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Long-range plans outline the academic scope and focus of an entire school year. Long-range plans provide an effective framework for the teacher to organize student learning goals and objectives. At the same time, creating such a plan helps the teacher recognize and establish relationships between multiple curriculum topics and subject areas.

Long-range planning is a road map for the teacher to use as a guide, not a prescriptive set of tasks to be blindly followed. The long-range plan is personalized to each class, to each group, and to each individual student. The long-range plan is constantly changing as students change. It is alive. See the following sample primary long-range plan and primary long-range planning template.

The first step in long-range planning is to conceptualize a big idea that will unite the learning community. For combined grade teachers, a key element of long-range planning is in the development and cultivation of big ideas. Big ideas are the significant real-world connections or understandings that teachers want the learners to take into the future. Examples of big ideas are interdependence, environment and citizenship. These are the essential ideas that count in the long run.

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