I tweaked my lesson plans once again this year. Most of my Head Start colleagues use a prescribed lesson planning form but those of us who work with the school district have had some personal discretion in how we record the work we do each week with our students.
Friday, I attended a training session in Teaching Strategies Gold, the new assessment and data collection system that has replaced Creative Curriculum. It is an amazing program that supports assessing the students online as well as creating portfolios, individual and classroom reports, parent-friendly communiques, as well as activity suggestions for supporting student goals.
It also has a lesson plan component. The instructor hinted that this might be the required format next year. So I took a close look and thought about how to blend the strengths of my current plan with this online format.
My current plan follows my daily timeline so a visitor to our classroom or a substitute can easily see what happens from one hour to the next. It also allows me to fill in the blanks from week to week since most of our day includes the same components. The Teaching Strategies Gold plan has no timeline, just a list of the components. The strength of the plan is that it transfers student goals easily from their portfolio onto the form.
I have one bug-a-boo; the online plan requires that I tag the lesson plan with the date as well as a “theme, project, or main idea.” Hmmmm… I don’t usually plan our work based on weekly themes.
If I asked Leopoldo, he might tell me that the main project for the coming week is to create a ramp system that allows his car to pass through the gate he’s created.
Lila might tell me that we should all be working on painting leaves and printing them on top of our names.
Karen has been working to see how the box lids help her put floor puzzles together.
Saul will probably tell me that we should learn how to kick a ball across the playground.
I think the tagline on the week’s lesson plan will be: Important Work for-right-now!