Jen’s Unit Plan

Jen said this in a comment yesterday in a response to the “Some Questions Become Like Old Friends” post from a few days ago:

I am in a very similar if not identical situation. Everything you describe is also what I have to do. Same percentages and everything. I even had to spend a whole day at school with a colleague (so they paid subs to come in for both of us while we were in “teacher detention” oops I mean curriculum writing trapped in the school building bc they don’t trust us that we could do this work on our own.

Anyway, I “wrote my curriculum” in a vague way. I will share it when I can figure out how to do that. [ed. note: it is shared below] They paired me with the district’s most stringent unit template user. Super nice and dedicated teacher, really dedicated to kids on all levels…and always receives a ton of public recognition for her exemplary unit plans. “Teacher of the year” stuff around here seems to be based on the ability to create and execute exemplary unit plans.

When I had her look at it she quickly pointed out some glitch with my summatives. I fended this off by sticking to my truth saying “my summatives are the same as my formatives with the exception that I use stories the class has not worked with previously.” And that is the truth.

Jen comments below on the document:

I have not officially submitted it yet, because I need to finish “Unit 2” which encompasses the rest of the course after the first month. I am also required to submit student work samples.

This is part of a re-accreditation self study, which is why they want so much info. We are basically trying to prove that we do what we say. This is why I am just going for it, I am doing what I say I’m doing. Not very well, but hey, I start over each day right?

The main thing I want to do is to reduce our “competencies” because they are just too clunky and numerous. There are literally 10 or so that we have to “hit.” They are basically the 5 Cs in excruciating detail. Ick. Gums up my system. I am probably over-simplifiying but I’m going to try for 3 competencies: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Figure I will stick with the ACFTL terms since I can play that card. The competencies themselves will be descriptors but WILL NOT be lesson plans to “push to the next level.” I really like the way Justin Slocum Bailey addresses the ACTFL can-do statements and plan to link his article in with whatever I come up with.

UnitTitleAcquisitionClassroomEstablishingnormsthroughComprehensibleInputCI

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3 thoughts on “Jen’s Unit Plan”

  1. Haha, no! But they did give us a day “off” where we had to report to school to work on it. Orrrr we could be off campus at one specific coffee shop in town. I get off easy though, compared to the other teachers who are writing up multiple units. We are supposed to be writing “all the units we teach.” Thank goodness I don’t “do units.” I mean, I could, but I’d only do a unit if it were requested by the kids. And then we would come up with it together, so…again, can’t plan that out 🙂

    I am in heavy competition with Tina for “laziest teacher” award. I think I have the lead at the moment. I want to spend the least amount of time on all this. To paraphrase Justin Slocum Bailey …I want to put the energy into preparing myself not preparing my lesson.

  2. I once served on a charter school board with a university professor who called our hardworking underpaid teachers “lazyasses” because they did not want to write out her elaborate time consuming lesson plans. I was so shocked that I didn’t ask her how many classes she taught a week and what her student load was and return the compliment. Much of the planning that is asked of us is to reassure the public and academia that we are teaching. It doesn’t matter if it is effective, only that we are teaching. their way. When I first started teaching , teachers chose their own staff development and taught the best way they could find. Now everything is mandated. Teachers are not trusted to do their best to improve and grow.

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