Beginning with the end in mind is a concept that is definitely not foreign to me. I have always operated in a backward sort of way and it seemed to work for me and for my students. Only recently have I discovered that it is actually a system, an idea that author Stephen R. Covey has turned into a profiting business venture. “Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen” (Covey, 2004). Planning is a never-ending task that we do as teachers. It seems that so much time goes in to each lesson and then in a blink of an eye (or the duration of one period), it is over. Sometimes it reminds me of anticipating the arrival of Christmas morning. All of that work, and then it’s over in an instant. However, it’s the planning that makes it go off without a hitch.
Establishing a direction for learning is perhaps the most important decision within the planning process. This should also include a way for students to become responsible for their own learning and instill some sort of way to realize short and long term goals. This helps motivate students and creates a sense of accomplishment when those goals are reached. Technology can also play a role in setting these goals. “Technology enhances the goal-setting process by providing organizational and communication tools that make it easier to clarify the learning objectives” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007). Teachers can use word processing applications, brainstorming software such as Kidspiration, data collection tools such as Poll Everywhere, and other web resources. Providing students with these tools that encourage responsible learning and self-reflection extend far beyond the classroom walls.
Covey, S. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people. New York, NY: Free Press. Retrieved from https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits.php
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.