I read this new little gem, The Joy of Planning by Franki Sibberson back in November. It has been in the back of my mind all school year and is going to guide some of my summer reading. The majority of teachers are having to rethink our planning, curriculum, and teaching as we know it. If you are looking for advice on being thoughtful, intentional, ahead of the game and thinking about your students then you will want to read this book! Franki's written this book for grades 3 - 6 but I found gems of goodness as a kindergarten teacher.
I love reading Franki's writing. I feel like she is talking to me and I get to know her better as a person, friend, and colleague. She opens her book by sharing what she believes in about minilessons. Ten ideas I think you will easily agree with and understand why you can share in her thinking. This list is a gem to help guide our own understanding for the importance of minilessons. Summer is here and this line is going to guide some of my summer reading, "I think it is time we put the same amount of time and energy into planning for instruction as we do into analyzing data." I'm going to take some time this summer to tackle my to be read professional pile with a focus on planning and look at reading a book for each content area.
When Franki talks about planning a cycle of lessons, she reminds us we have to know our curriculum AND we have to know our students. This gem is something we all know in our hearts. I wonder if we have lost sight of this when we have a lot on our plates to think about as educators. One of the questions in her planning steps is, "How will I provide for students to enter at their own level?" This is so key for growth, engagement, and personalization. Franki's 5 steps in her lesson planning cycle could easily work for grades K - 6, another gem not listed in the reviews. Each chapter is filled with planning advice and then she guides the readers with minilesson examples to show the reader how to tackle standards, picking the right books, and rethinking our current lessons. In each minilesson, Franki shares questions she might ask to foster conversation between her students and with her students. It's so important we think ahead about engaging our students in talk as they learn. I found myself noting a few ideas or titles of books I could use in my own classroom. Franki loves to use picture books for her minilessons and those can be accessible to all readers in a read aloud setting. I'm really looking forward to reading and planning this summer with Franki's thoughts guiding the way.
I would like to thank Choice Literacy for my review copy of this book.