Because I know that you have about a billion things to think about every day and sometimes figuring out what to do first is a challenge, I would like to narrow your focus a little by talking about planning and instruction. There’s lots of noise in education that might cloud your focus from the most important aspect of teaching – student learning. It’s the bottom line and it’s where the majority of your time and effort should be taking place. So how can you do this? Begin with the end in mind.
What does that mean? Basically, start at what you want the students to know and learn and go backwards when planning. Most schools, districts, and states use standards whether they are Common Core, Florida LAFS/MAFS, Texas TEKS, or whatever. Begin with the standard and determine what it is the students should know and be able to do in order to master the standard. Plan your instruction, activities, formative and summative assessments to achieve this goal.
Everything I have planned for this standard relates directly to what it wants students to be able to do. Now when I assess my students, I will know if they mastered this standard or if we need to re-visit it again. The focus should always be on what the students should be learning. If you approach your lesson planning by beginning with the end in mind, your students will learn and you will be putting the most effort in the area of teaching that is most important.