Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Long Range Planning Tools - Ambrose 2013

How many instructional weeks?

Calgary Board of Education 2013-2014 calendar:

Rocky View Schools 2013-2014 calendar:

Calgary Board of Education Catholic 2013-2014 calendar:

Online tool for printing blank monthly and weekly calendars - editable and printable:

When are report cards due and what do they look like?

Sample report card for grade 1 French and English. Be sure you know what needs to be included (ie: on this one how will you generate an effort mark? Is that mark about behaviour? Will you teach each math strand every term?  Do you need to report every area every term? Does your grade team need to report the same outcomes every term?)

What is my assessment plan?
General Assessment Pinterest Board in Progress.

What are my core subjects?

Long Range Planning Board of resources here.

Curriculum overviews at-a-glance by grade level:


grade 1

grade 2

grade 3

grade 4

grade 5

Alberta complete Program of Studies

Which subjects integrate easily? 

Curriculum Integration document from Alberta Education (example and template).

Is planned inquiry and oxymoron?

Alberta Learning Guide to implementing inquiry-base learning (2004):

provincial expectations

Provincial requirements are outlined in the Teacher Qualifications Standards.  Under the heading "skills related to permanent certification" there are 11 specific standards outlined in this documents, the 5th relates to planning.  

e)  "Teachers engage in a range of planning activities. 

Teachers’ plans are founded in their understanding of contextual variables and are a record of their decisions on what teaching and learning strategies to apply. Plans outline a reasoned and incremental progression toward the attainment of desired outcomes, for both teachers and students. Teachers monitor the context, their instruction, and monitor and assess students’ learning on an ongoing basis, and modify their plans accordingly. Teachers strive to establish candid, open and ongoing lines of communication with students, parents, colleagues and other professionals, and incorporate information gained into their planning."

administrative expectations

Alberta Learning Long Long Range Planning template in word:
(document has several samples, editable, printable)

Alberta Learning Long Range Planning template PDF:
(documents includes all of the following pictured below and more)

A complete (this is partial) unit planning checklist is part of this document, be sure to have a look.

Edmonton Public Long Range planning templates.

Understanding by Design Templates posted by the author Grant Wiggins

maintaining your sanity

My long range plan template

Sample Long Range Plans K-4 from a Calgary Charter School:
(they post their long range plans for parents on their school site, fantastic practice in my mind - would require some 'seeking first to understand' on the part of parents ie: when and why teachers will deviate from the plan).

Chase March's combined 3/4 Long range plan.  Please link to Chase's blog post here to download his files (I like his blog and Teacher Tip Tuesdays).  Thank you Mr. March!  Success is about contribution.


  1. Hello Madame!

    I am a beginning Core French teacher in Ontario and I am absolutely blown away by your beautiful blog page and how organized and comprehensive your resources are (both individually and collectively). I have just eaten up all your links to Long-Range and Unit Planning because I have been desperately looking for guidance in this area. However, as I read, my question / query began to change; I couldn't help but wonder what strategies you use to manage your time and your sanity? How many hours do you dedicate a week / a day to posting on your blog or searching resources on-line? How much time do you spend long-range planning or lesson planning daily? I understand that all teachers must find their individual rhythm, but I have yet to find someone who provides me with a more practical strategy than "it will be easier after 5 to 10 years." I worry that if I don't get a handle on how to manage my lesson-planning and long-range planning time, I won't be in teaching long enough to find out what those 5 to 10 years look like.

    If you get a squeezed out minute in your busy schedule, I would really appreciate being given a picture of what your "teaching week" looks like and some strategies you use to manage your time and stay sane.

    Keep up the remarkable work! I am certain you have inspired many teachers and students alike!

    Mme V in Ontario

    1. Well good morning! Thanks for visiting! Great questions, let me give this a shot.

      Most of the resources here I made and posted while I was teaching. Because I use the computer for everything I find it easier to post my resources online for myself (and 2 years ago it was for me and my teaching partner) than a paper file. As my collection grew I put it in a blog so that more teachers could benefit.

      For the last 2 years I haven't been teaching. I did find it hard to balance work and home (I have 2 boys now 8 and 10). This year I'm back subbing 2-3 days a week and that's just right for me. I think that there a 3 things that can make teaching more manageable.

      1) Teach the same grade level for at least 3 years. I have never taught the same grade twice, ever. I've taught K-5 in 2 different provinces so this added to the insanity. I really believe in giving teachers the opportunity to build a solid program at a certain grade level. It takes at least the first year to know the curriculum. Administrators need to consider this, give teachers the chance to settle in and really learn a specific grade level. They will be better, less stressed, more efficient educators. They will also be more likely to share with and mentor others.

