My Lesson Planning Style {Kelsey from Aloha to Second}

Lesson planning can be so stressful sometimes and be one big thing on our continued to-do list.  Therefore, I try to set myself up for the year to make it easier for me during the school year.  I am one that likes to begin with the end in mind and plan backwards - similar to what Stephanie talked about in her post yesterday.  I like to make a curriculum plan for the year so that I am able to ensure that I stay on task during the year.  I always fear that the end of the year will come, and I won't have time to finish teaching everything.  Therefore, I start by planning out the year.

Here is a template I use to outline the year and keep me on track.  Feel free to download it and use it if you like.  You may edit it - I used font KGCorneroftheSky, if you're interested in using the same.

For reading and writing, we use Lucy Calkins' units of study.  Here is a glimpse of my plan for unit teaching during the year.  I planned out what units I would be teaching and when.  Then, I use this unit plan template from my school to write out my plans for the year.  I am required to write at least 9 unit plans, have them reviewed by my principal, and then revise/edit them.


Another important part of my daily planning is using learning targets for each lesson and applying success criteria to each target.  Here is an idea of what I do:

In order to write a learning target, you must focus on what you want your students to learn for the day.

Example learning target:  I can show the letter A by writing it, finding it, and stating the sound it makes.  I know this is important because if I can read the letter A then I can read words and write words.

When writing a learning target, you want to make it a statement where the students are saying what they are learning by using I can or I will.  You also want to make sure that the statement doesn't start out as an action, but a description of what they're learning.

Then, you elaborate on the target by explaining how they will learn it and why it is important to learn it.  The "by" part of the learning target is also a brief summary of what you want the students to learn, which is the success criteria.

I like to start out by sharing the learning target.  I have the students repeat the learning target, and then I teach the lesson.

Then, once the lesson is complete, I have the students help me come up with the learning targets.  This helps them take ownership of what they're learning.  Yes, I have an idea of what I want the success criteria to be beforehand, but I like to give the students a chance to state them.  This is also a great way for me to see if what I taught was successful because if they can state the success criteria that I had in mind, then my teaching was effective!  

I also like to end by discussing why it is important to learn this.  I have a class discussion so that the students understand why we are learning this.  I think it is important for students to know why they are learning what they are learning.

I have thrown a lot at you!  However, I hope you find this useful.  I would love to hear if you use learning targets in your classroom with success criteria.  If so, please share what you do!

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