Let’s face it; most school-wide PD is trash. Either only one content area greatly benefits, or in an effort to get every department on the same page the facilitators end up wasting everyone’s time altogether.
You’re looking at a visualization of my first year Latin curriculum. The exercise was quite helpful. Notice how the beginning of the year (to the left) is much longer and more spaced out than the end of the year (to the right). This represents how the school year feels once the most productive time (i.e. before holiday break) is over with, even if they last the same 17 weeks. Before we break this down, our instructions as a staff were to physically plan out the year to include:
4037 weeks arranged into units (each colored sheet=one week)
- Unit title/topic
- Major Assessments for each unit
- Standards for each unit
The content of the first quarter (Q1) is students themselves and their interests. We read two novellas at the end of the quarter, marking the transition to Unit 2, Roman content, which persists through the end of the year. Daily assessments throughout are “following rules, signaling, responding,” and “quizzes.”
After holiday break, we start Poetry of the Week routine on Mondays, then there’s midterms, which I find to be a major disruption to the flow just like holiday break. The standards and assessments from Unit 2 then continue, with two summative Fluency Write analyses as midterms and finals.
Note the topics all in the middle. This is the Roman content of Unit 2. Some are tied to existing novellas. However, these topics aren’t planned for any specific weeks for a reason. We’ll certainly address one or two of the topics in quarter 2, but as a truly student-centered curriculum we’ll see how things go as far as pacing and sequencing, and get as far as we can. This visualization is what it looks like to “meet students where they are,” and there’s no risk of having wrenches thrown into planning.