      2) Use the resources that are already there. Our Alberta provincial resources are really good. Math, Socials Studies and the Edmonton science resource in French and English that I mention in the blog are my go to resources. Then add as you go. In my teacher training program instructors focused on having us generate every lesson and unit, not wanting us to rely on resources that may not be available everywhere. While that was a good skill it wasn't practical for a beginning teacher (or anyone looking for a healthy home/work balance).

      3) Plan together. This is really tough if you are the only teacher in a grade. I had a fantastic grade 1 team, there were 4 of us. Every Friday myself and another teacher sat down and planned out the week. Every month we had a blank month and wrote in what we knew we had to get to to keep up our pace of getting to key outcomes, holidays, school events. It made life so mush easier. Some Fridays I just wanted to go home but that extra time made teaching more enjoyable (most schools in AB only go to school until 2 pm on Fridays).

      Maybe one more would be that I don't do any extra-curricular coaching or volunteering at the school. Like you (most likely) I teach elementary. I can't imagine being expected to coach and supervise in the evening. I have to volunteer for my own children's activities and I just think it's unreasonable to ask that I volunteer more time to students when my priority should be planning and assessing the outcomes mandated by the province (not refereeing a soccer game).

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Finding resources in French Immersion is magical because of twitter. I make the information come to me. If you follow 4-5 key #frimm teachers (the hashtag used for Canadian FI teachers) you will get a steady feed of ideas, videos, free resources. It has taken me some time to figure out who posts things that I find helpful but I'll list them here. There are more but these are my go to peeps (also check the #frimm hashtag on twitter periodically). When I first got on twitter I was overwhelmed and found it a waste of time but now I find it helpful.

      Canadian French Immersion twitter peeps:

      @SylviaDuckworth (the queen!)
      @madameaiello (FSL)
      @louvre2012 (TIna in Ontario)
      @MmeStAmand (Ontario)

      Also @MmeHawtree she has a ScoopIt that curates French Immersion resources. I also find Pinterest helpful but you have to sift through the junk! I follow many of the same folks on Pinterest. The key is to make the information come to you. Tech is cool that way.

      These past 2 years I have been able to visit many schools and go to PD. I take pictures with my phone all the time to remind me of ideas. The latest post was from aimlessly wandering into a class for 5 min.!

      Having said all of that I couldn't make it work. I love teaching but am not in my own classroom this year. I visit schools and classrooms often and am constantly looking for ways to do this job better and more efficiently. The blogging is not what took up my time, it's so quick because I just post and share what I use anyway. The time for me was lesson planning and keeping the class and students organized. I think I have some good ideas for making report card writing faster, easier and more accurate and should post that. The reality is though, how did I balance it? I didn't really. So now I support other teacher here on this blog.

      I hope that this is helpful. I wrote a post about my "sentence" and I really feel that my mission is to give teachers the time to be better by sharing what I have and know for free. Glad to hear it's appreciated! Bonne journée.


  2. Wow!

    Thank you Shannon for such a timely and detailed response! The tips on how to use the technology to help me were quite useful. I sometimes get overwhelmed sorting through the junk as well, but I do know there can be great benefits to all these medias. You have helped me see how I can do that. The funny thing, I recently thought about how awesome it would be if I could just get paid for MAKING classroom / teaching resources because I like to think I have relatively good ideas but more often than not they are quite time-consuming to create. It kills me a little bit inside when I have to settle for a less-engaging option which is at my finger-tips instead of a resource catered perfectly to my students. To answer your question, I teach Grade's 4-8 Core French and I have been blessed to able to stay in this position for the past 3 years (this is my third year). I am the only French teacher in the school, so collaboration is slightly more challenging. I am currently making an effort to work with another Core French teacher in the same neighbourhood. I hope it works out. Nonetheless, many things are definitely getting better; I am getting the hang of my role and what is required of me along the course of the school year. I simply continue to struggle with acquiring appropriate resources, creating quality long range plans efficiently and sticking to them. I get easily distracted with new possibilities and will often change elements of the my plan as I go along. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it is not.

    Well, this is my weekend to sit down and finally try to long-range plan for the rest of my classes. Thank you for giving me a second wind; I am excited to use your resources to guide my process.

    All the best of luck as you continue the new school year. I look forward to your future posts.