Going back to school face to face? Going back to school on-line? Going back to school with some mixture of both? Have no idea what back to school will look like this year? This is where most teachers are right now. Parents, teachers, administrators, and students are all in a state of uncertainty. But, as a teacher, you know you have to get a plan together. How do you do that when things are changing so rapidly?
This is part 1 of a 2 part series on planning for back to school for 2020-2021. In this post, I want to give you some ideas on how to plan on paper, mainly because that is still my favorite way to plan anything. Next week, I will go over some digital options and give you access to a ready made online spreadsheet you can start plugging into. For this week, make sure to scroll to the bottom to download a free planning template AND my social skills calendar for 2020-2021.
I have surveyed quite a few teachers this summer, and the overwhelming majority of you are going back with some mixture of on-line and face to face instruction. Even more of you have been told this is subject to change up until the very last minute. But, you have to get some plans in order. You also know those plans will have to be flexible. Let me show you my favorite way to tackle this problem, and it is its simplicity that makes it so awesome.
I learned this trick my second year of teaching. My classroom always had a VERY mixed population of students. I had all different ability levels as well as grade levels. In addition, I was constantly getting new students enrolled and having other students track out. It was enough to make me pull my hair out.
I typically had an idea of the topics I wanted to teach in a quarter or semester. I might even know the order of those topics. The big issue was how long it would realistically take to teach each one. Now, teachers also having to consider HOW they will teach it. Will it be online or face to face?
When it comes to mapping out my main topics, I have been using post-it notes to schedule and plan for years. I like how I can see the entire quarter/semester at a glance. But, what I love is the ability to quickly move things as needed due to re-teaching or other unexpected events.
Obviously this does not take the place of my daily lesson plans. That is an entirely different beast and calendar. However, I think too often we get overwhelmed with the daily details. That is why having a simple monthly calendar where you can plot out your big topics for the quarter or semester is helpful. It gives you a road map to go back and refer to as you develop those detailed daily plans.
Download your copies
If you would like a copy of the template shown in the picture above CLICK HERE. This is an excel spreadsheet that I have modified for the 2020-2021 school year. YOU WILL WANT TO DOWNLOAD THIS SPREADSHEET BEFORE USING IT. After you download it, you can change the subject headings on the left before you print it out.
I also wanted to share my Social Skills Planning calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. I figured it would be one less thing you have to think about and plan. CLICK HERE to download this calendar. It has clickable links to the resources I used.
One last note, if you are looking to add one thing to your lessons for this year be sure to check out my post: The ONE activity to add to your small group lessons. CLICK HERE to read more.
Check back next week, where I will share my favorite online tool for planning. And, I will give you the link to my own version, so you will not have to recreate the wheel!!