Available for download in the PDF format is a full year’s worth of goals and descriptions for interconnected thematic units.
These files describe how to plan and manage a full year’s worth of instruction.
Using thematic units delivers the same benefits as student projects. The content areas are woven together so that each student’s personal experience of the curriculum is integrated with their own experience of the world.
This integration of knowledge, concepts and skills creates unique learning experiences for each student, experiences that students want to share. Experiences that students share build a self-reinforcing system...a system that perpetuates itself in habits of life-long learning.
A systematic instructional year means that ideas and concepts build upon each other, and that students develop a rich fabric of understanding.
The contents and parameters of this rich fabric of learning does not have to be the same for each student. If students have both a self-assurance in their own learning, and a connection with that learning to their own life experiences, then the students will be able to share, communicate, defend, and use their learning.
If, on the other hand, instruction is textbook or high-stakes test driven...or...if instruction is driven by whatever activity the teacher finds for the day; then students have nothing to connect the learning to. When students do not have anchors to connect their learning to, they have to work very hard to rely on short-term memory tricks instead of long-term memory concepts.
This file describes a plan for building the resource files for a year of themes. Knowing the year’s themes in advance means that you can pick up materials wherever you go, toss these materials into the correct box, and have a lot of resources available for the late-in-the-year units without a lot of extra work.