I promise this post is all about lesson plans, but first it’s time to catch up with this month’s “Currently“
Noooooo, say it ain’t so! We seem to have that awful end-of-summer plague. It comes, and goes, and then comes back.
One of my all time favorite bloggers left me an awesome Facebook message and hopefully we will continue to chat. This year, I have more pull-out sessions to support my students. This is great, however, after only three weeks into the school year, I’m starting to feel slightly “isolated” from the fantastic first grade team. Chatting with awesome teacher bloggers who totally “get it” certainly helps and I really appreciate it!
Velcro is competing with my other go-to BFFs: lamination and Boardmaker. Unfortunately, this new must-have is HARD to find locally (I have to order from Amazon) and is a bit expensive, in my opinion. However, it only takes 30 seconds of observing my precious students tearing into an adapted task featuring these magical Velcro dots to confirm it’s TOTALLY worth it 🙂
I want everything! I want every single teaching tool…whether store-bought or handmade…that will help my students. I would do anything to help them succeed.
I need absolutely nothing. Although I want to purchase so many amazing teaching materials I see, I know what my students really need is patience and support. And those are both things I am happy to provide.
It may seem like I’m cheating here, but our Florida trips are truly the way I survive 🙂 My mother-in-law lives here and graciously lets us visit several times per year whether she is in town or not. We are now up to four visits every year with the next one coming up at the end of October! It’s hard to explain, but this town feels like home to me. I know the neighborhood, the sights, the people…I truly feel like I belong there. When days are long here in Baltimore, I look at real estate in Redington Beach. I already have a place picked out!
Here’s a few pictures from our future home!
Back to Business – Lesson Plans!
This school year, I’m required to upload my lesson plans to our school’s database TWO weeks in advance. I create one lesson page per day for the three main content areas:
- literacy (phonics, ELA)
I work from the general education lesson plans in those three areas and then I’m “on my own” for the intervention block (focusing on my students’ IEP goals and objectives), Guided Reading (we don’t start until October), and Writing (because my students are below grade-level in this area).
My lesson plans are approximately 16 pages long every week and I’m required to carry them with me. I use a clipboard and then refer to this cover page to keep the objectives in mind:
Lessons Plans for Next Week
These plans are actually for the following week. Here’s a glimpse of what the one-day lesson plan looks like:
I’m required to write these plans soooo far in advance. The weekend before I teach them, I look at the objective and assessment more closely, plus the guided practice.
Next, I create any visual supports/accommodations to help my students gain access to these general education plans. This year, it’s all about sensory materials, including an interactive notebook component.
How do I feel about writing lesson plans like this? Truthfully, I’m hardly looking at them by the time my students arrive in the classroom. I can’t even imagine taking my eyes of what’s going on to flip through pages!
I do think the exercise of going through such a detailed lesson planning process helps me internalize the “big picture” objective. I know exactly what the “end goal” is for my students.
These lesson plans take A LONG time to write (5-6 hours minimum) and that happens on Sundays. The two weeks ahead is the part I struggle with the most – this time frame feels like an eternity. First graders can change quite a bit in two week!
All in all, I think it’s a great practice for teachers struggling with writing effective lesson plans, yet I’m not sure if it’s sustainable. Stay tuned!