So, I came up with/borrowed and modified this lesson plan template. This original format I borrowed from my brilliant friend Stephen Rew who teaches Middle School Music in Raymore-Peculiar, a school district in the same metro area as me. However, since Stephen teaches middle school and me elementary I needed to modify and change his plans a bit. I also wanted to add in a section for assessment and how I’m connecting to standards that matter for MY district. So, I modified Stephen’s plan and came up with this template (see the download below).
The top of the lesson plan is where I make all my connections. There are check boxes along the left side for what content areas I’m touching, check boxes in the top/middle for the National Standards I’m addressing, Boxes in the top right for my “The Learner Will…” statements, and also a place where I can show which of my district standards I’m addressing. Then below that I have another row with a box to show what songs/concepts I’m reviewing, a box for which concepts are new, and a box marking what strategy I’ll use to assess. Finally I have boxes to remind myself what resources I need for this lesson and what vocabulary words I’ll be introducing.
Below that is a step-by-step outline of the lesson separated into different “acts.” This helps me remember how I’ve planned to transition, what sequence I’ll be using and how to plan for what comes next. There are even little boxes to remind you what keyword or phrase you might want to use for transition or just to show you what comes next.
This is why I love this plan. My administrator can read and understand it all. She sees me sequencing, she seems my resources, and she seems me connecting to my standards and assessment. I also love it because at a glance I know what instruments/materials/etc. I need to pull out and use for the next class coming in. I also know which songs I’ve already taught (ever had a moment when you reel for a second and think, “Did I already teach this!?”) and what is new. When you switch from 5th grade to Kindergarten with no break in between (one day a week I have to do that) you need to know in an instant what you’ve planned and what resources you need. The act-by-act sequencing helps me remember how to transition and what to do to change. This is nice to have written out when you’ve had a long day and you brain is full of all the other lesson you’ve taught. This plan allows for a QUICK change when you need it and shows you everything you’ll need for the new lesson.
Okay, after all the reasons to show you why I love this plan I’ll admit… it takes a lot of time to fill out. There are a lot of things to check and fill out as you go. It gets faster the more often you use it, but I does take time. After 2 and a half years I still feel that it’s worth it. I’ve never had an administrator look at it and tell me that he/she doesn’t understand exactly what I’m doing, doesn’t think my lessons good enough or think me fully competent, and I’ve never had an administrator tell me that I need to use some other form. Most of all, it makes it super easy for me to follow and use while I’m in the rhythm of teaching. I don’t have to break stride and take a minute to think and remember. It’s all there.
Maybe this form would work for you, maybe not. Either way, you’re welcome to try out the template and alter it to make it your own. Let me know if you have trouble with formatting (I’ve locked some things in Word so that I don’t accidentally screw a lot of things up if I’m typing on it) or if you think that I should add/remove something. I’d really value your feedback as it would make my lesson planning better.
It's edited and changed so that my district information and teacher names aren't printed there. Easily editable. Let me know if you have problems. OR... If you want a separate file for each grade (K-5) I can do that too. Email me and I'll send you the files! :D