You have a lot of great ideas and resources to pull from, but how do you know what to teach each month?
If you’re not sure how to organize your lessons from month to month, you’re not alone. It’s something that’s rarely taught, but information that every teacher needs.
Here are some tips and tricks to make it easier and make sure you teach everything you need to teach.
Figuring Out What to Teach Month-by-Month
When it comes to deciding what to teach each month, there are a few good places to start. As always, make sure that you’re addressing the needs of your students and adhering to your district’s curriculum and goals.
Scope and Sequence from the District
The first place to look when planning out what to teach each month is at your school district’s scope and sequence. They will often have an outline of what is expected and the order in which those skills should be taught. Start there first and work backward to create a monthly plan for what you should be teaching each month to cover everything in the curriculum.
Go with the Standards
Take a look at the standards that your state adheres to (i.e. – Common Core or state standards) and map out what skills you need to cover throughout the year. From there, create a curriculum map to plan out what topics you’ll teach each month. This is, of course, very labor-intensive, so it may be worth asking co-workers if they already have a curriculum map of the standards that you could also use.
Collaborate with General Ed
If you’re in a self-contained special ed classroom setting, it can be challenging to know what is going on in the general ed classroom. If possible, collaborate with general ed teachers to find out what they are teaching and when. While you may not be able to adhere to the same exact timeline and curriculum as they do, it will give you a good idea of what to weave into your lesson plans each month.
Use a Ready-Made Curriculum
If you don’t have time to plan out your curriculum for the year or your district’s pacing guides are subpar, using a ready-made curriculum with its own guide may make things a lot easier. iXL and Unique Curriculum are two examples of standalone curriculums that can make deciding what to teach each month a lot easier.
Monthly Supplemental Activities
If you have a general sense of what to teach each month to address the standards but want to add in some additional activities. Pre-made supplemental lesson plans for each month are ideal. Check out the Monthly Lesson Plans that I created and use with my students to make sure that they get practice with the skills they need to learn but also have some extra holiday or enrichment fun.
Remember that you know your students best, so planning out the monthly lessons should reflect where they are in their learning. While it’s important to cover the skills they need to learn, it’s also important to make sure that you are meeting your students where they are and giving them the repetition and practice they need before moving on to new topics.