Monday, September 22, 2008

Keepin' It Real: Lesson Plans for Left-Handers

Actually, I'M the left-hander in this situation--not my children. And if you know anything about lefties, then you know we tend to be very graphic, artsy, organized-in-a-different-way, right-brained thinkers.

Come to think of it, it might not be exactly a left-handed problem. There could be other people who tend towards our way of thinking as evidenced by this article. This is possibly my favorite article I have ever read anywhere. I stumbled on it nearly 10 years ago and I have shared it with other people with right-brained tendencies and they have all said the same thing, "YES! YES! THIS IS WHAT I NEED!"
Obviously the author described the problem well. And that is why I cannot make lesson plans. I have no idea if homeschoolers actually make lesson plans or not. I hear about homeschool moms who have to "work on lesson plans" so I assume some do. Some have to, depending on what state they live in, I suppose.
When I taught public school I taught in a utopia-like school where we were not required to turn in lesson plans. Our administrators actually trusted us to be professionals in our field and make our lesson plans each week. They simply asked that we leave them on our desktop if they needed to see them for any reason. For years I slugged through filling up all the little boxes for each subject. In college I actually had to go the whole 9 yards and write out the objective (The learner will....), the appropriate TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) that the lesson covered, the procedures, the materials needed, etc. Ugh.

Then we had training on brain research at our school. We were learning to adapt our lessons and methods to all the different learning styles in our room. Here is where we learned that we should keep koosh balls on the desks for students who needed to fiddle with something while they listened. Here we learned about the need for hydration (imagine that!) and allowed all students to have a water bottle on their desk during the day. Here is where we learned to play classical music while our students worked.

Here is where I learned to make MY kind of lesson plans!!!!

I believe it was called brain mapping or something like that. And from that day forward this is how I made my plans. I thought I would share it just in case it would help anyone out there. If you've ever heard me say I'm working on "lesson plans" please know it's not as complicated as it sounds!

This week I am beginning a unit of study on Chocolate with Sweetheart (grade 3). Here is my lesson plan from last night. OK, actually, I re-copied it so it was legible. The original is much worse.
So, as you can just sort of brainstorm what you want to do on the topic (or subject). And I can actually work off of this. I know others who need to re-copy, make a spread sheet, and color code the whole thing. It makes them happy.

Me? I would lose the spread sheet so why bother?

Well, there you go. Thank you for joining us on the tour of my strange little mind.

So tell me, how do you make plans? (doesn't have to be homeschooling!)


  1. I want to join you for your chocolate study!!! :)

  2. Yeah, but not for the kids, right????

  3. LOVE the article!

    I'm even horizontal in house plans. I'd much rather have a sprawling rancher than a three story home.

    I'll have to work on my planning post.

  4. I just discovered your blog and I'm loving it! I went to college for education too, and I found my self nodding my head in agreement when you wrote about having to write long, detailed lesson plans in college. During my student teaching, we had to submit entire units like that! Anyway, I love your "mapping strategy." I used to use this strategy as a starting point for my lesson plans, and then take what was on my map and turn it into a full lesson plan. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. so the questions begin. Do you not do an art or science like a curriculum? Do you only fit science or art into our UNIT? never mind I think this just turned into a post.....

  6. No Carrie--I have curriculum for art, science, etc. But who can resist doing something fun to bring the chocolate unit to life???

  7. I, too, am a lefty with right-brain tendencies. Have just read the article you linked to and looked at my desk. It's so true, every time I 'tidy' things away, I lose them!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)