Teacher Hub: Effective Planning
Assemblies, field trips, extracurriculars, pep rallies – there is always something getting in the way of a full week of instruction. Education increasingly becomes more demanding on all stakeholders. Back to school nights have come and gone, and we are going to be approaching parent-teacher conferences before you know it! Teachers are overwhelmed with the latest and greatest initiatives, parent meetings, and administrative walk throughs and observations. How do educators keep it together every week?! Well, the best educators do so through effectively planning each and every week.
We need to get the most “bang for our buck” when it comes to instruction every week.
As we know, a well planned lesson will lead to success. Every week requires all teachers to be a master planner. More-so, every week requires the most efficient time management possible. How in the world do we do that? Check out what works for us. If you have any suggestions, please share!
1) Use Assessment Time Wisely
When assessing for any data, plan in such a way that also allows for instruction. For instance, when a student completes the assessment, provide some form of instruction rather than making them wait until everyone finishes. With smaller class sizes, you can actually mark the assessment and begin identifying areas of strengths and needs. Another means of utilizing time is through blended learning. Give the assessment online, and upon completion of the assessment, they are immediately channeled to a flipped classroom lesson.
2) No Time Wasters!
Yes, we all love the “about me” activities, drawing, pasting, cutting, “free computer time” during assemblies and half days. The list goes on. However, before you know it, the day is done. Integrate the “about me” activities into instruction. For example, if you are doing a lesson on spelling, give them words that they can use in a sentence about themselves. Any time of instruction wasted is a disservice to our students.
3) Get Excited!
What class does not start out with some form of assessment? How else do we know what they need to learn? Introduce the assessments with excitement. Make the classroom a fun place for them that first week (WHILE integrating assessment and instruction). We need to shape behaviors this first week. Do not waste that time on fun games that are not associated with learning. Make learning fun!
4) Make Data Meaningful
While you are making learning exciting, give the students ownership of their data. Help them create graphs to track progress. Explain that more importantly than where they begin, is where they end. Encourage them to keep track of their progress. Have them plot the first point, and identify their goal.
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