Planning for Instruction

Introduction

When planning for instruction, I keep the long-term goal in mind of making students strong mathematicians for life. Having been both a 6th grade and 8th grade math teacher before, I am well aware of where my students are coming from mathematically and where they need to be mathematically next year. This is always in mind as I choose what to emphasize when planning. To learn more about the three types of planning I do, please click on the links below.

I began the year with a long-term plan for my students. I looked at the seventh grade common core standards and used my knowledge of what students needed to know for the 8th and 9th grade to prioritize standards that I would emphasize. While in a perfect world students would master everything, I knew that the reality was that none of my students came to my classroom achieving on grade level. One student had received a 3 last year on PARCC and every other student have received a 1 or 2, all three scores being considered failing. Additionally, I have limited time in the classroom. These insights drove my long-term planning.

Prior to each new unit, I create a detailed unit plan. I collaborate with the other general education 7th grade math teacher and the special education math teacher to create this unit plan. We find out unit goals, then plan day-by-day what we will focus on.

Each day, I create a detailed lesson plan. My students keep their lessons in binders or pronged folders so that they have a record of the notes in the classroom. Each day students use guided notes and then complete differentiated practice. I assess my students at the end of each class period with an exit ticket and have longer formative assessments every two weeks. Based on the formative assessment data, I create a reteach plan and then re-assess the reteach. I have already blocked off reteach days in my unit planning.

Conclusion

Well-planned instruction requires having a carefully thought out roadmap and day-to-day instruction. It is important to have the flexibility to reteach old material and pre-teach difficult upcoming material. I frequently adjust my plans according to student data on mastery, but this is a best teaching practice. I will continue to carefully plan instruction first planning for the long-term, then the unit, and then individual day plans. I frequently plan with my colleagues and will continue to do so. My goal is to seek more frequent feedback from my students in order to better serve their needs.

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