Monday, August 25, 2008

Lesson Planning
Start the Year on a Strong Footing
I will admit it, I love sitting in my classroom writing lesson plans. I love the potential as I write down the ideal possibilities of what I want to accomplish with students.
I dug out last year's lesson plan book to use as a guide, wishing I would have written notes about what I did, what I wanted to do differently this year, what worked wonderfully, etc.. but alas, I am left with the cobwebs scattered in my head to remember.
The mandalas we made in social studies, I know were great. Students put them on their notebooks and I enjoyed them all year long. But I am really wondering if the 3 days of class time it took to finish those masterpieces was worth it? It is not a direct social studies linked lesson, to be perfectly honest. But does everything we do have to be??? Is it worthwhile to have students think about their own values, find ways to represent those values visually, and verbalize their meanings to their peers? Isn't that as important as learning about Ancient Rome or medieval times?
Math classes are so much easier for planning, so much more concrete in their direction. I know what they must know when they leave me, I know the order in which they need to learn it for them to be successful in the progression of learning. Black and white, 1,2,3,4... it all makes such more logical sense.
Is it OK that social studies represents a challenge for me? I often feel as if that one hour of the day is the wing zone, where I simply fly by the seat of my pants, trying to meet the state's standards, make it interesting and relevant, but never quite meeting the mark in my objectives.

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