#SOL18: Planning


Do you love to plan? 

Do you hate to plan? 

Planning can take many forms.  Planning to write in the form of creating an outline and then following it point by point . . . just the thought of it, makes me nauseous.  In the vernacular of “slicers”, then am I a “pantser” meaning I plan by the seat of my pants . . . in the moment?  Actually not.  I’m somewhere in between.

It all depends . . .

What’s your process for planning in your personal life? 

It’s time for a weekend get away or a family vacation.  Do you investigate possibilities on line via “The Google”? When and where do you plan?  As you are packing? Or in advance so you can make sure that everything fits?  That might necessitate packing that “carry on” bag in advance to make sure everything fits.  That might mean “lists” depending on the length of the stay.  That might mean a careful assessment of “technology needs” in order to be prepared.

What’s your process for planning in your work life?

As the school year winds down are you preserving those notes?  More of “x”. Less of “y”.  Scrap a, b, and c. How do you make those decisions?  That might mean lists of “If . . . , then . . .”, T charts of pros and cons that precede the inner debate, or even basic boxes and bullets.

Lists of lists???

Again, it all depends . . .

If you are a secondary teacher (grades 6-12), then you need to immediately order this book and join one of the many book studies that are planned for this summer. (Note that I did not say, if you are a secondary ELA teacher, because I believe there is merit in the principles and ideas in this book for social studies teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and curriculum directors.)

180 days book

The hashtag for this book is #180Days.  But I want to draw your attention to the subtitle:  “Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents.”

And in case you missed it, the full title is 180 Days:  Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents. 

Let’s face it.

A “How to” book with QUEST, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER in the title.

There are probably days when you scratch your head and wonder, “WHY?  Why am I doing this to myself?”  Other days in moments of honestly, your first period class really sucked, second period was better, and third period rocked.  WHY?

That opportunity to practice.

That opportunity to tweak the lesson.

A different beginning.

A different ending.

That opportunity to re-vision the lesson.

Some teachers have the opportunity to adjust and discuss situations as they occur with collaborative teaching partners.  But in this book you have the collective wisdom of Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle as they share how they planned, the basis for their decisions, their varied class periods (each day, Kelly and every other day – block schedule, Penny) as they taught and collaborated across the country, NH and CA.

Not sure if this is the book for you?  Resources that may help you decide are:


Sample Chapter

Heinemann podcast 1

Heinemann podcast 2

Facebook page

Travis Crowder’s Review

Podcast part 1 – ReadAloud

And if that’s not enough, please join the #G2Great Twitter Chat this Thursday night.

180 days chat.PNG

Added – Literacy Lenses post about 180 Days #G2Great Chat  5.20.18

Do you “engage and empower” your adolescents on a regular basis? 

Do you worry about being responsive to life and also “fitting it all in”?

This book will show you how to make better decisions about your students  – based on the needs of your students – so that you can and do ENGAGE and EMPOWER them!

WHY does it matter?

180 quote.PNG

How will you be planning for next year?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

18 responses

  1. Though not a secondary coach, I listened to Kelly and Penny’s podcast on Heinemann. Two things stuck with me:collaboration and planning spurred by conversation. While those two things are the cornerstone of my coaching, I can do more to encourage that between colleagues.

    1. So true . . . the power of collaboration. The time that Penny and Kelly spend on their values is time well spent. I believe many of the planning ideas actually correspond to planning in grades 3-5 as well. I fear we are missing opportunities to both engage and empower our elementary readers!

  2. Thanks for the reflection and book review. I’m adding that webinar to my to do list.
    By the way I’m a planner in my head! But as I grow older I’m finding that I need to write more down and be more strategic about planning in advance.

    1. Christine,
      I love that “…I’m a planner in my head.” I rehearse a lot but so that my written work resembles my thinking. And yet if I plan to far in advance, it seems like I am on Plan H . . . ! ❤

  3. Thx. Been hearing a lot about this book. And I love the two authors.

    1. You are welcome, Kevin. I heard Kelly and Penny talk about this at #NCTE17 and was already “scheduling” my reading time! It’s incredibly wonderful!

  4. I am a planner by nature…but I overplan, and never seem to complete all the tasks I line up for myself! As a librarian, I am already planning out next year; my favorite tool is a ginormous, wet-erase academic year wall calendar.

    1. Oh, my, I love a “ginormous, wet-erase academic year wall calendar.” It fits my “backwards planning” mode so well!

  5. Fran – my favorite part is your list: “More of “x”. Less of “y”. Scrap a, b, and c. How do you make those decisions? That might mean lists of “If . . . , then . . .”, T charts of pros and cons that precede the inner debate, or even basic boxes and bullets.” This list nudges me to keep reflecting and the variety of ways is refreshing. Something I hadn’t really thought about before. And if I hadn’t already ordered the book, I would have after reading your post. Thanks for all the links. I’m looking forward in a GREAT summer of learning!!

    1. Sally,
      YOU will love this book because it begins with beliefs and that’s a strength for you! Flexibility in thinking, reflecting and analyzing are all skills that we can continue to grow!!! ❤

  6. I think you nail it when you imply that the kind and amount of planning depends on the occasion. Workshop planning requires thought so that all important points are covered. Planning for a trip might leave gaps in the schedule to accommodate whatever might pop up along the way. Of course there is always the fact that the best laid plans…

    1. So true.
      The variables are endless.
      Am I planning just for myself or do I need to coordinate with a variety of folks/needs, etc. Planning depends upon the event and the individuals involved as well as the Backup plan B, C, etc. 🙂

  7. Clare Landrigan | Reply

    I love to collaboratively plan and not to rush it. I like to enjoy the process of planning – it helps me enjoy it longer. I LOVED their book and I think so much of it was applicable for K-6. I hope to join the twitter chat on Thursday.

    1. Clare,
      I hope you can participate in the chat. It’s going to be great!
      I”ve said publicly that I think there are a lot of applications for teachers in grade 3 and up. Coaches, leadership teams, and administrators should read it for the practical ideas about HOW to use Values to make decisions about WHAT is taught. The WHYs in education need to be tended to . . . not all K-2 teachers have the time, patience, or inclination to do so, but this book lays some powerful groundwork in the literacy field1

  8. “Is it worth the time?” is the question we should all ask. A conversation we often have w/ the Shakespeare folks at the Folger Shakespeare Library is, “What does building a model of the Glob or creating a Julius Caesar newspaper, etc. have to do w/ Shakespeare’s language.” I am a “less is more” teacher. That is, I give as few assignments as possible, and the assignments I do give must have a big picture focus. In speech this means only assignments that will aide students in communication, primarily through giving speeches. In English it means only focusing on reading and writing and talking about reading and writing. We simply don’t have time to waste.

    1. So true, Glenda. No time for the arts and craft days of yesteryear and it’s not about taking out all the FUN. What was the learning? How to build the Globe? Really? Time is precious. Thanks for responding!

  9. […] Days Resources and #G2Great Chat here . . […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

My Zorro Circle

it is what it is

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers


adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

%d bloggers like this: