Scheduling differs from lesson planning in the following ways:
Here are the items that you should work into your schedule:
Student projects should be ongoing. It is reasonable to train students in project work on individual projects at the beginning of the school year, but students need to be communicating about the curriculum and processing a lot more information than they can process (if they were paying attention) from listening to the teacher talk.
One of the keys to a successful schedule is building in time to devote to each student. This means a little time with some students and a lot of time with others. This also means finding creative ways to get help for students.
Hint: Homework was never concept, anyway. Why not replace this time with what students really need?
Both planning and scheduling are strategic and tactical.
Planning for the year is strategic. You then save time by scheduling, and you avoid stress by ensuring that important actions are acted upon. By focusing on thematic units, you automatically tie learning together and create a learning framework so that students can build meaningful connections for knowledge, skills and abilities.
Scheduling items such as DOLs, DOMs, DOVs and Daily Writing Assignments is strategic because these keep students attentive, focused, and engaged while overcoming obstacles to student performance such as boredom, short-term memory failure, and fatigue.
Planning for the year is tactical because you allow space for unplanned, happy events and opportunities in your plan. You build in higher-order thinking questioning and Multiple Intelligence performances for students. This saves time, focuses upon the hands-on learning and the visual learning strengths of students.
Scheduling is tactical because you choose high payoff materials and methods that meet multiple goals while saving your time and reducing your stress. Tricks such as reusable modules, building a library of interchangeable graphic organizers and forms, and integrating math in every content area subject streamline your workflow. Scheduling is tactical when you can take advantage of high student interest with “spur of the moment” such as connecting a fair use article with a specific graphic organizer to create a targeted, instant lesson.
Building habits and routines saves time and decreases stress for both students and teachers. Saving time and reducing stress allows for creative, spur of the moment choices that would not be available if teachers and students felt pressured by time constraints. Saving time and reducing stress also keep everyone’s mood relaxed and upbeat, so that your mental faculties are sharp and alert. This relaxed attentiveness is the mind frame needed to notice opportunities and act upon them.
Learning flourishes in an environment of meaning, such as when you focus upon Thematic Units, but holds on by a thread in an environment of drill and isolated concepts.
Schedule learning that connects with and interconnects with other learning, and you multiply learning. Integrate everything, and you work smarter and stress-free.