I have witnessed many curriculum changes over my 33 years of teaching. I don’t stress about meeting each outcome but rather on developing exciting learning opportunties around a specific concept or theme that I wish to focus on. In the video below I briefly discuss how I planned my lesson for the Pumpkin Theme that I will use during the week of Halloween.
Brief Video on How I Plan My Lessons
Meeting the Outcomes
After, I have completed my planning, I check off the outcomes that have been addressed. I am always amazed at how many outcomes have been addressed in a single lesson. If you are following the common core curriculum, you will find a checklist that can be used in the link below:
Importance of Incidental Learning
Introducing alphabet letters, sounds and sight words within a meaningful context offers many opportunities to introduce other skills that might crop up during instructional time. While reading the emergent reader “Down at the Pumpkin Patch”, the students are being exposed to a number of sight words, the CVC pattern in the word “big” could be discussed, allowing students who are ready for blending sounds together to move forward. This allows for multilevel instruction.
Restructuring My Lessons to Meet the Needs of My Students
After, completing my Apples Theme lessons, I realized that my students still needed more practice in identifying and working with numbers 1-10. I incorporated that into my Pumpkin Theme. I created another version of the reader “Down At the Pumpkin Patch”.
Interactive Activities and Subject Integration
I always use the interactive versions of the readers. In this version of “Down At the Pumpkin Patch”, the students are required to draw and color the correct amount of pumpkins as indicated in the text (numeral or word version). This adds a comprehension element and also allows the students to be far more engaged in their learning. I also try to integrate other subject areas as much as possible. In this case, language arts and math were integrated.
My Final Thoughts
Remember to be flexible and praise your students regularly for the progress that has been made. I have learned to not be obsessed about curriculum standards because I know all my students are progressing and that is exciting. They amaze me each and every day at how far they have come. The funny thing is, that most of them do meet the outcomes without me being so focused on accomplishing them and we have had fun along the way.
Halloween Related Activities
In the link below you will find more Halloween related activties.