I’ve been teaching a while now and I have never found the perfect way to plan and organise the learning that I am intending to get through in a term. I have always found it really hard to show the links between learning areas and contexts which mirrors they way that they are actually taught and facilitated in the classroom. The degree of integration and intertwining of ideas and concepts is really hard to get across in your traditional table form. That lineal approach doesn’t really suit me nor does it represent what actually happens.
So this term I decided to try a different approach to my planning and unit overviews which was more suited to the way I think and approach planning learning over a term. Most importantly it needed to show the links between different projects with much more clarity than a Word or Pages document.
I have this vague idea or concept that if a teacher plans their units of work separately and in isolation to each other then that is how they are more than likely to be taught in the classroom. Having a way of planning that encourages you to see the big picture and integrate concepts and themes together is surely going to encourage a more authentic integrated curriculum delivery. Maybe someone has done some research on this somewhere…
The exploration started with using FreeMind, an fantastic mind mapping program, free, and available for Mac, Windows or Linux. I have been a long time user and supporter of Inspiration in the past but I am just loving FreeMind and what I can do with it. Even better is that FreeMind files are a supported format for uploading, editing and sharing online on such sites as MindMeister.
Here is an example of what my planning overview for the term is looking like. It is a work in progress, as any of my planning is, taking direction from the students as and when required. It gets squashed up a bit when it is embedded but you’ll get the general idea. Just in case my appraiser is reading this… this isn’t the only planing I do! Comments appreciated!