Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lesson Planning in the 21st Century

Lesson Plan Example {click pic to download}
This is kind of strange to say…but, one of my favorite things to check out are other teacher’s lesson plans. I like to see different templates, components, details, etc. Each teacher has a style, making each plan unique. I enjoy seeing how others approach the craft of teaching. Maybe it’s just the administrator in me. That’s when I find myself looking too closely at the details and evaluating! School districts typically outline certain features that must be present in a teacher’s lesson plans. 
In our District, we are required to follow the Components of an Effective Lesson when lesson planning and teaching students. Click the picture for a download that defines each component.  

pre-Curriculum Engine
The Clark County School District is the fifth largest in the nation. With the implementation of the Common Core Standards this 2011-2012 school year, all teachers in our District have online access to the curriculum. The “Curriculum Engine” was created by our District to provide a more efficient method for accessing the curriculum, downloading pacing guides for assessment purposes, creating calendars, locating resource downloads, and here’s the cherry on top…lesson planning!

Calendar Layers {subjects}
One of the key advantages of lesson planning in the Curriculum Engine is the option to share and collaborate with other teachers. For each subject, you create what is called a “calendar layer”. You can determine who is able to view your lesson plans. The three viewing access options are: Private - the calendar layer can be viewed by you and, of course, your administrators. School - the calendar layer can be subscribed to by any other teacher at your school. Public - the calendar layer can be subscribed to by any teacher in the entire District. You can also allow colleagues to edit your layers. What a great way to collaborate and plan with other teachers in your grade level. Gone are the days of lesson plan collaboration via email attachments!! 

Find and Drag Standards
The vision of the Curriculum Engine was to provide tools for lesson planning. My favorite feature is the user-friendly “clicking” and “dragging” of the standards directly into your lesson plans. I find the standard(s) that I am covering, click the notepad icon, drag the icon over to the calendar or lesson plan, and then let the mouse button go. It "drops" that specific standard into my lesson. Standards are listed at the bottom of each subject's lesson plans. 

Calendar View

Online Lesson Planning View

In the Clark County School District there are over 18,000 educators, who have an incredible amount of knowledge about teaching. My District asked the question, “Imagine if we could somehow harness this collective knowledge into an enormous filing cabinet?” It was decided that the Curriculum Engine would provide a way for teachers to store and access our District’s knowledge about the standards and how to unwrap them. Unwrapped standards are the essential concepts and skills that students must know and be able to do in order to meet {and even exceed} expectations.
Unwrapped Standards Features (Live Links)
Unwrapped Standard RI.1.9
To say the very least, the Curriculum Engine has changed how I lesson plan. I type my lesson into the CE, click & drag the corresponding standards, and then print. Plans print in an easy-to-read list format. My administrators have electronic access to my lesson plans. The Curriculum Engine has made my job easier (and less time-consuming). An efficient planning tool is all an overworked overachiever like me could ask for.
How have the new standards changed your lesson planning?


Ms. Wold said...

My Lesson Plans are pretty simple, my Principal wants us to put the standards and objectives in our plans, but as a Kinder team we went to our Principal and asked for an extension since we are the only grade level with a brand new (standards based) report card that we are trying to learn, assess for and educate our parents about. That being said I am working on a template that would allow me fit all of those components (I want to be more intentional in my teaching).

✪ Miss W

Miss W Teaches

Alicia Lochridge said...

What ambition! Love the idea of being more "intentional". :) Good luck with your template. Our District currently has a standards based report card (SBRC) and will soon release a new Common Core SBRC. Kinder, however, will no longer have a report card! Instead, Kinder teachers will issue three "benchmark" assessments per school year. After each benchmark, they gather growth data to send home progress reports. Change is everywhere. Take care and have a fabulous school year!


Jeanne said...

Wow! What a wonderful lesson plan and also help via your district. Do you have a "blank template" that you could share? I could definitely use this as I plan.

Angie Brown said...


I also teach in Las Vegas and am trying out the Curriculum Engine. My school did not make it mandatory for us to use this year but did mention that it will more than likely be mandatory next year so we should get accustomed to it. At first I was a little overwhelmed with learning the new Common Core Standards and a whole new way of writing lesson plans. It was a little foreign since it doesn't have the nice boxes I am soooo use to. I also felt like I had to write so much since the box is so big!!! Now that we are going into our third week I am loving it. It is so easy to drag and drop the standard and if you are doing it more than once you can just duplicate it. It also allows you to do a more detailed lesson plan since you are not limited to the little box. It also saves a lot of time since you don't have to flip through the CEF notebook for the standards because they are all listed their for you and you don't have to play with font sized because your lessons didn't fit in the nice box you had.
How do you like it? Is your school making it mandatory?
I wanted to thank you for all your common core posts they have made the transition so much easier.

Have a great day!

Teaming Up To Teach

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your methods and practices - it makes me exhausted for you! :o) I have been blessed to find a teaching position in kindergarten at a local private school. Our standards and curiculum are a bit simpler and allow much more freedom in planning our activities. I am a former public school teacher, so my root shine through! :o) I'm trying to bring kindergarten up to date with guided reading and writer's workshop, but it was a long road last year.

You inspired a lesson plan post of my own today (and I included you in it!). I would love your feedback :o)

Anonymous said...

My school has been chosen to be the pilot school for the online planning program in our county. As a new teacher, I LOVE being able to do my plans online as well as look at the plans from other teachers in my school. It helps keep me on track, and I also get to gain new ideas from other great educators in my building!

-Ms. Young(2nd Grade)

Amy said...

Was your lesson plan template created using Curriculum Engine? I am also a CCSD teacher, but it's not mandatory for us to use Curriculum Engine this year. However, I would like to! Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to organize my lessons in nice, neat boxes like you have!

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