Planning & Preparation: Curricula & Lessons

During my employment at the Victoria International School of Sharjah (2014 – Present):

Long-term and short-term planning (termly and weekly) – Two words: iTunesU Courses! As an Apple Distinguished Program, our school expects us to plan our courses as iTunesU courses. That has been great PD for me, and has allowed me an opportunity to train and become an Apple Education Trainer (AET) myself.

This is my Grade 8 Drama Course on iTunesU for 2015-2016. This is my Grade 7 Drama Course on iTunesU for 2015-2016.

Here are some snapshots of my Grade 7 and Grade 8 drama courses:

Day-to-day planning – One word: iDoceo! Here is my blogpost about how much I love iDoceo and how it saves me so much time and keeps me organized! iDoceo truly allows me to work smarter not harder!

During my employment at the Australian International Academy (2010 – 2014):

I view a teacher’s planning and preparation as a continuous cycle:

Planning & Preparation cycleDuring my employment at the Australian International Academy of Education in Melbourne, Australia, I was the only Performing Arts teacher in the Arts Department, and there was no curriculum to teach. Therefore, I was responsible for creating a drama curriculum from scratch. I created 7 different units of work to teach across the Middle School (years 6, 7, 8 and 9). The units of work follow the MYP Unit Planner Template as it was an IB school. The units of work also include the weekly planner, and both show evidence of my long-term and short-term planning.

  • Units of work for Year 6 – Main focus for year 6 curriculum was to develop the creative and communicative abilities of the actor’s two main tools: body & voice.

Year 6 Unit #1: Mime & Pantomime

Year 6 Unit #2: Radio Drama

  • Units of work for Year 7 – Main focus for year 7 curriculum was to develop spontaneity through improvisation and physicality through slapstick.

Year 7 Unit #1: Improvisational Theatre

Year 7 Unit #2 Slapstick Comedy

  • Units of work for Year 8 – Main focus for year 8 curriculum was to understand how modern comedy has been greatly influenced by Commedia Dell’Arte, which also builds on improvisation skills and slapstick elements taught in year 7; as well as to explore the features of different genres and texts used in drama, and the strategies used to interpret and dramatise these texts.

Year 8 Unit #1: Commedia Dell’Arte

Year 8 Unit #2: Working with Text

  • Unit of work for Year 9 – Main focus for the year 9 curriculum was to look at the differences between acting on stage and acting on camera (TV/film), as well as the different stages of the film-making process and the various filmic techniques.

Year 9 Unit: Television and Film Drama

As an eLearning Coordinator, I had to model efficient and effective use of ICT, and so I planned my lessons electronically using Google Forms. Here are screenshots of the Google Form I used to plan my weekly drama lessons:

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My teaching chronicle also played a very important role in my daily lesson-planning as well as my reflections after each lesson. I also used it for administrative organisation such as keeping a to-do-list or documenting meeting times etc…

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I also believe the whiteboard plays a huge part in planning and preparing for a lesson, which I why I write up the lesson’s learning objectives and learning activities for every class. This helps me stay organised and also helps with my classroom management as it facilitates pacing the lessons more:

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After every lesson, I always take a snapshot of my whiteboard and add it to a notebook on Evernote, along with a short written or recorded reflection about the lesson. This helps with documentation as well as reflection.

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