How far ahead should I be planning?

I was originally going to make this post about my plans to implement the Six Cedar Trees into my classroom and build community. BUT then I realized I was going off on a tangent and switched my focus to get back on track. I found this great website with a Teacher Summer To Do list which has inspired me to look at Planning for this last blog post.  This website has some great ideas; some of which are reminders for areas we have already talked about and others that will give you more to think about! It focuses on your Management Plan, relationship building/get to know you activities, routines and planning the first 2-4 weeks only…..

http://teacheroffduty.com/summer-list-first-year-teachers/

Although I agree we can’t plan to far ahead, as we wait to begin out school year there is much to think about and I do believe that having a loose (and flexible) yearly plan is necessary. My earlier post on What To Do the First Day of the School  advised us to begin planning for academics right away…..so which academics should we start with? To figure this out you will need a Yearly Planning template like this one from Teachers Pay Teachers. Or of course you can just make your own! You need to be able to organize all your main units by each subject and which months units should be placed. It is important to have a copy of the curriculum close at hand so you can be sure to include all the Big Ideas and Content. Make sure to know how many instructional weeks you have per month.

Here are some ways you can organize your units:

  • Seasonally – Consider what time of year it would be best to learn about certain topics (don’t study plants during the dark months of winter etc.)
  • Plan around Holidays such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter to use theming.
  • Focus on planning you Content subjects first then integrate Literacy and Math around them
  • Focus on areas that you are most nervous about to get that area out of the way.
  • Focus on areas that will create the most impact in your students learning.

Here are some more tips from SCHOLASTIC CANADA.

 We learned about the important of backward design last year with Paige and this situation is no different. Look at the units that you want to teach. Are there any skills that your students will need to know BEFORE you teach that unit? Put skill building units to the beginning of the year. Things like the Core Competencies, Historical Ways of Thinking and Inquiry skills are great to work on in the beginning of the year so that your students will be supported in deeper learning further down the road.

Well there you have it! We definitely won’t be completely ready when we start this journey of ours but hopefully this has helped you consider some of the things you will need to be prepared for as a classroom teacher…. *mic drop*

– Ms. S

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