The Daily Cafe

Long range planning


I’m contemplating writing long range plans for next year. Have any of you written long range plans and do you have any tips or advice for me?

Literacy Planning

Hi Peggy, we use a Curriculum Calendar, the link to the article and calendar is below, to do long-range planning. The key is to keep in mind that we create the calendar before school starts and we know our students. So when we come to something scheduled on the calendar we don’t just jump in and teach it to the whole class, as they may all not need it… Instead we consider if the majority of our students need the instruction, or if perhaps just one or two need it. This allows us to accelerate instruction and tailor based on our student needs.
Curriculum Calendar:


Hi Joan,
I do have question regarding the Question Stem portion of the curriculum calendar. When do students respond to the question stem? Is this part of their work on writing? I also notice on the example template ( there is MSD in front of the words question stem. Just curious to what this means and it is important?

Thank you so much



We teach and model the question stems in whole group and small group, making sure students understand, learn and are able to apply them in their own work. Once we feel students are able to give it a try, they will respond once a week using the question stem and their own reading. The time to write their answer may be done during any of the Daily 5 sessions, it could be during their read to self time as they reflect on a passage, and it could also be during their writing time. We don’t adhere to any specific task, it is about what works for that student.

The MSD referred to the State of Washington Question Stems. Hope that is helpful!

Kind Regards!
Gail Boushey


I am so glad this question came back around for more clarification. Thanks for your willingness to share what you have learned and experienced with us.


Thank you so much Gail!