Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Year Long Master Plan

I was wondering if everyone out there has a year long master plan or if you sort of wing it.  I am too OCD to wing it.  I had to sit down from the very beginning and outline everything.  Of course, I know I won't get through it all due to field trips, assemblies, snow days and fire drills, but at least I have a plan.  As I stated in previous posts, I am not a thematic person, I am a unit person.  I like to dive deep into a unit and cover it thoroughly so that we can reference back to it later in the year and the kiddos will still remember it.

My first step was to create a list of topics that I wanted to cover and figure out how many school days I was planning for.  Our year ended around 165 last year, so I am sticking with that number.

Math - this was simple because there are 10 units for our Everyday Math Curriculum.  Our team plans to teach math Monday-Thursday with Friday being a catch up/game day.  I also added in a day for review.  I counted the lessons, added the review day, and spread them out on my calendar (which you will see in a minute) skipping Fridays along the way.

Reading - I decided on the following units: Strategies, Literary Elements, Sequencing, Main Idea and Details, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, and Text Features.  I figured out that each unit would be about 25 days with Sequencing only being 15.  At the end of each reading unit I included a reader's chair day where the kiddos can choose one of their independent level guided reading books and share it with the class.  This is put in place as a "non-stress" activity to let our brains rest a little. (Oh and it's a great way to meet those Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards!)

Writing - I decided on the following units:  Writing Process, Narrative, How To, Friendly Letter, Descriptive, Persuasive, Report, and Compare and Contrast.  These units are about 20 days. At the end of each writing unit I included an author's chair day where the kiddos can share their writing piece with the class.  This is put in place as a "non-stress" activity to let our brains rest a little. (Oh and it's a great way to meet those Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards!)

Word Work - student paced because we are using Words Their Way in a guided spelling setup.

Science and Social Studies - our district has these broken down into marking periods so it's pretty straight forward.

After making all of my lesson plans I went through and added in the Common Core.  Yes, some may say that's backwards, but you would be surprised how well it works out.  Any standards I may have missed will be thrown into guided reading.

My lesson plans are labeled with the unit and what day they are for: Narrative Day 1, Narrative Day 2, etc.

Here is a sample of the calendar that I use:

Now I also realize that days 5, 10, and 15 may not be Fridays, but it all works out in the end.  I still know that by day 15 we should have our Writing Process unit finished up.

I did mine in Excel but, I know some of you are scared to death of Excel.   You can do the same thing in Word by inserting a table.

*Before anyone thinks that I am nuts for actually starting Writing, Math and Science on Day 1, let me explain:  Writing for day 1 will be "What do writers write?"  the perfect way to get their brains thinking about writing.  Math for the first week will be exploring their math toolkits, exploring the math manipulatives, showing me that they can write their nubmers, etc.  During Science we will trace each other and color them in and describe how we are alike and different.  Perfect first week stuff!  And if you notice the hour for guided reading, hour for guided math, and 30 minutes for reading, and 20 minutes for word work are free and clear and available for all of those first week activities.

So do you have a master plan?  Do you need help creating a master plan?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!


  1. Hi! Wow1 You definitely have everything organized! I wish I was this organized, but alas, I am not. I found your blog on pinterest and it said you needed follower, so I hopped on over. I am now a follower and I hope you will check out my blog.

    2nd Grade Pig Pen

  2. Hi! I'm not sure how far away you are from OKC but I wanted to invite you to the Okie Blogger Meet-up just in case you're close enough to attend! Come by my blog to see the details:

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats in Kindergarten

    1. Jennifer,
      I am 2 hours from OKC and I just started blogging a couple weeks ago. Are there a lot of people going? I think it may be better if I go next year. Thoughts?
      Nichole :-)

    2. I will reply for Jennifer :) We would LOVE for you to come!

      I live in Miami, and am headed down.


  3. I gave you 2 awards, stop by: http://tales-of-a-first-grade-teacher.blogspot.com/2012/07/awards-and-giveaway.html
    to pick them up, while you are there, enter my giveaway!

  4. Wowie zowie!!! I'm exhausted just reading about your planning;-) I have taught for so many years that the plan is pretty simple and easy to follow. It doesn't change much:-) The way I teach it changes though. The big changes for me this year are starting Daily 5 and CGI. I hope that's not too much of a change!