Implementing a multidisciplinary approach may seem like a tall order; however, with the right planning tools and software program, a team of teachers can easily do so! Before getting started on how, it’s important to note that for the purposes of this article, multidisciplinary planning refers to an approach wherein a singular topic is studied from the perspective of multiple curriculums.
That said, what would the ideal planning tool to support a multidisciplinary approach look like? It would be a 2-in-1 unit/lesson planner that would allow teachers to plan collaboratively on a shared template, as shown in the sample below:
(planner extends vertically until the end of the unit)
This template was designed using our upcoming software, ESBPlanners. When looking at the template, you will note that the top half (above Week 1) serves as the unit planner and the bottom half (below Week 1) is the lesson planning portion. Using our “shared planner” feature, this single template could be filled in by a team, with each teacher having the ability to fill in the required information on the planner for their own subject area. After deciding on the topic and the duration of the unit, each teacher would then brainstorm ideas for how concepts from their respective subject area (math, language arts or science) could serve to support the topic and list learning outcomes that connect to it. From there each teacher would list possible lesson and assessment ideas that relate to the topic and note any materials that may be needed throughout the unit. With the unit planner complete, the team could then use the lesson planner portion on the bottom half to plan daily lessons for the week. In the above scenario, teachers are on a 2-day schedule, and thus have been provided with the space to plan for lessons twice a week and the template would extend vertically per week until the end of the unit. Because the unit planner is attached, the team can easily refer to brainstormed ideas when planning individual lessons, and because all three teachers are planning on a singular document, there is complete transparency amongst the team: they can all see how the topic they have chosen is being addressed in each individual subject area – imagine the power in that!
Interested in using the above template at your school? This multidisciplinary planner will be available on ESBPlanners in 2022 in our template bank and can be searched by using the following tags: #multidisciplinary #2-in-1 planner. This template can be saved into your personal account and modified to suit your needs – happy planning!
In recent years I have written many articles highlighting the importance of collaboration and the need for transparency and communication between teams of teachers, inclusive of specialist and language/learning support. While it’s a nice ideal, I am well aware of the challenges teachers face when trying to schedule meetings and keep others on the team in the loop – especially support staff who are often coming into lessons blindly, not having been briefed on upcoming lessons. But what if I told you that this could change? That it would be possible to have teams of teachers communicating with each other on a regular basis without having to schedule daily or weekly meetings? Well, very soon it can be, with our newly created software, ESBPlanners, which is set to be released next year and offers teachers the ability to collaborate in real-time, no lags, no delays and no regular face-to-face meetings required!
How so, you might be wondering? The answer lies within our “Share Cell” feature that allows a teacher to invite others to share a single space on their planner. This means that teacher A’s planner needs not look identical to teacher B’s planner, but during a certain time block a cell can be shared between them so that a lesson can instantly be shared, no copy-pasting, additional email or meeting required. And what would this look like? Imagine teacher A is a mainstream teacher wanting to share an upcoming lesson with a support teacher. They would enter the lesson into a cell on their planner, click “share cell,” select whom to share with and boom! An alert would be sent to teacher B, letting them know that a cell has just been shared with them. Teacher B can then elect to place the “shared cell” anywhere on their personal planner – a time-saving and efficient way to have teams of teachers collaborating in real-time, without lags or delays!
While the above highlights the ease with which teams of teachers can work together, the same “Share Cell” features can also be applied to other areas of teaching. Imagine creating a shared cell for a meeting and teachers being able to access the same cell, place their individual document in it, and write personal notes and reminders below it that no one else can see! And to top it off, that same teacher can save the team-meeting document how and where they want so it can easily be retrieved at a later date.
Excited about the “Share Cell” feature in our upcoming software program and its potential to reshape and transform collaboration and team meetings at your school? Check back in 2022 for the release of ESBPlanners!