I’ve been racking my brain for the past few weeks, trying to figure out how to create a template for a week plan that reflects the year plan I created. I think I’ve come up with something that I will be putting into motion when I return to work in January following my maternity leave (tear).
I shared in a previous post, my struggle with planning for a week. Day plans don’t work well for me, as I’m always drawing arrows, erasing, and adding things into my plan. I few years ago I came up with this schedule. For some, who are MUCH more organized than I, this would work. I just can’t seem to stick to a schedule. So I came up with a much more flexible plan.
This is what I see happening…
I have on the first page my fixed schedule. That includes times that are not up for negotiation. i.e.) my prep schedule and bell times. I also included a spot for supervision. (I’m really bad at getting distracted and forgetting to head outside, so I need to have my supervision visible to me so I don’t forget). Then I have an area for my literacy outcomes. Here I will put the outcomes I will work on FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK! That means, that I have the flexibility to cover them any day or every day of the week. I know what you might be thinking, what about the required minutes? Yes, I know! Don’t worry, I have on my last page the required minutes for each subject area and know that these minutes are non-negotiables too!
Alright, back to the plan! So I have a space for read alouds. This will be where I write specific books that I want to focus on in my lessons (I call my teaching time, collaboration time in my scheduling and to the students). I teach writing workshop, inspired by Lucy Calkins. If you haven’t checked it out, you really really should! It’s truly one of the greatest resources I have as a teacher and I have used it in Kindergarten up to Grade 4. I started using Units of Study for Primary Writing as an intern, and ended up teaching a class at the University of Saskatchewan on its absolute ease of instruction. It is a fabulous resource! So of course, I needed a space for writing!
Now my second page is dedicated to science and math. So again, I’ll write my outcomes that I will focus on for the week. For science, I wanted to include an inquiry/wonderings section. This could include some notes about what the children were wondering about last week, or some new thoughts or ideas they have during the current week. The exploration time is any learning activities that come out of those inquiries. Now math, is a little different. I really tried this year to make math hands on, however, I had a group that really struggled with number recognition and number sense. I still needed to have those lesson times for them. So I included that in the plan! I have a space for math-related read alouds and then exploration time (hands-on activities), then of course collaboration time (mini lessons).
Social Studies is planned out exactly like science. I found that the children have some really great inquiries that lead to fantastic projects in social studies. Health is similar as well. I have left a smaller section for music. Music is only 30 min/week so I generally will only focus on one or maybe two outcomes for the week and then some exploration time.
The last page is a page for “everything else.” I was so very blessed to have an outdoor classroom connected to the Kindergarten room (Yes, it was amazing!), so I wanted to include a space where I could write activities, wonderings, etc. specifically tied to the outdoor classroom. If you don’t have this luxury, try to still use this space for things that could be done outdoors. The great outdoors is an incredible resource that we don’t tend to use on a regular basis.
I also have a space for student wonderings/interests. I am envisioning this to be a place for me to pencil in some great ideas that the children have that could shape some of the outcomes, invitations, or explorations for the next week.
I also wanted to include a space for centres. I’m sure like many of you do, you have specific centres in your classroom that can rotate through the year. Here is a spot for you to write down the ones that you are using this week.
The invitations to learning space, is just for that. Invitations or provocations. These could be based from any of the subject areas, set out as centres, or however you want to organize it in your own room. My classroom was pretty small, so my invitations had to be set up at lunch and put away at the end of the day, because we didn’t have the space for them to be out all day.
Now classroom collaboration work focuses on collaborative projects that we may be working on as a class. This is sort of separate from everything else. (Although it may cover subject areas) A lot of times, the children may be creating a class calendar, word wall, alphabet, birthday chart, etc. I need time for that to be done during the week. Maybe it won’t be every week, but I do need a spot, just in case!
I love having a light table, and I always have a projector set up for the kids too. Although it may technically be a “centre” I like to have its own separate space for me to jot down some things specifically to light/mirror investigations. This also goes for some hands-on sensory activities. I had quite a time this past year, with fine motor, and a lot of activities focused on strengthening our fine motor. I found that I was always scribbling it down the side of my week plan. So, I just made a spot for it!
Now, here’s the thing…I know this is lengthy! I know it doesn’t all fit neatly onto one page, but I just can’t seem to get it to work any other way! How I envision this taking place when I return to work, is literally printing these pages on 11×14 paper! (I have a weird love for making everything on huge paper!) Maybe that’s not ideal for everyone, but hey, at least it’s a start!
Planning is messy and hard work! As teachers, there is no easy way to go about it and I feel like my plans are always changing. I’ll keep you posted as I work on implementing my plan come January. Let me know if you use it and how it works for you in your classroom!