Greetings, all.

How do you do yearlong planning for the math course you teach?

I feel like this is a gap in my skill set. I have read Understanding by Design and that helped with UNIT PLANNING. But as far as YEARLONG planning, I'm not sure what resource(s) to focus upon first. Browsing education catalogues, the web, and Amazon a bit, I've come across the concept of curriculum mapping and the concept of standards-based lesson planning via online applications.

Anyone have any suggestions? My goal is to be able to take my grade level state standards and develop a scope and sequence from which I can begin planning units. And, I don't want to be beholden to an online application.

Thanks for your time!

Tags: curriculum_mapping, math, math_course_planning, scope_and_sequence, yearlong_planning

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Hello Z. This is how my partner and I plan for the year teaching math in the fifth grade. I used Open Office Calc. to create my year plan for math, social studies, and science. The plan for all subjects is kept in in the same workbook.

1. Gather your resources: textbook materials and any other math sources that you have purchased. We had about 10 books that we purchased over the years.
2. Create a spread sheet with the following headings: Date; Chapters; Supplemental Resources; Resource Page; Homework
3. Under the "Date" column list all the dates beginning on Monday for each week of the school year.
4. "Chapter" column: We used our textbook as a guide and distributed each chapter and lesson for each week of the school year looking for weaknesses and strengths during this process. This is now our pacing guide targeting the specific needs of our students since we know what has traditionally challenged our students in the past.
5. "Supplemental Resources": For each lesson look at your resources and find pages that match the concept that you will be teaching and type the name of the resource under "Supplemental Resources" and the number of the page under the Resource Page column.
6. While your at it, plan your homework for the year based on the lessons you will teach.

This is a lot of work. Plotting the dates for your units, chapters, and lessons are the key to this process. Your teacher's edition provides a suggested plan. However, some lessons and time lines are not realistic or are lacking in content. You are the final arbitrator. Also, seeing your plan in the form of a spreadsheet really brings what you need to teach into perspective and puts everything in one place to scrutinize and change. You only have to do it once and it will be available for the next year, ready for you to tweak to meet the needs of your next class. You will be able to see what works and what didn't work. It is an eye opening experience taking the time to do this because you really get to know the weaknesses and strengths of your resources. We completed this task during the summer and are ready to teach. Keep in mind that this is a living document that will change. At times we will meet our goals and other times we will fall behind. However we will always be aware of where we are and where we need to go. If you have any questions let me know.
Thanks so much for the helpful reply, Joel. I really appreciate your time.

What you posted makes sense. It seems like a KEY, KEY part of you and your partner's method would be relying on the scope-and-sequence that is already provided via the textbook. Is that right, or do you have some OTHER method for determining an optimal sequence? (It's figuring out the optimal SEQUENCING of the objectives that's tripping me up a bit.) Also, I notice that you did not mention that you gather a printout of your state standards. I know that if you have a great textbook that is supposedly aligned with your state standards, this might work well. Is that the case for you and your partner? Or, do you work ALSO from a printout of your state standards? The reason I ask this is because if you are relying on a textbook's referencing of your state standards and not a separate copy of your state standards as a stand-alone document, that helps me a bit to understand you and your partner's process.

Thanks, Joel!
Z, it's a pleasure to help.

One of the primary reasons we needed to plan with such detail is that our textbook is not providing the support that we need in order to teach the way we want to teach. We planned for the year using the state standards as well as our textbook. We have no choice over which textbook to use. In fact, we started in chapter 3, deciding to teach place value first instead of beginning in chapter 1, prime factorization and exponents. There were many other changes that we had to make.

We also use our teaching experience as a guide. Having taught kindergarten, third, fourth, fifth, and and sixth grades, our combined experiences provide us with a knowledge base knowing where our student have been and where they need to go. This along with a knowledge of the standards and our textbook helps to figure out the optimal sequencing of objectives. We supplement our textbook with our own materials that we have purchased and categorized by concept and page within our year math plan. At a glance, we can look at our plan, see which concept we will teach, the textbook reference, homework reference, and the specific pages related to that concept within our collection of resources which we have copied and placed in a binder for quick retrieval, no more searching and thumbing through pages in our math books. The sequence of objectives in our textbook is awful. Sometimes I wonder if we are the only teachers in our district that feel this way about the fifth grade textbook. It is really strange because the math books for K-4 and 6th grade all have the same sequence. Fifth grade is the only textbook that is different. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions about our process.

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