One of the things I really try to improve on each summer is my planning. I really like to start early in thinking ahead to the next school year. I figured planning would be a great topic for a blog hop, so I rallied up some of the best music teachers around to bring you some great ideas about planning whether that is long term planning, monthly planning, lesson planning, planning for programs, etc.
Now I haven't made it to the pool yet this summer, so the title of this blog hop is a bit of wishful thinking on my part! I'd love to be laying in the sun and planning poolside. ;)
You are currently on stop 1 of 10, so don't forget to hop on through my link at the bottom of this post to check out the 9 different posts on planning. When you make it back to my blog, you will know you have made a complete loop if you started here.
I'm going to try to tackle long range (or yearly planning). During my Level 2 training, Lisa Simmelink really helped me understand concept and long range planning. One of our assignments was to map out concepts for the whole year for one grade level.
I think this is a really great thing to do in the summer. Every music teacher wants to get their year started off on the right track, reviewing where they left off with each grade level and getting new students caught up to speed. From there we hope to stay on track progressing through the musical concepts we have planned for that grade level. During my first semester, I am also planning around a fall or Christmas program for my 3-5th grades. After Christmas Break, the year seems to fly by. I do an all school folk dancing night, a first and second grade program, and an end-of-year all school Talent Show. It is really important for me not to lose sight of the concepts I am working on with each grade level during those hectic, final months of school.
Start with yearly plans. When I do long term planning, I like to start with yearly plans and break it down by month, just looking at concepts. What do I want my students to be practicing by that month? Will I be preparing any new concepts? Will I be presenting? Make sure that you are always working both melodically and rhythmically in every lesson. Go month by month for each grade level deciding about how long you will spend preparing/practicing each concept. Remember to be flexible!
Here is a sample of what my long range planning looks like. This is for kindergarten from August through December. I make different colors for different concepts (pink for Kindergarten concepts, yellow for rhythmic concepts, blue for melodic concepts, and the older grades also include scale and meter). I separate by month across the top and the light shades of each color represent concepts that are in the Practice stage (known concepts), while the darker shades represent the concepts that are being prepared and presented.
Want to see more?
These templates are samples from my planning sets on TPT which includes both yearly plans and song lists by concept for each grade level.
Getting from Yearly Plans to Lesson Plans Once you have the concepts you want to teach for each month and each grade level, make song lists for each grade level. Make a list of all the concepts you included on your Monthly/Yearly plans for that grade level (I’ve started one for you for each grade level, but you may need to adjust it to fit your needs). Under each concept heading make a list of all the songs you plan to use while working on that concept. That way when I are look ahead to my third grade planning in September I can see I want to be practicing re and tiri-tiri and preparing ti-tiri, then I would go to my third grade song list and find a song list for ti-tiri to find songs under that concept to weave my lesson plan together.
Here's a sample of what my first page of my 3rd grade song list looks:
For the little kids I like to have a ton of songs/games/activities in each lesson (probably 7-10) in a 30 minute lesson. For the older kids, I choose less song materials per lesson, but go deeper with the songs. Plus by then, their songs are a bit longer.
I hope that gave you some ideas for long range planning. Click the picture below to hop to Cara at MiscellaneousMe for more planning ideas! (Available Saturday, June 7th, 2014)
Do you have different strategies for long term planning? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!