Explain the intentional nature of developmentally appropriate planning. Make sure to discuss the downfalls of planning not being intentional.

Developmentally Appropriate Planning

Early childhood educators must ensure that through the curriculum decisions they are making, they are meeting the needs of the diverse learners they work with as well as helping children to grow across all developmental domains. “People are often surprised at how much planning it takes to ensure a productive, smoothly running early childhood classroom” (Kostelnik, Soderman, Whiren, & Rupiper, 2015, p. 75). It takes so much planning because we are making intentional decisions about what, how, when, and why we are implementing curriculum. Figure 3.1 from your primary text illustrates the process that teachers go through as they are preparing to plan lessons and units (Kostelnik, Soderman, Whiren, & Rupiper, 2015, p.79). Understanding this process is critical to being able to plan effective lessons whether you are working with one, five, or 20 children at a time.

Using Figure 3.1 (p. 79), Chapters 3 and 4 of your course text, and the Early Childhood and Child Development Lesson Plan Handbook, address the following:

  • Explain the intentional nature of developmentally appropriate planning. Make sure to discuss the downfalls of planning not being intentional.
  • Describe the process early childhood educators go through as they prepare to teach, including how learning differences influence and impact the planning process.
  • Discuss where within the planning process early childhood educators address the needs of diverse learners and ensure their planning is culturally responsive. Make sure to include information about adapting curriculum to meet the needs of each and every child.
  • Discuss the importance of differentiating lesson plans in order to meet the needs of small-group or whole-class instruction. Use some of the strategies shared in the text for teaching in small-group and whole-class instruction to support your perspective.
  • Explain how having a deeper understanding of creating effective lesson plans help you to be able to uphold the following sections of the 2009 NAEYC Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs. (Links to an external site.) Provide specific examples related to small-group and whole-class instruction lesson plans.
    • 4b. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education.
    • 4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches. (NAEYC, 2009)

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  • figure3.1wk2.docxCharacteristics of Effective Planning

    High quality planning takes into account individual children and groups of children. It addresses short-term objectives and long term goalsas well as what is currently happening in the classroom and what might be needed in the future. Such planning reflects the teacher’sknowledge and understanding of how young children develop and learn and the conditions under which optimal learning takes place. Astrong grasp of relevant subject matter is also necessary (Schickedanz, 2008Stronge, 2007). Additionally, whether applied to a singleactivity or to the program as a whole, planning is flexible enough to allow teachers to accommodate children’s changing needs over timeand to take advantage of teachable moments as they happen. Most importantly, effective planning addresses the unique learning needs ofthe specific children for whom each lesson is being planned. The process begins with information gathering.

    Teachers Make Written Plans

    Working through the decisions described here is best done in writing (Cooper,2013). Written plans are useful devices that help teachers think abouteducational activities in detail from start to finish. Putting their ideas down onpaper encourages teachers to ensure that all parts of the lesson are addressed,to anticipate potential problems ahead of time, and to perfect instructional strategies before using them in the classroom. This advance preparation enablesteachers to approach each lesson with greater confidence and security (Machado& Meyer, 2011). Not only do written plans offer tangible means for checkingaccuracy and completeness, but repeatedly going through the step-by-stepprocess of writing each part of the lesson creates habits of mind that graduallybecome internalized. In this way, writing activity plans ultimately helps noviceteachers gain practice in thinking more like experienced educators. Written plansalso create a permanent record of what activities and objectives have beenaddressed. Evaluations recorded in some permanent way will help youremember your successes (or challenges), providing valuable information if yourepeat the activity at a later date.

    FIGURE3.1 Foundations of Planning


    The amount of detail that goes into written plans varies with the writer’s experience. In general, inexperienced planners profit from writingtheir ideas in great detail. As teachers gain practice writing and thinking about planning, the need for extensive written detail graduallydecreases. With time, practitioners become better able to think comprehensively while writing only what is necessary for someone else(e.g., a parent volunteer, assistants in the program, or the substitute teacher) to follow their plan successfully. In this way, learning to planproceeds from representing ALL of your thinking to eventually conveying only its ESSENCE. Planning also shifts from enhancing your owncomprehension to helping other people understand what you intend to have happen.

    Refer to Figure3.1 for a summary of the planning essentials we have just discussed and how they contribute to the total instructionalprocess.

    As you can see, written plans serve as a bridge between teacher preparation and putting the curriculum into action. They are the “glue” thatturns educ

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