8.13.2014

Save the Date - All the Calendars You Need to Write Your Long Term Plan

 At the beginning of the school year, it's time to write your long term plan.  This document is an ultra brief summary of what you plan to teach and do throughout the entire school year.  Before you can map out a curricular plan based on the required objectives or units for your class, it's important to know which days you will actually be at school and when major events, including national holidays and local celebrations, will take place.  In some cases, these events will cause interruptions in your normal schedule.  Other times, you will be able to use observances, celebrations, and seasons as a theme for your lessons.  For example, rather than trying to convince students to stop thinking about the Super Bowl, you can just use their interest in football to build investment in your lessons by letting them practice formulas like speed or investigate geography of past events, history of the sport, biographies of football players and so on.  Here are all the calendars you'll need to plan events and thematic lessons in the school year ahead.

District Calendar + Previous Year's Plan
Start by penciling in school holidays, early dismissal days, class parties, and other local events that will affect your planning.  If you are a veteran educator, also get out the previous year's long term plan (you had one, right?), so that you can remember when you did things last school year. 

Anti-Defamation League Calendar of Observances
The Anti-Defamation League provides dates for international observances and holidays for major world religions.  Use these calendars to become aware of religious events that may be important to the students in your community and to introduce students to different culture's traditions.

Days of the Year
This quirky calendar lists major as well as lesser-known observances throughout the year.  If you enjoy planning lessons thematically, this is a great resource to find out about odd celebrations such as Bad Poetry Day and Thank a Mailman Day.

Perma-Bound Author Illustrator Birthday Calendar
This interactive calendar lists birthdays for tons of famous authors and illustrators and provides links to books created by each person.  Every month also includes a mini biography & photo of a featured artist or writer.  These resources can be used for author studies or to create an easy and informative bulletin board featuring different authors each month.

American Library Association Celebration Weeks and Promotional Events
This page lists literacy-centered events including Banned Books Week, Picture Book Month, and Choose Privacy Week.  These celebrations can be the perfect basis for social studies lessons and reading promotions.

Library of Congress Today in History
This site features historical events for every date on the calendar.  Each date offers an article about a significant past event and includes primary documents related to whatever took place on the day.  This resource is one you can come back to throughout the year, even daily, to support social studies lessons.  LOC also provides a searchable archive of the articles which you can access by date or keyword.

Which resources do you use when creating your long term plan?

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