Jim Burke, fine author and teacher, was kind enough to write a lengthy email, with handouts, on my prior blog entry on planning with its request for more info on how teachers plan:

When I read the bit about Gawunde I decided I had to share the page I use as a Checklist idea that I drew from his book (and a larger, more develop set of protocols that these are mere abbreviations of.)

Daily Lesson Plan Template (3-Acts)

I find it interesting to consider whether people plan differently/better/worse if they work digitally or by hand to write these things up.

The second sheet I attached grew out of an accidental session with teachers at my own school to create a quick, informal assessment of what they do over a year and across the four years. As a parent of a freshman girl this year (I have two boys in college now, also), I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sum up all we have them do, all the “essential performances” (akin to the list of games the basketball team would play in a season) the kids would do.

CB_Essential Performances w CCs

This page has turned out to be remarkably useful and productively troublesome as it reveals major gaps and inconsistencies and a general lack of cohesion within and across grade levels. I had the idea that each year on each row should function sort of like a paragraph and move across from 9-12 in a more or less coherent, cohesive way to make some sense. It works best if I have teachers fill it in on their own and THEN get together with their other e.g., sophomore English teachers to compare what they do.


Thanks, Jim! Great stuff. And this second sheet fits in very nicely with people who are designing courses in UbD since it would draw from the course plans to highlight the key performance assessments over time, as a reminder of what has to be accomplished in the short term.

Look for our invitation to complete an online survey on planning, coming by the end of the week.

And check out the announcement of our student-led discussion competition!