Planning for instruction is a major role of every teacher. In order to increase the likelihood that all students will achieve academic success, teachers are responsible for both long and short range planning. While the best plans cannot guarantee academic success, we know students whose teachers do not plan are unlikely to succeed academically. Teachers who are carefulplanners create learning opportunities that help students achieve their goals.
Teachers who are well planned:*
• have well organized and purposeful classrooms;
• are able to spend the majority of allotted classroom time on instruction;
• have fewer classroom discipline problems;
• are able to focus daily instruction on expected student learning;
• have more time to interact with studentsabout instructional issues;
• are able to teach more efficiently by aligning daily instruction with SCOS goals/objectives and End Of Grade (EOG) and End of Course (EOC) Test objectives.
Teachers who are not well planned:*
• are less organized and less focused on school wide goals;
• have more students off-task;
• spend a great deal of time managing classroom discipline problems;
• aremore likely to provide learning activities not focused on expected student learning (as defined in the SCOS);
• interact with students mostly about student behavior;
• are more likely to teach daily lessons that are unrelated to previous or future lessons.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING AND PACING
Most people would not consider beginning a cross-country trip without first looking at a map,charting out the important sites to be visited, and determining how many total days will be devoted to the travel and sightseeing. The same is true of an effective teacher.
Regardless of how much knowledge he/she has of the subject matter, regardless of how engaging his/her personality is, regardless of how much energy and enthusiasm he/she exudes, an effective teacher cannot walk into a classroomfull of students and begin to teach. Planning and pacing are essential to successful classroom practice. Deciding what to teach, how to turn topics, concepts, themes, and skills into units of study and individual lessons, and how to present the material in an effective way to students is crucial for all teachers. This process is not an easy one; rather, it is often complicated andtime-consuming.
It cannot be stressed strongly enough that planning and pacing are vital for student achievement and teacher success.
Process for Instructional Planning and Pacing
Effective teachers begin the year by making a yearly plan that provides an overall framework for the subject content that will be taught. A well-written yearly plan enables the classroom teacher to:
• become familiar withsubject area content;
• identify the curriculum priorities (SCOS, EOG);
• organize the yearly curriculum goals into time segments that match the curricular priorities;
• structure and sequence the curriculum into units of study;
• identify areas that require depth;
• identify needed materials;
• ensure instruction is consistently aligned with SCOS goals/objectives.
By taking the timeto develop this framework at the beginning of each school year, the teacher is assured that:
• there is a match between what is taught (SCOS) and what is tested (EOG);
• there is enough time allotted to teach the expected content;
• the content is presented in the appropriate sequence to maximize student learning;
• appropriate materials and activities are identified;
• the relationshipsbetween concepts/lessons are highlighted;
• a school wide focus is on student achievement;
• instruction is consistently aligned with SCOS goals/objectives.
Steps to Yearly Planning: Individual Yearly Planning Checklist
To prepare for instruction, before and during the school year each teacher should:
1. Have planning tools on hand, including the North Carolina Standard Course of...
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