ARGH!! I am trying to finish my plans for next week. And I have planning block. Ironically my planning block is bringing about some Aha! moments for me. I’m having trouble finishing because of the learning target part of Formative Assessment. To clarify, this is where you clearly relate the learning intention to your students. They should know exactly what they are learning and how they are learning it. It is not just “This is what you are learning today” it is not just the standard or even the objective of a lesson. It is a goal for the students to aim for- a target. I should be able to state what they should be learning TODAY in relation to the LONG TERM goal for the unit. Marrying this with a scripted curriculum is a huge challenge for me because the curriculum is written in a spiral, little bits rotating with other bits that repeat here and there. I’m still digging through this mess and will update as I go.
My Aha! moment is realizing why so many teachers may be ineffective excellent teachers. It is because they are trying to do it all in every lesson. This process is meant not only to focus the students on what and how they are learning (making them better thinkers) but also to focus the teacher. To keep the teacher focusing on the same goal while teaching. Not diverting. Not teaching a little bit here and a little bit there hoping somehow the student will put it all together and be smart- like the curriculum says to. So the AHA! is that to be an effective teacher I need to be just as focused as my learning target. Well planned and deliberate. Small goals that lead to bigger goals. This takes some serious thought. Serious time. Planning is becoming a marathon when it used to be a sprint. I have to straighten out this spiral and make this curriculum more intentional. My lessons used to be loosely planned. These pages on these days following prompts in manual to teach these skills or this strategy, easily diverted as I went along. Now I’m building a pathway to follow rather than meandering along. But the path is unclear thus my frustration.
I must get back to work now.