In The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande writes about the importance of list making as a process of working through critical decisions, and list reviewing as a critical element to support aspirations. Marc Andreeson, a checklist user, attained extraordinary success by inventing the web browser. Later he joined the board of eBay and Facebook and co-founded Ning. Andreeson's secret: before going to sleep, he writes down three to five things he plans to accomplish the next day on an index card. " . . . I try like hell to get just those things done. If I do, it was a successful day." When he completes other tasks, he uses the back of the card (which he calls his "anti-to-do list") to record what he has finished. At the end of the day, he tears up the card -- mission accomplished -- and reaches for another.
Like gathering fallen leaves, teachers use checklists to organize their responsibilities by context, urgency, projects, next steps, energy, etc. "[S]uccess," writes Gawande in Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, "requires making a hundred small steps go right -- one after the other, no slip ups, no goofs . . . "
After reading Gawande's checklist for checklists and re-reading Lifehacker's seminal checklist of do's and don'ts, I spent a few hours combing through online education sites to find the best teacher checklists. The section below categorizes my favorites into several sections: Checklists to Give Students, Checklists to Give Parents and General Checklists Useful to Teachers. If you know of others, please provide links in the comment section.
Professional Checklists for Many Occasions
Checklists to Give Students
- Editing Checklist for Self and Peer Editing
- Writing Checklists includes lists for peer conferences, teacher conference, revising, etc.
- How to Read a Poem and How to Read an Image by Jim Burke
- Homework Checklist
- Interactive Presentation Checklist
- Multiple Intelligence Checklist for Students
- Essay Writer's Checklist
- Reader Response Checklist
- Checklist for Speeches or Papers
- Checklists for Writing Posters (elementary)
- How to Critically Evaluate a Web Site (all ages)
- Elements of Literary Style
Checklists to Give Parents
General Checklists Useful to Teachers
- Checklist for Problem-Solving Guide 2 is a "checklist to monitor students' use of the problem-solving process."
- Keeping Kids on Task is a collection of ideas to keep all students on task, especially those with ADD/ADHD.
- Mentor/Mentee Monthly Checklist
- New Teacher's Toolbox lists resources from conferences to survival skills.
- Classroom Arrangement Checklist
- What Do You Do When You're Having A Bad Day At School? comes to us from Twitter king, Larry Ferlazzo.
- Visible Teaching (Thinking) Routines is from Howard Gardner's Project Zero.
- 101 Ways to Bring Technology into the Classroom
- Publishing: for anyone writing an academic ebook
- PBL Checklists
- Qualities of Effective Teachers
- Every Teacher's Checklist for Struggling Readers
- Classroom Environment
- Back-to-School Checklist: Organizing for Success is a resource for first-time teachers who are Planning for Your First Day at School | Getting Ready for Back to School
- Marzano's Instructional Strategies and 9 Essential Strategies
My favorite online list manager, Remember The Milk, integrates with Google Calendar, iPad, iPhone and Android, but I’m going to take David Pierce's suggestion and keep nine must-have lists handy in my Moleskine notebook.