How to Lesson Plan with a Purpose – Ep. 016

How do you pick the themes you teach? Do you lesson plan yourself or with a team of teachers? Do you use your school’s provided lessons or do you create your own curriculum and teach what you love?

If you want more freedom and flexibility, you should take it! You deserve to have fun! Listen here and get all the tools to design a curriculum that works for you and your classroom!  

In this episode, we go through a week-by-week, unit-by-unit, and even a day-to-day breakdown to help you develop and organize a curriculum that is filled with your favorite topics and teaches subjects that truly matter to your students!

During my training with Teach for America, the organization stressed an important value of “urgency.” Until I developed my own curriculum, I never realized exactly what TFA was trying to emphasize. After all, it seemed like urgency and Pre-K didn’t together in the least bit.

Boy, was I wrong.

Soon, urgency drove everything. Urgency meant filling each day, each week, each month – filling every second of the year with meaningful, important work! I got into work at 6:30 every morning and I couldn’t stand missing school because every day we were learning something important!

When you love school and you love what you’re teaching, you feel that urgency everyday! For example, you can’t wait to teach about predators and prey so the class can learn about food chains and from there they can better understand ecosystems and from there they can get a better grip on how our actions (pollution) affects all the living things in an ecosystem. That’s just one example of how each day, each week, and each unit builds on the next.

For the full breakdown of how to scaffold, structure, and organize your year, listen to this week’s episode and download our freebie below.

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By structuring your year so every lesson builds on the last, you will gain so many opportunities to reinforce past lessons and concepts! Add to the list provided in the freebie! Include your passions and any other topic that you think will inspire or prepare your students for the world!  Pick and choose your favorite subjects and teach the topics that need teaching the most! Build life skills, social skills, and critical thinking skills into your units!

Speaking of life skills, with each unit, we learn about a job that goes along with the week’s theme. For example, when we learn about Outer Space, students also discover that they can be an Astronomer or an Astronaut! When we learn about Dinosaurs, if kids find their passions, they know they can one day become a Paleontologist.

Empower your students by giving them a path to pursue their passions. Give yourself the freedom and flexibility to have fun in your classroom!

If you want to design your year, your weeks, and your days so you are no longer limited by time blocks & clunky excel sheets, we have everything you need right here.

Thank you so much for joining us this week (I’m sorry about the leaf blower in the background)! Did you think of some important skills I missed? Would you mind sharing in the comments so all the great teachers can use it too!? Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post. Also, please leave an honest review for the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful and greatly appreciated and I will read all of them!  If you have any questions or want to learn more, head on over to punkrockpreschool.com! And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates!

Resources and People Mentioned in this Podcast:

Show Notes (w/times):

  • 01:08 – Introduction
  • 03:25 – Thinking Big & Big Picture
  • 7:08 – Mindset Shift
  • 8:34 – Strategies (Designing Full-Year, Units, Weekly Themes, Day)
  • 29:40 – Actionable Next Steps
  • 31:50 – Major Takeaways

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