Effective teacher lesson plans do not come naturally...even to experienced educators!
I entered the teaching profession as an experienced and organized mom with lots of classroom volunteer time at age 35. I had even worked in an elementary school office for two years before getting my education masters.
I just knew that I could make everything in my classroom happen on a schedule without any hiccups.
Well, I'm very happy to report that I am able to pull off my daily teaching activities with only minor hiccups...and it only took me about eight years to figure out how to do it!
When it comes to elementary teacher lesson plans, there is not a single system I haven't tried:
The system presented in this section is the one that stuck. It's a combination of approaches, tools and implementation steps that will give you confidence that everything is ready to go and organized for greatest effectiveness. It also allows flexibility for making on-the-fly changes.
|Some states and districts provide nice, tidy packages of curriculum and teaching resources all coordinated with a published teaching schedule. Others...not so much.|
My approach is geared toward the "not so much" situation...but parts of it can be applied to any lesson planning scenario.
You decide what - and how much - you need.
I'm a tech person. I love my interactive whiteboard. I have multiple computers in my classroom. I helped set up our building computer lab. I have a student-response system (aka "clickers"). I use the computer and internet extensively while planning my lessons.
What's next? They're waiting...
But when it comes to keeping my daily "this is what we are doing next" teacher lesson plans straight and ready to go...paper wins.
Yes, my lessons are filled with technology such as interactive whiteboard presentations, videos, document camera items, etc.
But I have found that the most effective and efficient method for keeping myself on track is my trusty paper calendar and my pencil (the one with a big eraser on the end).
I've got 25 or more kids watching my every move during the day...I can't be jumping back and forth to my computer just to see what we are doing next or to make a quick adjustment to tomorrow's schedule since we didn't get through all of today's assignment.
In less time than it would take me to walk to my desk, I can make three strokes with my pencil/eraser and be done.
Someday, there will be an integrated classroom management system with a planning app I can run on my tablet computer that connects flawlessly to my stored resources, my interactive whiteboard, my projector and my document camera. That day is not going to be a reality in the vast majority of our schools for quite some time.
In the meantime, whenever that day comes, this system will transfer easily to the electronic world. If you follow it, you'll have the hard part - how to wrap your mind around content delivery - down. Launching an app will be the easy part.
And if you want to "computerize" portions of this system (such as typing into the daily planning form) then go right ahead. This system is flexible enough to accommodate you.
Effective teachers use effective methods...even if it means going "old school" once in a while!