September 8, 2014
Franklin is credited with saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
This is so
true in every facet of our lives and especially in the world of teaching.
often colleagues will act as if no planning is necessary. They will fly by the
seat of their pants…...doing whatever hits them at the moment. This is a terrible
way to work with kids. The better teacher needs to take time to purposefully
plan and the best plan is developed with the big idea in mind.
As Stephen Covey
said, “Start with the end in mind.” What is it that you want the kids to know?
To get to this takes time to develop unit plans that are used to guide the
teacher in working with the kids. These plans should contain at least the following
1. Essential Question (What is the
point/purpose of this unit?)
2. Content Vocabulary (What words are
necessary for understanding the subject?)
3. Formative Assessment (How do you know
that the kids understand or get it?)
4. Engagement (What activities will you
use to engage the kids in the lessons?)
5. Connections (How will you connect the
topic to the real world?)
6. Use of Time (Are there any special
time to create lessons that engage kids and move them to learn and grow
academically. The better teacher understands that planning and preparing leads
to success in the classroom.
Bear Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win
that matters-everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
excellent resources for developing plans and understanding why you should plan with the end in mind have been
developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in Understanding
By Design and Essential
(Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe)
Here is a
link to an overview of UbD at
Here is a
link to an overview of UbD
links to YouTube clips of Grant Wiggins
and Jay McTighe explaining
Understanding By Design.
Here is a
link to the excerpt from Ferris Bueller’s
Example of a Frayer Model for learning words...
Example of a Unit Plan