Rob's example flow plans
Here is Rob's description of flow plans and how he has used them.
Customizing flow plans
To give you a sense of how the flow plans correspond to the JTE, I will give you short descriptions of each of the three JTEs with whom I work.
- One of my JTEs is all about creativity and she likes to start every class with a creative activity. After the creative activity, we do a short quiz to make sure the students are learning what we intend for them to learn, and then we sometimes work on phonics in one way or another. After that, this JTE likes to devote an entire class to listening, or speaking, or writing, or reading.
- Another of my JTEs is self-described as a "grammarian" and he likes to structure his classes so that for every new grammar point, the students first listen to an example, then they write out the grammar point and practice reading both the textbook and what they have written. Then, they memorize what they have written and practice speaking it and as consolidation, we do a drill to make sure they remember the words and the grammar points.
- The third JTE with whom I work likes to start each class with a few minutes during which students do a daily interview. As time passes, he adds different questions for them to ask onto their check cards. After the daily interview, he likes to give a short test, but what he really loves are the games. Once the students finish the short test, we play a game to review the previous lesson's grammar point, and then we play a second game to practice new material. At the end of class, he likes to choose one of the four main perspectives of evaluation (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and have his students prove to him that they understood the new material by listening to a dictation phrase, or speaking a short sentence using that grammar point, or reading from the text out loud, or writing a short sentence. In general this JTE likes to approach new material by first letting the students listen, then having them speak, then having them write and finally having them read.
Perhaps you can guess from these descriptions which flow plan goes with which JTE.
Using a flow plan
Having flow plans that are customized to each JTE's teaching style helps me organize what they are telling me when we discuss the daily plan.
- As they talk, I simply make notes about what they intend to do in the appropriate area.
- Usually, my JTEs ask me to plan out an activity for one of the standard perspectives of evaluation, and I make a note of that in the appropriate space as well.
- I also make notes about how long we intend to spend on each section, including the demonstration of the main activity.
Advantages of flow plans
- By using a flow plan, you become actively involved in the lesson planning process. It is an act of creation rather than an act of receiving and so the information is easier to process.
- It is easier to change flow plans than it is to change typed lesson plans
- You can see how one class flows into the next when you are using a flow plan and you can spot when you are relying to heavily on a single perspective of evaluation while neglecting others.
- Customizing a flow plan to your JTE's style forces you to really try to understand his or her style and this leads to better team teaching.
- You can spot lessons that don't fit the standard structure very clearly, so you know exactly when you have to be on your toes.
- Media:Flow_Plan.doc. A document containing three sample flow plans, one for each of Rob's JTEs.