I Can't Help It, I'm Already Planning

By on May 8, 2017

It's May, and I am already planning for next year. Many teachers find themselves doing the same thing, looking to next year as the current year comes to a close. Part of my planning process includes reflecting on the year. I want to know what worked and what didn't. I want to take the best of what I did this year and continue building a "greatest hits" list of activities, assessments and projects.

Every year, I ask my students about my teaching. I have them fold a piece of paper into four quadrants. In the top left, I have my students write about one activity that must stay. This is something that they loved. In the top right, I ask them to share with me something that must go. This is something they think should not continue next year. In the bottom left quadrant, students write about an activity or project that helped them become stronger readers this year. In the bottom right, they write about one activity, task, or project that helped them become confident writers.

Something that

Must Stay

Something that

Must Go

Helpful Reading

Activity or Project

Helpful Writing

Activity or Project

I talk to my students about how important their feedback is to my teaching and how I use it to shape what I do the following year. They love that I listen to them and ask questions about their feedback.

My four square feedback activity is more formal. During May, I also reflect on the year and think about what I did well and what I need to focus on next year. This year, I used LiteracyTA's assessment tool to teach prompt analysis, poetry analysis, and reading argument. I want to use these assessments again, and I want to add assessments that support making inferences, identifying the central message in a text, and identifying textual details. This summer, then, I will create assessments that target these skills.

When I create an assessment in my LTA Toolkit Pro account, I can select a skill to go with each question. When I match a question to a skill, I get feedback specific to that skill. The data helps me understand more clearly my students' strengths and their learning needs.

I also like to review all of my lessons that I built in LiteracyTA's digital Lesson Planner. Inevitably, every year my lessons need updating and revising. I might add an activity, clarify directions, or include links to student samples or supporting videos. (I find tightening my lessons now reduces stress in August). I might also add a lesson or two to fill the gaps that I saw during the year. This May, I am working on mini-lessons to support a wide range of writing skills and techniques. I will certainly share with our LTA Community once I am done.  

Don't be too hard on yourselves. We should always try to improve. That's all this is. Looking at what we did, evaluating what worked, and making adjustments to ensure our instruction gets better each year.  

In August, look for our LTA Assessments. We will have numerous formative assessments to get you started!

Happy planning!



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Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

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