How to Curriculum Map your Year,
Term and Daily Lessons.
Curriculum mapping your year, term, and daily lessons sounds like a hard process that might require an individual teacher to devote an entire day too. However, you may be surprised to find out it is really simple – and might only cost you an afternoon (and a packet of TimTams) to plan out your entire year.
Planning is a big deal when you’re a teacher – whether you consider yourself a planner or not! And trying to figure out how you’re going to create well-crafted lessons that engage all of your students, catering to their individual needs and ensuring that they will progress in their knowledge and understanding, can seem like a mountain that no one can conquer. Curriculum mapping allows you to spend more time on choosing your teaching and classroom management strategies, rather than wasting that time stressing about fitting it all in!
Curriculum Map your Year.
I like to think of Curriculum Mapping much like planning a road trip. First, you need an overview of your trip – where are you starting and where do you want to finish up? Then, you need to go into more detail about the path you will take and consider any options, detours, and stop-overs that are needed. Once you’ve chosen your route, you then need to create a step-by-step guide that will get you from point A to point B.
Some might argue that planning isn’t necessary to be a good teacher. And that can be true – for the rare individual who has it all together! But for the rest of us, planning is vital. If you do all the back-end work before you need to face your students, things will be much smoother.
If you don’t consider yourself a planner, that’s okay. And what works for one person may not work for another. You need to find a system of planning that works for you. Find templates that you like. Collect all the necessary information and documents. Organise your folders, be it a digital or hands-on folder so that you can access everything easily. But there are three main components to the planning process that you will need to ensure you have: Yearly Overview, Scope & Sequences and Lesson Plans. These three components will ensure that you are meeting your legal requirements and state/territory objectives. It will also mean that you can account for assessments and can create cross-curriculum links. Most importantly, these components will allow you to appropriately plan and cater to your students’ individual needs.
Curriculum Map with a Yearly Overview.
When you start your planning process, it is important to first create a Yearly Overview. This document provides a snapshot of what topic is going to be taught and when. This type of overview provides a snapshot of what happens each term (or month) in each subject. It allows you and other teachers to see what is being taught when. This helps if you have students working above or below their age peers, or you have students who have missed portions of their schooling. I also like to stick these up in the staffroom so that all teachers can reference this throughout the year.
Map your Year using Scope & Sequences.
Yearlong planning enables you to see the big picture. This next image shows a Scope & Sequence that identifies the topic, outcomes, assessments and curriculum-linked content for each term across the year in a particular subject. This provides a more in-depth look into the year for each subject. It helps ensure that you are covering all the necessary content and aligning outcomes. By planning out your assessments for each term/month you can ensure you are
Plan and program your Daily Lessons.
Despite even the best preparation during university, nothing prepares you for the avalanche of planning and programming you have to do when you begin teaching. You soon begin to realise that writing detailed, individual lesson activities for every subject you teach means you will spend more time writing the lessons than actually teaching them!
The most efficient way of detailing what you are teaching is to plan out your activities across a week, based on what you need to teach in the specific time you have (be it a term, 6 weeks, or a month). Your weekly lesson plan should detail specific learning activities, content and assessments that students will access during that week. They should include:
- Learning Intentions (objectives) and Success Criteria (
- Learning Activities and procedures for delivering content
- Student groupings
- Materials and resource
Your lessons should be readable and detailed enough that a relief teacher could teach from them in an emergency.
You can grab the Yearly Overview, Scope and Sequence and Program templates shown above as part of the Beginning Teacher Binder Teaching and Learning Documents pack here.
When you start out your career you might feel uncertain as to how you’re going to get through all the content. And while there is a lot that goes into creating a unit of work for each subject, each term, the process can be quite simple – it comes down to creating a system that will allow you to make sure all the content is accounted for.
So, how do you plan for the upcoming year or term? Do you have a year-long curriculum map? How do you know what to teach every day and where you’re going next?
Would you like more information on Curriculum Mapping and Programming? Grab the Beginning Teachers’ Workbook to learn how you can demonstrate you’re catering to individual student needs while aligning your teaching with school and state policy.