Are you still using Hamilton weekly plans? Can I encourage you to have a look at our newly designed flexible blocks? These have the same reliance on quality texts to promote engaging teaching as found in our weekly plans, but they offer a level of flexibility that was simply not possible with the plans.
Hamilton's flexible blocks facilitate integrated teaching of comprehension, spelling, grammar and composition just as our plans do. But with the blocks, teachers can easily tailor their teaching, adjusting the length of time they spend on a genre and deciding on what focuses to incorporate within that block. Hamilton’s flexible blocks keep the teacher in control, so that you can plan sequences of lessons specifically tailored to suit the children in your class.
The blocks allow you to see the structure and the content of the teaching at a glance, so that you can choose and plan. Each block has a number of units, which can be taught as stand-alone items or in any combination with other units. The whole set together gives you comprehension, spelling and grammar teaching all arising from the same core text and all culminating in a piece of extended writing that consolidates the learning of all the units.
The core unit is at the heart of the plan. It introduces the genre and key text and/or features, and there is often a focus on comprehension and speaking and listening. All other units can build from the core unit if you choose them.
You can select from units focused on:
No unit is completely ‘pure’. There is a focus, but often other elements of English teaching are included. Our experience of language is not pure, and the best learning happens when it is purposeful and in context. You can choose to teach all the units in a block or select the best ones for your class. Teacher notes appear on the front page of all unit planning documents to support this flexibility, and any unit can be used independently.
I perfectly understand that many teachers have been comfortably using the Hamilton weekly plans since they first appeared, and that these have a loyal following. However, I genuinely believe that most teachers will find that the flexible blocks retain all that is good about these resources, and also enable even more focused and well-targeted teaching. And, importantly, they could potentially reduce the time spent planning…
As always, at Hamilton we keep working to Save Your Sundays!