Before I discovered Solution Fluency lesson planning, I had a tenuous relationship with lesson plans. I would get hung up on the format, the wording, the components, referencing the Standards, and worrying if the lesson would work. The process of planning took away from the actual teaching and learning.
Instead of planning, I grew accustomed to focusing on specific goals I wanted students to accomplish and then improvised my way through the process. In other words, I was planning in my head.
Improvising my way through a lesson gave me a sense of accomplishment that was like, “I made it.” But there was no long range satisfaction. Each lesson stood on its own and not as part of a larger whole. The kids had no sense of connection between lesson to lesson.
I longed for more substance and the kids needed it too. Sure, kids were doing the work and playing the game of school. But were they retaining skills and applying them to real life in the long run?
Thus began my search for different angles for teaching and reaching long-term goals. Enter the Solution Fluency Activity Planner.
The Art of Solution Fluency Lesson Planning
This planning tool is designed to help you systematically work through the creation process to come up with an awesome organized unit plan. It has sticky learning, real-world problems, and higher-order thinking built right into the template.
Solution Fluency lesson planning is all about collaboration, creativity, and lifelong learning.Click to tweet
The great thing about this planning tool is that even if you don’t have any idea of what your lesson will look like in the beginning, you can get started right away.
Right on the homepage of GlobalDigitalCitizen.org, you’re invited to be part of a real community of teachers poised for adventures in 21st-century teaching.
Click “Get Started for Free!” Or Login, if you’re already a member.
Sign up and then log in.
When you sign up, you’ll get your own home page. Notice the things here that pay tribute to some familiar social media tools. On the left, you can see how many plans you have on the server, and who’s following you. You have suggestions on whom to follow as well. On the right, you have status updates.
At the top,you’ll see a dialog box that looks like this:
Let’s say you have no idea what your lesson will look like. Click “New Plan.”
Add your title (you can always change this later). Select what year students you’ll be teaching. Then select your Subject. For this example, we’ll choose Math.
Since we don’t know what we’re going to do yet, we’ll leave it blank and go straight to the standards that you want to work on. Click “Create.” You’ll come to a summary of your plan next.
Don’t know your essential question yet? This article will show you how to write one. Let’s do up our curriculum instead. Click on Curriculum in the toolbar.
This is where you’ll be able to import the standards that will keep your planning focused. Click “Add Curriculum.”
Next, choose your filters. Subject and Grade will be a good starting point. You can choose core standards, locality specific-standards, or upload your own custom standards. We’ll keep things simple for this example and choose Common Core. (This is the part that I always found hard, but the Solution Fluency Activity Planner makes it easy.)
Up will pop a list of all standards entered. You pick the ones you want from available objectives and add them to Selected Objectives.
This is the establishment of your goals. This will keep your plan focused. Now read your objective carefully and ask yourself how you can teach this objective. Then go back to the Summary and add your title and the driving question.
A Great Start
This should be a good starting point for you to use your creativity in coming up with a great activity that your kids will be engaged in. The questions you need to ask here are:
- How do I keep the activity relevant?
- How can we continue to engage higher-order thinking?
We know that which is important to the student in their life will result in sticky learning. You want real-world situations. For more on this, read Literacy is Not Enough.
For ideas, you can Google search (like “fractions in real life”). There are a lot of resources that will help you figure out where things are used in real life. Once you’ve gotten a grasp of your project, go back and give it a tentative title and give your plan an essential question.
Our next blog will focus on honing your project:
- Assessment—tools such as creating rubrics
- Challenge—presenting the unit to your students, and the edtech options you’ll use
- Activities—the best most exciting part of all; the meat and potatoes of your lesson
- Resources—a space where you can jot notes and keep your thoughts organized with ideas as they come up
- Reflection—monitor your kids progress and take note of what’s going well and what’s not
The great thing about the Solution Fluency lesson planning is that you can tweak your plan whenever you want. Your plans reside on the server, and with collaboration tools you can get help and suggestions from the community. If anyone else tries your lesson, they can tell you about it. It’s as flexible as you want it to be and it keeps the focus on your work, not on the tool itself.