Preparation Protocol: Working Smarter, Not Harder

Mar 4, 2015 by

This post is part of a collection of posts dedicated to supporting teachers who are in the beginning stages of implementing the Calkins Units of Study for Writing.

People often tell me I’m organized. Truth be told, organization is really not my goal. My goal is to be efficient and effective.  I also like to help others be efficient and effective, too. That is why, as I have been helping teachers implement the new Calkins Units of Study for Writing during the past year and a half, I have tried to share many tips and shortcuts for making this task a little less daunting and to help teachers streamline their planning and instruction.  

As I have studied the units this past year, I have had to find ways to quickly orient myself to each unit to prepare to teach. A colleague and I  have worked on  a “preparation protocol”, a series of steps that help us work smarter, not harder.  At first glance, this could look like an overwhelming list of “to-do’s”.  It is not meant to make more work–instead, I view these steps as an investment of time that will pay off big-time later.  Does it take time to prepare for a unit of study?  Yes!  But if you do it well, you will only have to do this once for each unit–you will be thanking yourself when you teach the unit a year later!

Preparation Protocol

Download Preparation Protocol here.

During the next several blogposts, I will unpack (in no particular order) each of the items in this Preparation Protocol. Actually, I have already addressed the second and third items in previous posts which you can read here and here.

I hope these tips will be helpful to those who are both in the early stages of implementation and to those who have been implementing the units for the past year and are feeling overwhelmed.  Please note: You don’t have to do all of the items on the list to find benefit.  Even completing one or two tasks will help you feel more prepared.

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