On the blog I co-author with Teaching 2030 co-authors, mostly Jose Vilson I published a post about what lesson plans are used for in schools. In the past, lesson plans have always been a way for teachers to plan for student success based on the curriculum and goals. Lesson plans in a child centered early learning classroom are something different especially in Head Start.
Lesson plans in Head Start are way to incorporate parent voice in their child’s education. It is critical that the parents of the at-risk students in our program are involved in goal setting and curriculum. This step is often a game changer in how our parents approach school. Most have never had a voice in their education and working with a teacher to develop their child can be a very powerful experience for the parents and teacher. Here is an excerpt from that post.
In our Head Start classrooms every student has at least two individual goals that are revised based on observation and assessment in an Individual Learning Plan four times a year. Mathematically this teacher’s planning responsibilities look like this:
1 Teacher’s practice = (19 students x 2 goals) *4 (parent interactions for goal adjustment based on assessment) * (38 key experiences (read as standards)) * (26 upper case letters) * (26 lower case letters) * (26 letter sounds) * (Rhyming) * (vocabulary) etc….
In this complex formula, in which early childhood teachers are responsible for everything from wiping noses to developing algebra readiness, teachers are accountable to parents and students at an individual level. My colleague’s lesson plans were to be displayed in the “Parent Corner” for all parents to see. Yes, in our Head Start program we publicly display lesson plans as an accountability measure and a way to teach parents about our curriculum. The Individual Learning Plans were to be incorporated into the plan in substantive ways.