Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kindergarten: Backwards Planning

In undergrad our professors were all about backwards planning. "You need to start by looking at where you want them to be at the end of the year. Where do you want them to go, what are your goals?" Yes, I agree these are critical thinking points and wonderful ideas but to a teacher staring at fifty standards and a hundred goals and a 300 minute or so day these long-term plans sound insane. How am I supposed to start at the end? I just need to plan out today, tomorrow, this week, this month, this unit, etc. Planning out a year? That sounds insane.

Well....I'm starting to understand where my professors were coming from. This year I decided to make the purchase of a teacher planner that is digital because I love typing my plans. Best purchase I have made (besides my new Macbook Pro!). If you want to check out my amazing planner that I am starting to use you can check it out here. She completely encouraged me to try backwards planning again!

The first thing I did was create my 9-block page. This accounts for September-May since August is mainly getting used to school, etc. in kinder and everyone knows June is insane anyway. The amazing blogger Dragonflies in First, who created the planner I am using this year and has a great blog post on how she did this for first grade, then suggested I color code my standard topics. Of course I was all about that!

Then I started pacing out my units. It definitely made the ELA easier to tackle when I broke it down into phonics/Reading Foundations, Language/Speaking/Listening, and Reading Informational and Literature into three separate categories. For the P/RF and L/S/L units I decided to just write the key goals I would be working on at that point because they are really just integrated into my other units. For Writing, Reading, and Math I wrote unit names and the skills and for S.S./Science I just wrote unit names because they are smaller units that I will also integrate throughout the day.

To help me out I also put the weeks of school and the days of school beside each month name to kind of help me keep track. Now that I have an idea of how my months will go, I am going to make a linear view that she gives us the template to fill in in that awesome planner. When I finish my kindergarten linear year plan I will post about it next! Then I can plan out my units which will include my weekly and daily plans. I am embracing this whole backwards planning, starting from the end, and I am loving being able to see my year at a glance. I hope this helps encourage any early backwards planning dissenters. It is worth it in the end!


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