A goal without a plan is just a wish. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
In my last post, I mentioned we are in transition. We are continuing to shift from our choice board system into a more student-controlled system. One of the first things needed is a way for them to record their daily plan. I’m sure there are many ways to do this, but we are using a planning sheet that I scanned into Showbie. The students will download and write their day in Good Notes, which is a PDF annotator. This saves me from having to use paper to copy every day. The planning sheet is very simple.
The students have 5 things they must do today. These are listed on the Smart Board and students have the choice as to which order they wish to complete them. Here are the choices from yesterday:
1. Pic Collage with 2 bear facts
2. Read 3 “Just Right Books”
3. Math center
4. Writing Workshop
5. Poetry notebook
Students choose the order they want to complete these activities and write them on their planning sheet. They then have either me or my assistant approve their plan and they get started. While students are working independently, my assistant and I pull small reading groups. We are able to see all 5 reading groups between the two of us in the hour and a half block of time. Students also have some activities to choose from if they finish early. We call these “May Do’s” The 5 items above are “Must Do’s”.
In the afternoon after recess, we have another hour block of time before Special Area. This time is spent with students either continuing to finish their “must do” list or if they finish, they have “choice” center time. All of the centers in the room become available for this choice time. This block allows me and my assistant to conference and work with individual students in any area that needs focused attention. We did this schedule last school year for the first time and it worked great! Their content creation was amazing and it allowed all students to learn time management, work individually or in small groups, and it allowed them to work on their own levels.
Here are a couple of samples of their Bear Facts. Illustrations drawn in Drawing Pad app and uploaded into Pic Collage where they wrote their sentences:
The kids are excited about having the ability to make their own schedules and plans. We will continue to work on this schedule over the coming few weeks. The must-do’s change daily.
By incorporating student voice into daily learning, we are planning for success!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!