Reflection: A Remarkable Journey (Part 1 of 2) - Section 3: The "Unit Map": An Itinerary for Fun and Exploration!


Planning for life and work bring out some interesting quotes. Here are a few notable ones:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
― Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln

I can think of no more imperative skill for an educator as planning, especially those who are newer to the profession. I seem to get a grasp on it most of the time but life tends to spring up in unexpected ways. For all of the time required to establish a solid unit plan it really does pay huge dividends.

I would wager that for every hour spent planning a lesson or a unit, I save 1.5-2 hours in running around inefficiently making copies, going to the store (amounting to extra trips), etc. But had I really got down to brass tacks and thoughtfully and thoroughly scripted out what I need to take care of, I would have a greater sense of calm and composure and more time for other pressing things. This is truly difficult especially when teaching a new course and perpetually feeling like you are working one day ahead of your students. This really sucks and I am living it currently with a new science course I was assigned to teach for the first time.

What this really boils down to me is developing time management skills in such a way that the time spent in class (typically an hour or so) has been artfully and carefully constructed to lead to rich and meaningful instruction for our students.

Pardon me. I need to get planning for class this week. Really!

  Failing to Plan...
  Failing to Plan...
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A Remarkable Journey (Part 1 of 2)

Unit 1: 1) Intro to Science ("Investigations by Design")
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: Teachers will understand the components and strategies underlying one particular method for designing units of instruction.

Big Idea: Producing a high-quality unit of study can be challenging and involve multiple facets but, when done well, can result in remarkable and memorable results!

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Science, planning, course goals, habits of mind, Academic Vocabulary, thinking skills
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