Thursday, December 27, 2012

Implementing New Units...gah!

So, I've been really busy since the school year started. One would think that after 14 years of experience, teaching would be a breeze. You would think that all I'd have to do is make copies and sit at my desk and, well, put my feet up.

But, alas, no...

I started writing this post in September and assumed that I'd have it finished in early October, but here we are. Anyway, I just wanted to show you a typical unit process.

And, I also wanted to say I'm thankful that I'm only doing this for one class not two, I'm thankful that I have two lovely ladies teaching the same class with me to help, and I'm glad that, other than our approach to grammar, the 2nd semester isn't full of drastic changes.

This is the book we used for our short story unit.
It's from the 1990s, my colleagues husband remembers
using it when he was in high school.
Frankly, I love this book, but I understand that it is quite old.
Planning a unit looks a bit like this:

  1. Is there a test already created? If so, does it follow the CLEs, and, for this year, does it follow CCSS?
  2. If not, create a test...which means we have to look at our learning targets and our ELOs. If not, revamp said test. Thank goodness this particular unit already had a test created like my 2nd year of teaching, shared with others and revamped my 6th year of teaching and only needed to be updated a little.
  3. From the test create a calendar of what goes where (we're all about backward design)...for this unit that meant: 1] reading strategies 2] what stories or activities should be homework 3] what stories or activities should be completed in class 4] what's for enrichment 5] what's for remediation 6] what's for a grade 7] what's for practice and 10 years ago all of this looked different. Heck, 3 years this looked different. 
  4. Create what needs to be created...when there are three people working together that's pretty awesome because you can divide the work load and, if you are the veteran teacher you can say, "Since I made ---, could someone else make ---?"
  5. Implement said plan. This, of course, means writing new lesson plans or revamping old ones...ugh.
Here's are the lesson plans for this unit:


We've made three new units for 1st know and then there's the usual grading and takes up a lot of time. My blog has suffered.

But, I gotta tell you, this has been one of the best year's of teaching EVER! Really! And, I thank my PLC for making that possible. We're quite a team!

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