1. Start with the end in mind.
Look at the state standards you'll be assessing. See if you can find key words that repeat throughout the standards. Write these down.
2. Create your assessments based off of your key words and main concepts in your state standards.
These assessments should include daily (formative) and final (summative) assessments.
3. Use key words within the standards to see what chapters or pages in your textbook cover that information.
Once you have your textbook pages selected, here are some general comprehension activities you can do with the information: BONUS: Many can be done during your Language Arts block:
3. Use key words within the standards to do searches on the internet, Teachers pay Teachers, or Pinterest to find lessons or activities that teach those keyword concepts.
One word of caution concerning internet browsing: Don't start window shopping or you'll waste more time than if you created the lesson or activity from scratch. My advice is to set a timer. If you haven't found exactly what you're looking for in 15 minutes, you probably need to create the lesson or activities yourself.
4. Plan review activities to do before the final assessment for those students needing extra practice.
Here are some of my favorites:
5. Plan remediation activities for students who do not pass assessments.
I often have students do test corrections using their textbook and notes. Sometimes I have them work in pairs or in a small group with me to make the corrections, depending on their level of independence.
And that's it! Once you have a your units put together with this basic format, you can easily add items each year to customize your lessons for individual students.
Do you have any tips for making lesson planning quicker? I'm always trying to streamline this part of my day. I'd love to hear your ideas!