Planning a Year - 1 of 3
"The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want." Proverbs 21:5
Long-term planning, for me, takes place in the summertime. I look through the curriculum I am using and plan month by month what I want to cover. Sounds easy enough? The trick is to line up expectations so they work well with each other, the season, and any siblings you are teaching as well. For instance, if I decide to cover point of view for reading in November, I'll also teach writing from different points of view and perspective drawing for art in November as well. Similarly, I will make it a goal to teach life cycles for science in April or May because I know it is the season for baby chicks and I might teach reading non-fiction texts and writing research projects and then assign a project on chicken life cycles to cover all those expectations in one go of it. Once I finish a tentative plan for one child, I will start planning for my second and try to cover similar topics that I can teach at the same time so we can all learn together and much more efficiently.
Once I am happy with each month's plans, I can go ahead and do some brainstorming to get concrete ideas of how to teach these topics. I look on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers for ideas and get as many specific activities as I can laid out before the school year even begins. This is the inspiration I use to start planning units.
For me, planning in this way really helps us have a productive year of learning. It allows for even distribution of the work load and the fun. It makes unit planning and daily planning much easier and ensures I cover all the expectations for a grade level within a year.
Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see an example of an early years or elementary long-range plan or if you would find it helpful if I made a blank template available for use. I will create a resource if there is an interest for it.
Look out for the next post in the series, "Planning a Unit". It will be coming out in the next week or so.
And as always,
Graphics by Anne Weaver