How Curriculum Storyboards Provided Better Time Management to One First Grade Teacher

Books created by first grade students

Laying out traditional curriculum within a storyboard provided efficiency and organization

Last August, I conducted a virtual presentation to teachers at Colegio Maya in Guatamala, clarifying the Curriculum Storyboards concept and providing design feedback to the teachers.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the teachers for the first time, hearing from one of the school’s first grade teachers, Michele, who expressed her excitement after implementing the concept last summer.

“Doing my storyboards to plan my readers workshop, writers workshop, and inquiry helped me see that the units I typically do at different times in the year (could go together),” she said.

“I was able to have units in inquiry, writing workshop, and reading workshop that naturally could go together (putting) all the information and skills they were learning to work on one cumulative project.”

Michelle expressed that she’d always had a time management issue, but the Curriculum Storyboards template helped her plan out her year in a way that fit everything in while covering all she needed to cover with her students.

“We would work on personal narratives, we could do that forever,” she explained. “I would just let it linger and go on for too long. Doing the storyboards helped me see that a quarter is enough for personal narratives.”

While she used to let the students’ personal narratives projects stretch until Christmas, that had always put her class behind.

“(Storyboards) helped me pace myself and stay on track and nothing is getting shortchanged,” she said. “If anything, they’re ready to move on, it was me that was lingering, thinking there’s always more to do.

“So it’s the very first year that I’m going to get to the fourth unit in writing or reading workshop and I’m going to get to unit seven and numeracy that I’ve never made it to the whole time we’ve been doing bridges and it’s because his storyboards helped me organize it.”

It was wonderful to hear of Michelle’s experience and the different place and space she is moving through her curriculum. Because of the organization, she is able to make deeper connections with her students when moments are happening as opposed to having things scattered across the year.

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