Summer Reset Series – Phase 2 – Content Planning & Preparations

June 7, 2022

Welcome back! Whether you are working this one day at a time at the end of summer, or a task each week over the summer, I am breaking down the steps for a smooth return with a much done in advance as possible. Brace yourselves for lots of information, so plan brain breaks! I also have several previous blogs linked in to help you through the process if some (or all) of this is new for you.

For phase 2, we are going to work on our content planning and prep. If you work within a department or coteach, be sure to enlist your counterparts! When I was working with a team, we used to plan weekly summer dates to swim, eat, do manicures, and work on lessons and resources. It became an activity we looked forward to each week and that enjoyment translated into lessons we enjoyed teaching.

I suggest tackling this in chunks–dedicating one term or unit to either one week or one day if doing this all within a week, to break down. You can be as detailed as you’d like in this process, but getting the big elements broken down will help immensely.

So let’s RIPP into the process, here’s the steps and the breakdown is below:

  • Review learning maps, school/district calendars
  • Inventory existing resources you kept
  • Plan the unit
  • Prep the resources

STEP 1: REVIEW MAPS & CALENDARS Start with your learning or curriculum maps, if your district provides them. This gives you an outline of what you should be covering and the time period dedicated for it. Some districts also include resources, so keep that handy for the next step. Have your district and school calendars on hand so you don’t plan for days that are not available. Also be sure to have your vacation/time off/training calendar handy so you can plan for times you will be there or there may be a substitute. Once you have an idea of what you are teaching, how long you have, and dates to work with, we are ready for the next step.

STEP 2: INVENTORY RESOURCES Now that you have your what and when work out, it’s time to see what resources you have on hand. Refer to any provided by your school or district in the learning map. Review computer program content, if that is a requirement to use, and look at topics and themes. Next, look through your personal resources, both digital and paper, to see what is connected to your topic, standard and/or theme. I suggest making a list of all the resources and, if you have a great idea of how to work it in, just jot a note with it.

STEP 3: PLAN THE UNIT Now it’s time to work out the details for how you will introduce, teach, practice and assess the skills they need to learn. If you have a specific lesson plan template you are required to submit, I suggest filling that in and using it as your guide for teaching. Break it down by day and activity–even add in how much time to spend on it and plan to use a timer to keep you on track. Add in the activities you will complete as well, and if you need to create any resources, make a list so you can complete that in the next step.

If you don’t have a lesson plan template to use, you can create one. Be sure to add in how much time to spend on each activity. I also suggest adding in the days/dates you will teach each of these to help pace yourself. Having a Parking Lot and post its for questions they still have can help to jot it down so you can come back to it. Here are some elements to include:

  • dates you’ll teach this unit
  • concept/topic
  • standards (if required or available)
  • Preview/Hook
  • Vocabulary & topic introduction/overview encourage note-taking with interactive journals or Cornell notes so they can make connections.
  • I DO–model what this looks like, use think alouds, guided steps, pose questions and share misconceptions that could be made or that you made
  • WE DO–interactive with you and others, something you can check quickly and give immediate feedback to correct; stations, role play, an activity created from a worksheet (check out this blog post TURNING A WORKSHEET INTO AN ACTIVITY for ideas)
  • YOU DO–an independent activity or project, something to submit that can be checked quickly and returned before the assessment.
  • Review a quick review of terminology, conclusions and connections. Student created questions, tickets out the door or a Kahoot quiz can be good for this
  • Assessment I suggest having a menu for them to choose from based on their interests or talents. Remember, you are assessing the concept, so now is not the time to expect a new skill such as a computer program or application as it may distract from what you need to know they learned. (check out this blog post USING MENUS TO INSPIRE STUDENT-GUIDED LEARNING for ideas)
  • Tools & Resources needed–I like to include this section so I can make a list of what items I need to have on hand or prepared for projects, activities or stations and can gather in advance.
  • Plan B–I always work in a Plan B for the unexpected–a migraine day, current event that is a distraction, unplanned sick days, student extended absences, technology failure, surprise relocations–whatever. Nothing elaborate or requires prep, and nothing that takes up a great deal of time to plan since it may never get used. If it doesn’t get used, I do set it aside for my make up packets at the end of the term for the student with a lot of zeros or a low grade so it isn’t something they can get from another person, either. (check out this blog post BUILDING A PLAN B INTO YOUR LESSONS for ideas)

If this will take place over the course of several days or weeks, don’t forget to build in daily review and summarizer–they only need to take a minute or two and can be a bell work task or a fill in the board or up activity just to make sure they reactivate the ideas before building more on.

Timesaver tip, save your work, and name it the subject and unit name and dates that the plan covers for easy reference or locating later.

STEP 4: PREP RESOURCES This will be your most time consuming step, but it may be the most fun. It could also be one that you collaborate with a co-teacher for. go through your list and see what manipulatives, menus, worksheets, craft supplies, copies, etc. need to be created or compiled. If you have a craft or supply box you’ll assemble, don’t worry about it now, just make a list and highlight it somehow so you remember together them for the task. If it is too far out, I wouldn’t worry about making all the copies now. I used to have a designated copy day each week and just had a folder I put my master copy into for that day. If you want to know more about my task days, check out this blog post MANAGING YOUR TIME EFFECTIVELY to learn more).

Repeat the process as needed for each unit or term. If you don’t have time or the inclination to do the entire year now, just focus on the first term or semester and pencil in some time on your calendar to revisit the others on a later planning day.

Be sure to review your plan as you get to each term to gather supplies and items and adjust dates for things that have come up.

If you missed last week’s post on Phase 1 of the summer reset, be sure to check it out or bookmark it for back to school SUMMER RESET SERIES – PHASE 1 – SUPPLIES & RESOURCES

Like or comment below and share with others to support the blog. I post twice a week about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Twitter @AddictedtoTeac1 or on Tiktok: @sonya.BOMSquadleader. You can find more about our adventures on our our website at, Facebook, TikTok & Twitter: @BarnesOnMove . Support us and get more in depth and personal interactions at Patreon: Barnes On Move

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