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After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
- Describe factors that affect the planning context.
- Describe important considerations for planning the environment.
- Explain the types of resources available to teachers for planning.
- Describe a continuum of approaches to planning and how they are similar and different.
Now that you have met your children and their families, collected information, and considered many ways to connect with them in the context of your community, its time to begin planning curriculum activities and how you will set up the environment to support them. Remember from Chapter 2 that you have the printed material accompanying the comprehensive curriculum used in your school and the supplementary literacy program that specifically targets at-risk learners. You also have your administrators assurance that you will have a good bit of freedom to make your own decisions as long as they are consistent with the curriculums goals.
Your teaching space has some nice featuresnotably access to a lavatory for the children inside the room, plenty of natural light from windows along one wall, a door to the adjacent playground, a classroom sink with counter space, a variety of child-sized furniture and movable storage units, and a storage closet. It also presents challenges that will affect how you will arrange your space, including where some of the above features are located, a limited number of electrical outlets, and permanently installed carpeting in one part of the room. With all of this in mind, how might you begin making decisions about how to arrange the classroom?
In addition to thinking about how to organize the physical environment, you might ask yourself several additional questions as you begin to plan your curriculum activities. What approach will you take to organize your ideas? How will you plan curriculum activities in ways that are developmentally appropriate and flexible? How will you make sure you are addressing learning standards? This chapter focuses on practical strategies for effective planning.
From the Field
Critical Thinking Questions
- How do you feel about working with another teacher or assistant teacher?
- What will you do to begin establishing an effective, professional relationship?
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