Let's round out the series

Okay, you have collected your evidence; organized it; and put it into your assessment. As I promised, I am going to now help you make a classroom curriculum that is can be made for each child in your classroom. If you really want a quality classroom, this should be your goal.

Anyone can throw a bunch of activities onto a lesson plan; but to make a quality lesson plan, it should take a little bit of thought. Rule number 1: put things on the lesson plan that are pertinent to the observations and goals you have for your children. Basically, don't put some activity on the lesson plan because it's cute and you got the idea from a book last night. Put some thought into your plans.

First, look for an area of your assessment that your children need to improve upon. (Let's say that your preschool children are scoring low on patterning). Maybe 40% of the children scored low.

Now, out of that 40%, choose 2-4 children to target in that area. These children are not the only ones that will be invited to this activity, but these are the children that you are going to use to base this activity on. (Let's say that three of your boys are inseparable and spend most of their time in the block area building roads). So, you are going to target these three boys.

Now, ask yourself this question: if these were the only three children in the classroom, what would I do to help them understand patterning? Well, we know they love block play and building roads. Maybe you have some of these. They would be perfect! Maybe you have a bunch of cars in solid colors. This will help them learn patterning.

Next, go to your lesson plan form. Find the area that this activity will be implemented: blocks; maybe manipulative or math; whatever works for you. Decide what the activity is. In the example we have been using (three boys who love the blocks and cars who need more patterning) I would do one of two or both of the following:

Block Area: Make roads for cars. Have cars go through the intersection by color patterns.
Manipulative: Use Neon Snap Track. Make patterns with the color of the road connections

Continue with all areas of development and areas of the lesson plan. Keep a list of the children in your classroom at hand as you are doing this as well. Make sure that there is at least one activity the will enhance each child's development daily (weekly for some activities); and make sure there is at least one activity a day that each child will enjoy.

This process will take a while to begin with. It may take you 3-4 times longer than when you just threw things on a paper. However, after a while, the process will become quicker and easier. As you get more comfortable with your observations and assessments, things will come quicker; ideas will come to you as you are doing an observation. Lesson plans will become easier and will actually right themselves. You will see the quality of your classroom soar! Work through this tough beginning; it is worth it!

Has anyone started using this process? How's it working?
Do you have any questions? How can I help?

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