Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Long Range Plans

My first teaching assignment was at a school that had four classes per each grade. We collaborated on our long range plans, and basically inherited the plan from the year before. When I left that school for a smaller community school, I really didn’t know what to do.

I had to write a long range plan from scratch and I wasn’t sure how to go about it. It seemed like an impossibly huge task to plan out an entire school year of learning. So I went online and tried to find a good example of a plan that I could build on.

But search as I might, I couldn’t find an easy way to write one.

A former principal of mine had a mantra that I quite like. He said, “Work smarter, not harder!”

I truly believe that long range plans should be living documents. If we update them throughout the year with what works, what doesn’t, and things we have changed, they will be ready to pass on to the next teacher of our grade.

But what if you have to start from scratch? I had to do that my first year, and here are some tips.

1) See if you can borrow someone else’s long range plan. Revise it, adapt it, and make it your own.

2) Go to the ministry of education website and open the plain text files of the curriculum document. This will allow you to cut and paste the curriculum expectations directly onto your plan.

3) Use the curriculum documents and divide each subject into strands. Decide which subjects can be integrated together. Break them into terms to get a rough idea of what you will teach each term.

4) Get a hold of the OPHEA document to plan Health and Physical Education. This is a great resource and you will not need to do much preparation for each unit. The lessons are well laid out and sequential. They are really easily to follow. Once you have decided which term you want to teach each unit. You will be set for the entire year.

5) Find a copy of the school year calendar. Divide each term into weeks and plan what you will teach each week. Don’t give much detail. Just list the subject areas. When you do this, you will see areas where subjects and strands inter-relate. This is a key. If you can design weeks where you can integrate subject areas, it lets you cover a lot of curriculum areas in a short amount of time and gives your weeks a theme that students can hang onto.

Here is the long range plan I made this year for my Grade 3/4 split class. The original is in MS Word format and has all of the curriculum expectations for every subject area that I teach.

I hope you find it useful. I have posted it here as a MS Word Document and as a PDF file. Please note that it is based on the Ontario Curriculum Expectations but could be adapted to your curriculum fairly easily. The expectation codes are now out of date, but this should be a good starting point for you. You can get the new codes from the Ontario Ministry of Education website.

I hope you enjoy this series of Teaching Tip Tuesdays and find it useful. You might also want to check out the revised New Teacher Guide post.

I am always open to comments, suggestions, questions, and resource sharing. So please leave a comment or send me an email. Teachers helping teachers is what this series is about.

Download 3/4 Long Range Plan as .doc file

Download the PDF

Go to Tip 7 – Character Education