Need Help with Lesson Planning? Try these free Long Range Planning Templates!
Have any of you felt like you could be a more effective elementary music teacher if your lesson plans were better sequenced? Are you like me, feeling like I need to recreate my lesson plans so that there is better flow from one lesson to the next? Oh, I feel like I teach the basics that the students need to learn each year, but I’m never really satisfied that I’ve done it in the most effective way, and honestly, I don’t get to everything I should.
This past June I was discussing my concern with another colleague, and she asked me if I was using my long range lesson plans. I was embarrassed because I know these are critical, and yet I was not using them. It was a simple answer that I should’ve figured out myself. And I felt even worse because in my Kodaly Level 2 course last year, we were given an assignment to create a chart of long range plans for 2nd and 3rd grades. Now I had done this, but the chart was hard to read and made my eyes glaze over. I KNEW I wasn’t going to refer to it because it didn’t seem user friendly. After my discussion with my colleague though, I knew I needed to use them if I was going to be a better teacher. So when I took my Level 3 course this past summer, I took my long range lesson plan assignment more seriously with the intention of making it user friendly.
Therefore, I tweaked last year’s versions and have come up with a template that I find much easier to read and follow. You are welcome to the free download and use it to help you. There is an instruction page, a sample Kindergarten plan and blank templates for K-6th grade. It is an Excel file and the instructions are for Window users. You can edit it any way you like, just know I’ve entered in a Wingding font under the months so that symbols I used are visible in the graph. Customize it any way you’d like to make it work for you.
The Kodaly courses have taught me to teach concepts in 3 steps: prepare, present, and practice. Therefore I have symbols that you can insert in the months that you intend to use them. I chose not to keep the practice symbols continuing throughout the year to keep the page cleaner, even though I will continue to practice those concepts after I teach them.
Long range lesson plans are an effective tool to use. Please feel free to comment or give suggestions on my Facebook page, CraftyMusicMaker if you’d like. I would love to hear from you. Next week I will be posting another tip for yearly lesson planning so please check back then.