**1. Weekly Planning:** Many elementary teachers set aside time each week, often on Friday afternoons or during the weekend, to plan for the upcoming week. This allows them to start the week feeling well-prepared.
**2. Long-Term Planning:** Teachers also engage in long-term planning, which involves mapping out curriculum and learning objectives for the entire school year or semester. This planning ensures that they cover all necessary topics and align with educational standards.
**3. Collaborative Planning:** Some schools encourage teachers to collaborate with grade-level or subject-area colleagues to plan lessons together. Collaborative planning can provide fresh ideas and ensure consistency across classrooms.
**4. During Prep Periods:** Teachers may use their prep periods during the school day to fine-tune lesson plans, gather materials, or make adjustments based on student progress.
**5. Professional Development Days:** On professional development days or in-service training, teachers may have dedicated time for planning, curriculum development, and attending workshops related to teaching strategies.
**6. Summer Break:** Many teachers use part of their summer break to engage in more extensive lesson planning for the upcoming school year. This allows them to create detailed unit plans and gather necessary resources.
**7. Continuous Adaptation:** Effective teachers also adapt their lesson plans as needed based on student needs and progress. This adaptability is an important aspect of successful teaching.
**8. Use of Technology:** Some teachers use digital tools and educational software to help with lesson planning and organization. These tools can streamline the process and make it more efficient.
It's important for elementary teachers to strike a balance between planning ahead and being flexible. Lessons may need to be adjusted based on student engagement, understanding, and unexpected events. Being prepared and adaptable is a key skill in effective teaching.
The administration has a yearly plan of standards that must be taught. This is usually called a Scope and Sequence or Curriculum Map. From this mapping, a teacher should usually plan their lessons a week in advance. Most school systems or districts have prescribed curriculum systems provided to the teachers. For example in reading, HMH's Into Reading or Wonders, which teachers use to plan out their lessons.
Each lesson should be planned in advance. In general, lesson planning is one of the most important aspects of teaching. Through the internet, you can find many guidelines for lesson planning and teaching.
1. Connect with veteran teachers. If you are on a "team" (usually all 1st-grade teachers are on a team, 2nd-grade teachers on a team, etc.) then ask somebody who has taught for at least 1 full year there for their "scope and sequence" or at least the "units" they teach in order. This really helped me to be able to see the whole school year at once. Also, ask them to share their materials with you. The majority of teachers do, but I did find some who would not share materials with me.
2. Once I got the timeline plan with standards, I broke it down into bite-sized chunks. Maybe that was a unit at a time or a trimester. I would backward plan (with the end goal in mind). This means, that if the unit was on verbs, I would figure out what the end goal was and work backward from there. If I wanted all students to be able to identify a simple verb in the sentence, then that would be my goal and I would plan the lessons and pacing about how to get the students to that goal (or standard).
3. I would then plan the main concept for each day about 1 month out, and then the week before I would plan the actual content of the lesson each day (making worksheets, building powerpoints, assembling games). I used any and all spare moments during working hours to complete this. If the students were working independently for 5 minutes, I would lesson plan. I borrowed resources, used Teachers Pay Teachers, etc. I am the type of teacher who left work at work and didn't work over my contract hours. It's really hard, but it helped me so much to be the best teacher for my students.
Ultimately, my students were 95% proficient on grade-level for English by the end of the school year with this method. I worked in 3 different schools over my tenure as an educator and had great success with this. Lean in on other teachers, get support, and find a method that works for you! You got this!
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Elementary educators typically allocate specific times for lesson preparation, either during assigned planning periods or beyond school hours. The exact timing for this planning varies, as it depends on the teacher's personal schedule and preferences. Some teachers may opt to prepare their lessons in the early morning before the students arrive, while others might find the quiet post-school hours more conducive for planning.
The frequency of lesson planning is another aspect that differs among teachers. Some teachers like to prepare their lessons on a weekly basis, while others may prefer to plan for extended periods, such as a month or even a quarter at a time. The planning procedure generally includes identifying the learning goals, choosing suitable teaching methods and materials, and creating assessments to gauge student progress.
Here are the top three authoritative reference publications:
1. National Education Association (NEA) - The NEA is a professional body representing teachers and educators across the United States. Their website offers valuable resources and insights into various facets of teaching, including lesson planning.
2. Edutopia - Edutopia is a reliable online platform for educators, offering articles, videos, and other content related to teaching practices. They provide advice on effective lesson planning techniques.
3. TeachThought - TeachThought is an educational blog that explores a broad spectrum of topics related to teaching and learning. They provide articles and resources on lesson planning strategies specifically for elementary teachers.
May you be abundantly blessed!