheilah

It has been a wonderful experience for me. I wish I had done this when I was younger, so I could have spent more time as a teacher. But better late than never, right? Sheilah