Workplans are a great tool for elementary-age children – read on to learn more!
How to use the workplans:
Each child gets their own workplan; one per month (or one for two months, over November and December). They check off work after they’ve completed it. Your presentations should follow the workplans fairly closely, although you can certainly make changes as you go and write in things on the workplan that aren’t listed.
In my elementary classrooms, the children used clipboards for writing their work and put the workplan on the clipboard under their writing paper (we used wide-lined notebook paper). Then they could easily check their workplan and use it to get ideas for work as well as see what they had already done.
Because of the holidays, I find that one workplan is enough for November and December together. People sometimes ask me why the workplans end in March. That is because at that point, all the necessary presentations for that grade have been done. However, the child obviously continues working, so the blank workplan can be used to track their work. There may also be additional presentations (or follow-up presentations) that you do during this time which can also be tracked on the blank workplan.
Helpful info about the workplans:
The monthly workplans are intended to be a flexible tool for teachers and parents. They are in Microsoft Word so that you can edit and change them as needed. They will look different at each school or in each home.
You may want to:
- Add materials that you have that I have not included
- Remove materials listed that you do not have
- Tailor them to an individual student
- Go through them more quickly (one workplan every 1-2 weeks for an advanced student)
- Go through them more slowly (one workplan every 2-3 months for a student who needs more time)
The workplans, while very comprehensive, do not include other activities that you will want to do in your classroom. These kinds of activities differ greatly from school to school and country to country so I did not include them. You will want to keep a record of them another way (or you can add them to the workplans yourself).
Additional activities may include:
- Spelling Tests
- Foreign Language Study
- Reading (Phonics Readers, Basal Readers, Junior Great Books)
- Art Projects
- Field Trips
In addition to these workplans, I recommend printing out a Comprehensive List for each child you work with. These lists are for the 3-year cycle, and are invaluable in terms of planning presentations and keeping track of work, materials, and concepts.
I also offer a blank workplan, which some people prefer to use all year (or the last few months of the year).
While presentations of new materials can continue until the end of the year, it’s nice to give children to freedom to choose their own work from the new materials as well as everything they’ve been shown up until that point.
Some of you may prefer to use a blank workplan right from the beginning. That works well for the 9-12 age group.
Please note: Sometimes people ask me about workplans for age 3-6. I purposely do not provide workplans for that age and never will. Children in the 3-6 age group should be able to freely choose materials from every area of the classroom, and work at their own pace. You can track their work on our Comprehensive List for 3-6, but the child should not be using a workplan.