Speed Planning

Want to accomplish a lot of planning in a very short amount of time? Welcome to Speed Planning. I have found this method to work best by choosing one thing I want to incorporate into my school day, but for one reason or another has not happened. I used it last year with poetic memorization/recitation, and it worked like a charm.

  1. Pick one resource – this is the key!
  2. Read/scan the book and note the poems that capture your attention.
  3. Assign one poem per month or block.
  4. Do this until you have chosen 10 poems. (or however many blocks/months you teach)
  5. Do this for each child. (and yourself, if you memorize/recite along with them. I do.)
  6. Congratulations! You’re done planning this particular activity for the entire year!
For me, this method was so much easier than sitting down the weekend (or night!) before a new block or circle time, getting out all my resources and trying to find the perfect poem for each of us. I didn’t lock myself into my choices, and if I came across a new poem I wanted to use, I changed, added or moved the others around. I felt like I had the freedom to do this because the pressure of having nothing planned didn’t exist.
This year I am implementing a version of Speed Planning with movement, verses, read-alouds and some other things. You can view my efforts here. Our circle time fell apart toward the middle of last year, and I am not sure how it is going to work this year. I still want to incorporate many of the oral and kinesthetic aspects of circle time throughout our school day, and I am hoping by having these elements planned out, I can concentrate on how and where to fit them in. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted.

12 thoughts on “Speed Planning

  1. This is great advice for someone who has rooms full of resources (: What is the book “Living Language” that you refer to as your poem/verse memorization. I’d like to get a book with good poetry for Grace (who is already convinced that she hates poetry). I’m about to buy a Ted Koozer book of poetry for me. I would recommend both Mountain Born and Wheel on the School for MUST read alouds (: By the way, I have Rascal packed for a read loud this summer xo

    • I talk a lot about Living Language in this post. It is more of a curriculum guide for teaching language arts from a waldorf perspective. In that book Donna Simmons recommends memorizing “The Jabberwock” by Lewis Carrol and reciting it to your kids. I took her advice and literally, it just took off from there. Vincent can still recite that poem from way back in September. Both boys are currently reading A Pizza the Size of the Sun – not Poetry (capital P), but fun nonetheless. I will check out Ted Koozer. Hope you guys enjoy Rascal.

      • Love what I read of Ted Kooser online. Will have to get some in print. I will also check out the other recommendations from the library. Thanks for the suggestions.

      • Good morning (:
        couldn’t “reply” below…so, here it is. I’m glad you directed me to that other post — somehow I missed it all together!
        I’m going to look into Living Language. I’ve on order “Delights and Shadows” of Ted Koozer — it has “Tattoo” –which is the very first Koozer poem I was ever introduced to when I heard him read it on NPR and a favorite.
        About to do a post of the logistical planning of this upcoming year…

  2. Sheila, I have been enjoying your blog since Carrie first posted a link here a few months ago. I love that you are incorporating Waldorf into YOUR life, rather than changing everything to be Waldorf. Marching to the beat of your own drum, using the things which sit well with you and not feeling pressured to take on everything. I love that you are blogging about that because it gives others permission to be who they truly are, rather than what we “should” be because that’s how it’s done in the schools/some “expert” said so. It’s like a breath of fresh air! Thank you!

  3. I employ this method for the kids’ poems, morning hymns or songs, and other things, too! I admit to using two resources occasionally, though… :) It makes it feel “done,” (Yay!) and if I find something better, I just pop it in.

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  5. So funny, I was just thinking yesterday that at some point one has to just CHOOSE a few resources. There are so many great things out there and it is always changing…with a teen I can say “here is what I found..” and then let him search for others. Love the poetry recitation…my students last year loved Jabberwock and dramatized the Walrus and the Carpenter. (We read Through the Looking Glass in Great Books:) xoxo

    • Yes . . . the choosing . . . it is so hard. For Vincent, for whom 1000 books would not be enough, I definitely have to rein him in. Jude on the other hand . . . the exact opposite. I find homeschooling is constantly trying to find that elusive fulcrum in so many things, but most of all myself.

      Happy Friday, dear one.

  6. Pingback: Planning for Homeschoolers: Nuts and Bolts | Sure as the World

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