One Sunflower

Weekly Lesson Plan: what’s important right now

on November 20, 2011

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!

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5 responses to “Weekly Lesson Plan: what’s important right now

  1. Gretchen says:

    Sweet.

  2. I’m using Teaching Strategies Gold for the first time this year (I’m required to record data with this system)…your reflections and concerns echo mine! My classroom allows children to do many different things – children are engaged by different things. I couldn’t imagine planning a week around one specific [limited?] theme. I gave myself permission to teach and plan the way I always have, but to use Gold to enter data based on what I observed during the day. (And I crossed my fingers that I would accumulate enough data for all of the objectives, for all the children.) This has worked very well for me. Gold has proven to be a very good support, embellishing my plans. I like the fact that it is so flexible – not mandating a specific curriculum.

    • onesunflower says:

      I’m so glad to hear from someone else experimenting with TSG. I’m probably just going to tag the week the way I always do – with the date! I haven’t played around with entering anecdotal records from the day – but once this fall’s conferences are over, I’ll have more time to look into that.

  3. Pam says:

    It isn’t a weekly theme you put in the study area. It is a project (the big picture) that you work on for several weeks or months depending on the student response. Projects are chosen by children interest.

    • Amelia Bacon says:

      @Pam – thanks for your input – it has been a year since I posted that entry and I’ve done a lot more experimenting with the TSG lesson plan format. And you are right – I never put in a weekly theme, I just list it as “week whatever… usually a date” and then I plug in all the stuff my students are currently doing. It is still a cumbersome form for me but now that I can add an additional form of my own choosing I don’t mind using the TSG.

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