Confession: I hate making detailed lesson plans. I much prefer to make skeleton plans (or a list of tasks to accomplish by the end of the week) that allow for a lot of wiggle room. Especially in reading. I encourage my students to read. What teacher doesn’t, right?! Three times a week I teach a small reading group of four kids. All four kids greatly struggle with reading (or they wouldn’t be with me). One of my main goals at the beginning of every school year is to make my students feel comfortable to share, question, and participate. This year, I knew I had been successful when the kiddos started randomly bringing books with them they wanted me to read to them or that they wanted to read to the group.
Today was one of those days. One student brought a chapter book with the desire to read the first chapter to the rest of the group, while another brought a picture book they had checked out at library and were unable to read on their own. I truly love how much they feel the ownership of their learning. It makes my heart happy. As I sat in the audience and listened to him struggle to read that chapter (of which I am fairly certain some sentences and paragraphs were skipped), I realized there wasn’t anything I could have taught at that moment that would have more importance. Watching the four of them crowd around the picture book after that to take turns reading to one another was also a very valuable use of class time. All were engaged and eager to be here. How great is that?!
I do believe that detailed lessons have a time and place (sub plans!), but on a day-to-day basis, they just frustrate me when I have to keep rewriting them because of schedule changes or because we didn’t get done as much as I thought we would.
So tell me…what do your ideal lesson plans look like?