Posted by: jockmackenzie | June 11, 2009

Year Plan – the big picture


I was chatting with Rob “Rocketman” Irvine at West Park Middle school on Tuesday. He and his grade six class were setting off water rockets. He noted that when he arrived at West Park the previous Shop (or Industrial Technology or Career and Technology or whatever the modern term is) teacher had scheduled the “Rockets” portion of the program for winter time. Rob moved the project to the May/June time frame and it has made a lot more sense.

June may not be the best time to plan for next year but the summer or those planning days in August can be extremely helpful. The saying, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” is critical in teaching. Whether it’s the spiral curriculum or scaffolding or just plain knowing where you’re going, a plan is essential.

My best Year Plan came after a June operation on my varicose veins. I was stretched out, virtually unable to walk for over a week. I used the time to prepare a plan that incorporated each of the six strands of Language Arts in every month – well, June always has to be treated a bit differently. I looked at how many student contact days we had in each month, when report cards and parent-student-teacher conferences were scheduled, when the holidays fell so I could plan for Halloween or Remembrance Day or Christmas or Valentine’s or Arbor Day, how I could teach some things before others, how to avoid down times in June, and so on. I will offer more specific suggestions in an upcoming blog.

For now, my hint of the day is – Plan Ahead. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.


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