Teaching with the End in Mind

Spring break is over for us and it is time to get ready for SOL testing! My Fifth grade class will need about two days to come off of ”vacation mode” but we have no time for that! My focus will be maximizing my allotted time for each subject and giving my students that maximum time to practice the material. I have an amazing bunch of students! I have been extremely lucky to have gotten the opportunity to loop up with them from last year to this year. Covid learning took a toll on our learning trajectory and that is why it is so critical to maximize the opportunity to learn hands on. When I state I will teach with the end in mind. My first ”go to” in lesson planning besides looking at the time allotted for each standard of learning, will be what is it that I am wanting them to learn? The Learning Intention and Success Criteria is a huge component of the lesson planning piece. It is also important to review all the material that will be used for the lessons including Google slides, videos, practice material. To be honest, this is not something that I have always done before hand. I would start the lesson material and view it for the first time with my students. This often left me unprepared and scrambling for more information or practice material that aligned with it in case I had students who were more advanced and moved faster than their peers, or students who needed a little bit more practice.

If you have student notes to go along with the lesson plan, prepare them ahead of time for your students. I know that my students still need to practice taking notes, but I remain in control with the material and time allotted. If I did not control the time it would literally take them thirty minutes for one paragraph of notes, and that is not effective. What I will often do is create an Anchor chart and have them put that in their interactive composition notebook. I always have them use colored pencils during this time because ”color” brings life to the paper and to the brain for remembering.

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