Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How do you plan? Linky Party

Hi Everyone!

I decided to take part in this fun linky party to explain how I plan my lessons! It is amazing how many aspects there are to planning.  After all, lessons have to be engaging, aligned to standards, sequential, designed to meet the needs of ALL students, and educational---wow, so much to consider.

My planning sessions take place with my amazing team. The 4 of us get together, usually at school, but sometimes at someone's house, and tackle this task together (school requirement---but amazing none-the-less). We begin by looking at the schools vertical pacing guide. Our school wants all grade levels (k-8) to teach the same basic theme at the same time (i.e. poetry in April), so our vertical teams develop a general schedule for us to follow which tells us when to teach each concept.

Next, I use this document to create our grade level pacing schedule. It breaks the year down into months and then into weeks. I fill in what we will teach in each subject each week and what standards we will cover for that week. I also map out field trips for the year and all special days (i.e Johnny Appleseed day) this allows us to plan ahead and make sure we don't have too much one week and nothing for the next few weeks.

After this is designed my team and I meet each week to decide how we will approach the topic/theme mapped out in the pacing guide. We usually try to include a book and culminating craftivity for everything we teach. We also use a lot of brainpop, bookflix, and TpT/Blog finds in our planning.  As we plan we fill out our lesson plan template with our plans, which we are required to e-mail to our administration each week. 

At our school the teachers make their own copies, so once everything is planned out someone is assigned to making copies and prints out everything needed for the next week (usually this is the person with the most time during breaks). This is often a lifesaver for me because I teach the lowest reading class and usually have LOTS of RtI meetings and conferences during my breaks.  It's nice to have a team to rely on! 

After the copies are run, I gather supplies and place everything I will need in bins for each day of the week.  Organizing it this way really helps in the event of an unexpected substitute!  It also allows me to feel prepared when I walk in the door Monday!  :) 

So there you have it!  That is how my team and I prepare our lessons!