A Note About Sequential Planning

This excerpt is from the Open Door School archives and was written by Shari Blair:

Teachers at Open Door do not turn in written lesson plans to the Director for approval. We are, however, very careful planners. We may only jot down what is new or different in the classroom that day and what the main activity is- cooking, gluing, stitchery, or water table.

We note what book is planned for reading at group time and whether a new song or fingerplay will be introduced. Our plans follow a sequence based on the time of the year (early or late), the developmental level of the children, and the group dynamics. Most importantly, our plans are not written in stone. They can and should be changed if the children’s interest goes off in another direction.

Our planning has a foundation of these “knowns”:

1. Learning grows from one’s previous experience. Therefore, activities should be sequential, from the few to the many, from the simple to the complex, and from the here and now to the later.

2. Opportunities for learning are present in everything a child encounters. A unit on “Color,” for example, is not necessary. Color is everywhere. Fall arrives, whether teachers plan a unit on it or not. Unit planning can be a cop-out. It is far easier to say to parents, “We’re learning about ‘Fall’ or ‘Colors’ or ‘Grey Squirrels,’ than it is to be able to explain the multitude of learning opportunities present in block building or dramatic play.

3. Not everyone learns the same thing from the same experience, or at the same rate; therefore, we repeat activities and allow plenty of time for exploration.

4. The process is important, not the product!