I am fortunate to have the MOST AMAZING SPECTACULAR team to work with. We are all very different and we don’t do everything the same way or at the same time, but we plan together every week.
We actually start planning over the summer. We meet a few times to plan out our long range calendar. This is the calendar we use for themes, celebrations, field trips, and of course, we plug in literacy and math skills using our district pacing guides. Last year was the first year we actually liked to pacing guides! They are a huge help! They even tell us what particular skills we should assess each nine weeks. Of course we use the Common Core standards as one our driving forces of our plans. I am a huge CCSS fan, btw!
During the school year, we meet each Thursday during our planning time to plan for the next week. Now, I wish I were like Mrs. Stanford and could plan 6 weeks in advance. Honestly, I’m uber jealous. But I am just not that good. I admit it. You finally found my shortcoming! hehe During our weekly meeting we have to fill out a minutes sheet for the principal. Our school follows the “plan-do-check-act” model so our minutes sheet has a section for each component of the cycle. We also decide on the main standards for the week and share activities and ideas for the skills and themes. We always have a ton of ideas and resources because, we rock as a team. We do not lack for creativity!!
Our school also uses Smart Goals to keep us on track. We have a building wide goal and each nine weeks, each grade level sets their own Smart Goals that help meet the building goals. We use these goals as a data source as we plan and revise our plans. You can see more about Smart Goals here!
Funny story time! At the bottom of our minutes, is a section for questions and “other topics of discussion.” Well, since we plan on Thursday we always spend a few minutes discussing the previous evening’s episode of Modern Family. Our whole team are HUGE modern family fans. HUGE! We always include Modern Family in our “other topics” section. Last year, after about 8 or 9 weeks of this, our principal came to the meeting and was like, “What is this Modern Family you keep discussing?!” So we introduced her to the amazing wonder that is Modern Family!
After our weekly exchange of ideas, I spend my Sunday writing my lesson plans and preparing for the week. I use a great lesson plan template from Ms. M from A Teacher’s Plan to write my plans.I use my IPad and my meeting notes that I took on Notability for the IPad to write my plans. PS I LOVE Notability! No more paper meeting notes for me! I also use my paper files for skills and themes as I write my plans. Of course I also have my computer files and my Pinterest boards and my blogs up for
distraction reference, inspiration and resources. After my plans are written, I start creating things I need or preparing materials and items for my week. I also write my class newsletter to send home each Monday.
There you have it. How I plan for each week of instruction to rock my little monsters’ world and challenge them to achieve their best. And by 8:53 a.m. on Monday, those plans are a mess!!
And now for something special! Ok, not really…the fiance’ is always perturbed about the paint, glitter, dry erase marker and other substances on my clothes. Especially after the infamous green paint and Calvin Klein jeans incident. I kept telling people that I needed a “masculine” apron to protect my clothes. Well finally someone was up for the challenge. Here is the result! My aunt did an awesome job with my manly apron, don’t ya think?!