Daily Lesson Planning
InTASC Standard #7: The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
Fundations provides a lesson planning template that follows all the outlines that the book provides for daily planning. It is simple to print the template and write notes in them so that I am making sure I know what I am doing, but they also provide a white erase flip chart that is hand held size that allows me to focus on only the portions of the day that I need. I can write all the words for the day down on the correct sections instead of flipping through pages of notes or the pages of a book. Although Fundations is a scripted program, there is leeway in the curriculum to build the lessons and support my students with where they need additional supports and what they are successful in. Fundations allows for a whole group lesson, but also allows for an intervention block for those students who need additional supports. Below you can see examples of the materials and supports that are given to assist in planning.
The Fundations program is a very scripted program and based on research there is a reason the activities are done in the order that they are done. Along with the daily scripted plan, there are daily overviews so that when it comes to preparing for any given day, without even looking at the program, I am able to see what I will be doing with my students for that day. That gives me a better idea, when I look at the unit resources, what I should pull based on the past performance of my students. Below is an example of the daily plan needs as well as a generic lesson plan that is provided by the Fundations program.
Below you can see the PowerPoint slides that I use to reinforce skills and areas of focus for my students. This allows students to review the sounds the do know and see new skills in a different format. While we will still work with the standard sound cards, large sound cards and other manipulatives, students are engaged by the presentations because it flows at a pace that does not allow them to be bored or wait for others. On the right is a video that shows those sounds in practice and correction from me, as the instructor. At this point in the video, I am allowing students to say the sound without direct instruction as I listen to students who need additional supports, but the sounds being practiced are sounds that have been in place since day one of the school year and should be mastered by all students.
Part of Fundations daily instruction is the movement and building of words as a whole group and with student leadership. Knowing my students and how to assess them daily is fundamental to their success. Once it has been modeled two-four times by myself, I call up individual students to come and help us tap out the word and create the word on the board using the magnets for support. This also allows students to take on a leadership role and ask for assistance when they are stuck on a specific sound from myself or other students. This is an additional way of assessment during our Fundations block. Knowing that this is an additional form of assessment, this means that I have planned knowing what words I want to be built and which students either need additional class support or who has already mastered these words.
On the right, there is a lesson plan that I have created based on the guidelines for the day and unit in Fundations. Fundations provides an outline of the activities for each day, but does not provide the words, sounds or focuses for my students. Based on the observations of my students and their results in their check-ups, I make the adjustments that my students need in order to succeed. While this is just the lesson plan for Fundations, I have my small groups created (note the grouping at the bottom and their needs) and I would pick guided reading books or games that would focus on those weaknesses. Group one needs more support in vowels and digraphs, so I would focus on cvc words to focus on vowel sounds and reading books that have digraph words. Group two would also focus on books that have words with digraphs in them, but they would focus on books that have words with more than three sounds.
It is important that I plan the activities for their stations based on the support they need in other subjects.
Below are two examples of how I would take the information and the grouping in Fundations and apply it in small group and stations for my students. Group 1 would focus first on the vowel sounds and the words that are easier to sound out, while group two would focus on the digraph readings right away. Not only does this allow students to practice identifying the digraph, but practice for them to read it within their group and independently. These poems are ones that are read as a small group or whole group with myself before they go and complete the work by themselves to make sure they are aware of the information.
Phonics is the basis to reading and breaking words apart. As a teacher, it is imperative that my students have access to these skills on their current level and are structured to help them improve and grow. I am able to take the skills from Fundations and differentiate and focus on the needs of students outside of the 30-45 minute phonics block to make sure that students are accessing the skills they need support in throughout the entire day. Meeting the students where they are at and providing some activities to push their thinking allows them to push themselves and feel successful without getting frustrated and shutting the information out.