10 Steps to Unit Planning

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July 20, 2017

School officially starts in less that one month. Normally I would think that one month is a lot of time but considering school let out almost 2 months ago and it feels like summer has been a flash, I have a feeling this next month will go even faster.

Naturally, here I am sitting at my computer thinking about science and lesson planning. Here is my plan for Unit planning.

  1. Read the TEKS again. If you live in Texas, you know what I am talking about. If you live elsewhere, TEKS are our state standards detailing our curriculum requirements. I like to think of them as our road map.
  2. Check out the unit topics based upon the standards. At this point I know that my school district uses an online resource called TEKS Resource System, which details each unit’s topic, misconceptions, overarching understanding and questions. I also have spent just enough time in my classroom to pick up a copy of the textbook, Science Fusion.
  3. Check out Edutopia. I found a great blog and resource on unit planning, you should check it out here if you are interested or keep reading for the bare bones.
  4. Grab something to write on. I am using a dedicated spiral notebook. I love technology but it’s not ideal in the middle of the night or when I have a lot of tabs open.
  5. Write down the big ideas for the unit. Write down:
    1. TEKS (or standards) related to the unit and how they connect
    2. Unit objectives
    3. Unit vocabulary
    4. Essential questions
  6. Figure out your timeframe. Do you have a couple of days, 10 days, a few weeks?
  7. Once you have your big ideas and you know your timeframe, start thinking about your delivery. Here are 2 of the resources I like to use that are not a print and go but really get students to experience learning:
    1. Lead4Ward
    2. Marcia Tate’s Science Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites
  8. Develop a plan for differentiation for your learners.
  9. Decide on your formative and summative assessment/s.
  10. Plan to reflect after you execute your plans. Whether it is daily, weekly or unit-ly will really just depend on you, the time you have and how you self reflect. But I will say from other experiences that reflection makes a huge impact.