As soon as the Unique Curriculum is posted for the month I print it off. I have some amazing fairies by the names of Lopez and Lucy that cut it, laminate it, and put it together for me :) I read through the information and pull out the Big Ideas. This is posted as soon as you walk in my door. These are just the big ideas we are going to work on throughout the month. I pair the big Unique Idea with a picture symbols so my students know what we are talking about also. Under each category is non-bold and bolded list. The non-bold is for my level 1 learners and the bolded is for my level 2/3 learners. I have 5 grade levels in my classroom and I want to make sure that I bump up the rigor and instruction as much as I can. I also love that Unique also offers State Standards, Instructional Targets, and Scope and Sequence. I also love that lesson 1 is always going to be a book, lesson 2 is going to be comprehension questions to go with lesson 1 and so on. So, although the theme changes, the state standards for each lesson doesn't. When planning for 5 grade levels, this is very helpful! You cover everything... but don't have to reinvent the wheel to figure out what standard it goes with. Thanks Unique!
Anyway! So once I have the curriculum printed it off it goes to my lovely fairies and they cut, paste, laminate, and put it all together. Before any lamination, however, we LABEL everything! It might just say U3 L2 (which stands for Unit 3 Lesson 2)
One of my folders with all of the materials laminated and inside (make sure to read to the very bottom to see some of my other tips.
During the month I store my materials in a hanging folder box. Each lesson has its own folder that has all of its materials inside.
So, I have it organized.. I have read over all of the information and it sounds great.. but how in the heck do I actually use it?
Having 5 different grade levels has made it a little tough to get as organized as I like to be, but I finally found what is working for me (okay.. okay.. so it took me to December to get that far) On my lesson plans I have it broken into whole group, Keller small group, Lopez small group, Lucy small group, and science/social studies.
During my group I am always going to work on IEP's, PCI (our reading) and STAAR-alt objectives (our standardized testing) Lopez is always going to work on language objectives and Lucy is always going to work on math objectives. When planning for the week I look at what Unique recommends and use that in my plans. We rotate groups about every 45 minutes. This works for me this year because of the staffing I have... but as with anything this could change in a minute :) I love that Unique has it leveled out for the different expectations of what a Level 1 student will do but also what a Level 2 and 3 student will do. Thanks again Unique for bumping up my instruction! So, if my lesson says Lesson 26 my staff knows to get the materials from the pink bucket for lesson 26. If I am not using a Unique lesson during the group that day I still level out my personal lesson plans. Every Thursday, for instance, we work on spelling words for my level 3 students, my level 2 students work on putting the alphabet in order and filling in missing letters, and my level 1 students will participate in alphabet naming.
Confused yet? Bored out of your mind for reading the LONGEST blog ever? If you have questions or want copies of my different materials feel free to email me!
-Unique uses alot of paper. But it is SO beneficial! So, to cut down on paper I print mine on half sheets.
-I also do the velcro the SAME way on ALL of my materials! The male side is on the part that leaves and the female side is the part that stays. This is a great trick I learned during my student teaching :) those little pieces I can stick on felt, on the carpet, or other areas to play games
-After a month is over I bag them in ziploc bags and store them away
-books that we used during the month go into our book center or independent work area
-some of the games will go into independent work area
Next blog (or 2) my AWESOME Secret Santa ideas at school using Pinterest and how I changed up my News 2 You.