This is the second part of creating a unit plan. You can read the first part, Creating A Balanced Unit Plan by clicking the link. Making thorough unit plans will save you so much time and energy in the future so let’s do one together! We will end up doing this 2x – one as a brain dump and the second as your working draft. Yes, I said draft. You want your unit plans to be a “living”, working document.
Brain Dump Your Unit Plan
Get a sheet of paper and brain dump everything you can think of regarding a unit you need to teach. If you are not sure which unit(s) you are teaching, check with your state/province/country’s learning standards. Since I will be sharing my unit plan with you, I am going to tackle financial literacy for grade one. Financial or Personal Financial Literacy is in many state/provincial curriculums.
Here is a screenshot of the learning standards
I tend to look at other province or state standards, because some are better written, more elaborate, etc. Here is TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) for financial literacy, grade one.
As you can see, there are different levels of knowledge to be learned.
Lower level knowledge:
- count coins
- identify values
- trading/making exchanges (can be a challenge)
Medium level knowledge
- role playing financial transactions
- counting multiples (nickels, dimes) – connecting skip counting by 5s, 10s
- teaching children to give (charity – sometimes a challenge at this grade)
Higher level knowledge
- students can distinguish between needs and wants (this is challenging at this age)
- differentiate between saving and spending (another challenge)
- define money as income (depending on the child’s background, this could also be a challenge)
Write out or use a web, to figure out all the components, information, skills that you need to share. Feel free to look back at the previous post where I listed many of the areas.
Here is a sample of a web that I create for the above financial literacy.
Create An Overview of Your Unit Plan
At one of the school’s I taught at, we were required to submit all our unit plans. That’s a lot of work! Start with a simple template of boxes (or bulletin points).
Once you have brain dumped and added resources, games, activities to your web/list, this is really just about filling in the blanks. Depending on your school/district, you will be required to add learning standards, assessment, differentation, adaptations, etc. We were requires to add “driving questions” as the school had a focus for inquiry learning.
Create a Scope & Sequence
Now the fun stuff happens. You need to create a sequence and eventual time line to your unit plan. First of all, this takes practice and teaching experience. If this is your first unit plan, just do your best and think through a possible progression. Do you have a mentor teacher? You might check to see if they have time to complete this with you.
If your first unit plan is a math unit, there are scope and sequences available online. One website I like is Illustrative Mathematics. Here is a link to a scope and sequence for Grade 1 math.
Your scope and sequence should be a timeline and progression of your unit.
- How long will this unit take?
- What will you need?
- What student activities will you do?
- Materials and resources to be used
- How will you assess?
- What is the final outcome? What do you hope to achieve?
There are a few ways to create this, but a simple table will suffice. You do not need to add fancy clipart or fonts. Just get it down so that you can proceed to the next step. Here is the start of mine.
What Else Do You Need?
There are a couple more items that you need before you are ready to teach your unit. We will continue this blog post in #3 coming shortly. In the meantime, get started!
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