Finding the Best Ways for Long-Term and Short-Term Planning
In your post Tell Your Classroom Story, you offered practical mediums for teachers to share what is happening in their classrooms. Earlier this year I did learn of Adobe Spark, and have grown to enjoy using the video tool. The layouts they have seamlessly allow you to add images and videos! Instagram is a neat way for teachers to have a class account to share about what is happening in class, but also connect with other classes! Blogging, in my opinion, is the one of the best ways to reflect and host the various ways a teacher shares about his or her classroom experiences. The Adobe Spark video can be put into a blog post. The images on Instagram can be included in a blog post with insight on the process of learning. However teachers decide to share, they should make it a goal to keep their sharing consistent and to connect with someone or an audience that can provide feedback...it makes the experience and sharing more meaningful!
You had some questions for me at the end of your last post:
Where are you in your work at this point of the school year? How are your lessons going? What seems to still be a sticking point in your work? Do you have a good long-term plan to finish out the school year?
The past few weeks have been EXTREMELY busy! I had a two week period where it didn't even feel like a weekend came! I remember wrapping up assessments (that was a long 3-4 week period) and also having spring conferences that same week. In the midst of all of that, my Google Apps for Littles book came out! On the Friday of that same week, I flew to Alaska to present two workshops on Saturday. It was so neat to connect with the teachers there and to see Alaska! I flew back in on Sunday. Luckily, the Monday of the second week was a holiday, so I had one day to recuperate. The rest of the week was a huge blur. I remember being happy about falling back into routines with my kids since assessments were done. Then, there was a day where I was out of the classroom to attend meetings for some of the leadership duties I have signed myself up for at my school. That second week I was also co-moderating the #InnovatingPlay #SlowFlipChat, we were discussing and reflecting The Process of Reaching Goals. I remember making it to the Friday of the second week and feeling so relieved!
At this point you may be wondering, how do you have time to plan?? My strategy for long term planning is to print out monthly calendars and PENCILING in standards/skills I plan on covering. Having those standards and skills in mind is helpful, that way when I try to create a theme or plan activities to make connections for my students, I know which standards and such to plug in. Thinking about a short term time frame, I typically plan a week out in advance. This allows me to keep things relevant to the kids. I can take any observations and include them in the following week's plans. Those observations can include questions the kids ask, their interests, events happening at school or that are in the news, skills that they need more practice with, etc.
I like using my Google Spreadsheet planner for the week by week planning. I have a master sheet that I duplicate for each new week. I have customized it to fit my schedule, but thought I would offer it to our readers in case the would like a copy of it or can become inspired to create their own! I like having my plans in a spreadsheet because each week has its own tab, and I can easily access it on any platform. I don't have to worry about forgetting my planner, because I can pull it up on any device with my Google account. I can link to any resources in my plans as well.
Of course, my spreadsheet workflow will not work for everyone...this is where I could use your help! What are some tools and resources that can help with long term and short term planning?
Talk soon, Lisa!