Back To School – Planning Your School Year

Having an outline of what I’ll be teaching in the upcoming year is something that I have found to be essential in the success of a school year.  Planning your school year now, will help you be better organized through the year.  The first few years I taught, I didn’t have a plan and just taught week by week and then quickly stuffed in the pieces I had missed before testing.  It is now more critical than ever to have your year planned out and know the “Big Rocks” that you’ll need to teach throughout the year.  I have an amazing team of teachers I work with and an amazing principal.  Our principal gives us at least one day a year to plan our year long curriculum map or scope and sequence.  He pays for substitutes, so we can plan.  It does take at least a day for this project and then we adjust and plan specifics throughout the year during our weekly Professional Learning Communities (PLC) time.  We’re lucky to have an early dismissal day once a week to allow for an hour a week for this concentration on student achievement and progress and curriculum.

I would encourage you to work as closely with your team as possible to create a curriculum map that fits your needs.  If this is not possible, it will be well worth your time to have one in place for yourself.

I am sharing our team’s curriculum map with you.  Please know that we worked hard for at least a day together to work this out and it is what works for our team and the curriculum supports that we have.  It is still a work in progress and we will continue to update and add to it throughout the school year.  One thing I would add to it are the CC standards we would be correlating with each week.  We did have the core next to us as we planned and checked off each standard as we added content that correlated with the standards.  This will give you a starting point and perhaps an idea of how you can make it work for you.  We used Power Point to create this document.  This makes it easy to use one slide for each week.  The formatting also does not mess up subsequent pages when you make a change as it does in word.  I have also included a blank Power Point document to get you started if that is helpful to you.  To do your own in Power Point, simply insert a table with the number of columns and rows that you need.  Click the links below to get your copies of the documents

First Grade Curriculum Map shared by Dilly Dabbles

Curriculum Map Template by Dilly Dabbles

Here are some other links that I’m aware of that may be helpful.  Your own state may have similar links and helps.  You may also be in a district that does this process for you.  So, you may already have a year long map done and ready for you to go to the next step of developing unit and daily lesson plans.

Granite School District Math Curriculum Maps

Jordan School District Math Curriculum Maps (click on Teacher at the top of the page and choose your grade)

Most references to a Language Arts Curriculum Map were aligned to this book.  In fact, I’ll be part of a blog book study on this book beginning in mid-august.  I’d highly suggest this book to help support you in teaching the Language Arts Common Core.  In contains 6 units for each grade K-5, so it is very versatile and useful.  Be sure to click on the picture to get your copy for your own reference and to follow along with the book study in August.

Be sure to take a look at my Common Core Standards packs.  Display the standards so your students are aware of the objectives and you can easily reference them throughout your lesson(s).  They are available in a more universal dots and stripes theme and a zebra theme in grades K-4 (grade 5 coming soon).  They are my most popular product!

How do you plan for your school year?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments or link up your post about it below.

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6 thoughts on “Back To School – Planning Your School Year

  1. I would love to see your first grade plan, but when I click on it a blank screen opens up. Am I doing something wrong? I’d really like to see it.

  2. I would like to join the book study but when I clicked on the book, it didn’t appear to be a link. Nothing happened! Is the book study open to anyone?

    • The book should click through to amazon for purchasing the book, I will check the link. The book study will begin in mid-August as a blog hop through several bloggers who will be posting and sharing ideas on each of the units. You can participate by reading the book along with us, reading the posts, commenting and linking to the posts if you also have a blog. I will be posting more details as it gets closer. Please email me at if you have further questions.

  3. I love your blob on common core. Will be sharing this with our district’s math coach. Can’t wait to read new tips and ideas. I purchased the mentioned book and will join in and comment on the blog from time to time.
    Thanks for your blog.

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