Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Big Picture- Writing Long Range Plans

I don't know how on earth I didn't mention this in yesterday's post...

I'm going to first grade!!

After three years in 3rd grade, I am SO ready. I picked up my curriculum books and, woah, this is going to be a bit of an adjustment. But certainly a welcome one.

My first year teaching at my current school was quite a whirlwind. I was hired about 5 days before school started and had A LOT to do to prep. I touched on this in my first blog post you can read here

Needless to say I didn't do any long range lesson planning. Then, two summers ago as I was preparing to enter my second year I sat down and mapped out what my year would look like. 

I started by looking back over my old lesson plans so I could have somewhat of a "realistic" idea as to how the year might go. Then I started plugging away.

I kept my planning pretty simple. I only included months down the side and subjects across the top. The only info I plugged into each box was a chapter number and title or topic. This was put into a plastic sleeve and kept in my teacher binder that you can see more about here.  

As the year progressed I tried to refer back to this sheet and make myself little notes. As you can see in the pic below, anything I checked in blue was finished before Christmas break. 

I circled things in green that I wanted to remember to rethink. For some reason those items didn't work as planned. As I began my long range planning for this upcoming year I was able to look back at these plans and make changes accordingly.

The most difficult thing for me to plug in is history and science. We don't overlap so I try to do my best to split each 9 weeks evenly between the two, but it's hard to show on this particular type of planning sheet. But for the purpose I use it for---to give me a "big picture" idea of the year it words great! 

Now that I'm moving to first grade, I'll have to go through this process again with my new curriculum. I've got some work ahead of me! 

What's your best planning tool/idea/system for looking towards this new school year? 

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