At Cloverleaf, the teachers pride themselves on creating effective, in-depth lesson plans that are both student-driven and standards based. In order to create an environment where each individual student can access such a high standard of education, teachers meet months in advance and spend weeks preparing plans for the lessons they will teach. They work collectively, collaboratively, and across many curricular areas while also incorporating student interests, gifts, and unique learning styles.
One way we accomplish this at Cloverleaf is through integrating various content areas into our unit plans. Before we start writing our weekly plans and pacing guides, we begin brainstorming ways to weave together the content of individual classes. By doing so, the learning process becomes much more authentic and meaningful. Students are better prepared for future career demands and interacting with content outside the classroom. So, while teachers follow the Common Core Standards, they are also questioning how math and science integrate in the real world or how reading and writing correlate with becoming an active citizen in a democratic community.
As many know, teachers are masters at utilizing various resources. This is especially true when it comes to visually organizing a cross-curricular unit plan. We choose our planning templates strategically, looking for ways to best incorporate best practices such as: depth of knowledge, multiple student learning styles, the learning process, differentiation, technology integration, and community involvement. Below are visual examples taken from Cloverleaf teachers, which represent different stages of our complex lesson planning process.