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A daily plan is an outline or framework of what is planned for the day to support children’s development and learning. The predictability of a daily schedule provides security for children and helps children develop a sense of timing as they anticipate what will happen next. As all educators know, daily plans can alter dramatically as the life of the classroom and school unfolds. They are a guideline to follow, but ultimately educators must take cues from the children as to their motivation and engagement.

 Within the daily plans, educators account for: planning for learning within the large group, activities for small groups, for individuals, and for classroom centres. As well, the educator needs to consider a system for collecting and documenting observations of learning.

 Developing the Plans

Whether plans are for a half-day or full-day, they will include a time:

  • for physical activity (outdoors, in the gym, in the all-purpose room);
  • to meet in the large group for sharing, story, and appropriate demonstrations;
  • for learning centres, including large blocks of time for self-initiated activities;
  • for nutrition;
  • for children to independently ‘read’ books; and
  • for music and movement.

The following two sample day plans, a half day plan and a full day plan are taken from the Planning for Learning chapter of Thinking it Through.

7 Responses to Daily Planning

  • corinne says:

    In my experience when designing a full-day plan it is important to reduce the amount of transitions and have large blocks of play with a minimum of 60 minutes. I prefer to have outdoor time just before lunch so children are refreshed for the afternoon, but this adds another transition especially with outdoor clothing. My large learning block is in the morning and another in the afternoon. I keep it to about 15 minutes.

  • mjudd says:

    Our school board has suggested that we use the curriculum “big ideas” as our long range plans. By chosing a few from each section, it can help organize your year by what you want the children to learn in sequence.

  • Diane Moore says:

    I need long range plans to help me get started. Any ideas

  • Heather Cormier says:

    Wow! What a great website. I would love to see ideas for a sk/1 balanced day program. I currently have 13 grade ones and 6 sk’s with no ECE and I am we have just a regular sized classroom . I am getting a water table, lego, wooden unit blocks and an art easel very soon and would love to best implement them later on this year. Any ideas!!

  • Sarah Vincent says:

    Great idea to have your camera date-stamp photos and then have a folder for each child! I have a documentation form very similar to yours (but not done in excel). If you have access to an ipad or iphone, have you tried the Evernote app for collecting documentation? That is what I have been using instead of my camera. You can tag photos/audio you take with children’s names (so you can tag multiple children if necessary). Then, the program automatically syncs with your computer. Then, you are also able to print your “notes” with the photos attached so you can assemble a portfolio of sorts. It’s been fun to play with anyway :)

  • mjudd says:

    For documenting, my teaching partner and I share responsibilities. We have created a spread sheet with a block for each child in our class. On the top of the sheet, we write a curriculum goal. Throughout the days, we both write quick comments in the blocks about something a child has done. For example, if we are working on number recognition, we write that goal at the top of the page (we write exactly what the curriculum says) and then put the sheet on a clipboard. While the children are at the math centre, we take turns observing them and write down “Johnny pointed to the number 6 and said six”. When it comes time for report cards, we can pull the sheets together, put them with samples of their work and assess where they are at from the documentations we have done.
    We also take several photos of the children. I find this really helpful. I make sure the camera date stamps the photos. I keep them saved in the computer and each child has a folder in “My Pictures”. I also have a large bulletin board where I can print and post the pictures so that the children can look at them.

  • Sarah Vincent says:

    Thank you for sharing more information on your daily planning. As a beginning kindergarten teacher, I would also love to hear more about how you do long-term planning for a full year.

    I am also curious about the systems you use for documenting learning.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

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