Top 4 Tools for First Year Teachers

MagicSchool AI
7 Dec 202305:02

TLDRIn this video, Chrissy Schultz introduces five essential tools from Magic School to aid first-year teachers in managing their workload effectively. Starting with the Standards Unpacker Tool for aligning lessons with educational standards, she moves on to the Unit Plan Tool for structuring long-term plans, and the Lesson Plan Generator for detailed daily plans. The Exemplar Tool helps set high standards for student work, and the Annotation Expectations Tool ensures clear directions for student tasks. These tools aim to streamline the teaching process, allowing new teachers to focus on the art of teaching.


  • 📚 Starting with Standards: The presenter emphasizes the importance of beginning with educational standards, using the Standards Unpacker tool to clarify and understand them better.
  • 🎯 Setting Expectations: The script highlights the use of tools to set clear learning targets and expectations for students, aligning them with the standards.
  • 📈 Assessing Learning: The presenter discusses strategies for assessing student learning, which are generated alongside the standards for a comprehensive understanding.
  • 📖 Unit Planning: The video introduces a Unit Plan tool, demonstrating how it can be used to plan longer-term educational goals and activities, such as a novel study on feminism and racism.
  • 📝 Lesson Plan Generator: The presenter showcases a tool for generating detailed lesson plans, focusing on a specific example of analyzing character relationships in a novel.
  • 🔍 Contextualizing Lessons: The script explains the importance of providing context for lessons, such as connecting to previously read texts and preparing for exams.
  • 🌟 Culminating Activities: The presenter values the suggested culminating activities in the unit plan, such as a critical seminar and group presentations, for a comprehensive learning experience.
  • 📈 Exemplar Tool: The video script mentions the Exemplar tool for setting high standards, providing exemplary responses for student work and helping teachers understand what level of analysis is expected.
  • 👩‍🏫 Supporting Students: The presenter discusses the need for understanding student needs and using tools to support them, including differentiation for various learning levels.
  • 📋 Clear Directions: The script stresses the importance of clear directions for students to avoid confusion, using the Annotation Expectations tool to guide students through tasks.
  • 🎓 Tools for New Teachers: The overall message is that Magic School offers a suite of tools designed to assist first-year teachers in managing their tasks and improving their teaching efficiency.

Q & A

  • Who is the speaker in the transcript?

    -The speaker in the transcript is Chrissy Schultz.

  • What is the main purpose of the video?

    -The main purpose of the video is to introduce five helpful tools for first-year teachers to streamline their tasks and make teaching more efficient.

  • What is the first tool mentioned by Chrissy Schultz?

    -The first tool mentioned is the Standards Unpacker tool.

  • How does the Standards Unpacker tool help teachers?

    -The Standards Unpacker tool helps teachers by generating expectations, learning targets, and assessment strategies based on selected educational standards.

  • What is the novel that Chrissy Schultz uses as an example in the video?

    -The novel used as an example is 'Sula' by Tony Morrison.

  • What is the focus of Chrissy Schultz's unit plan?

    -The focus of the unit plan is on feminism and the intersectionality of racism.

  • How does the Unit Plan tool assist in lesson planning?

    -The Unit Plan tool assists by generating lessons, culminating activity suggestions, and aligning them with the chosen standards.

  • What is the subject Chrissy Schultz teaches?

    -Chrissy Schultz teaches English, focusing on analyzing complex characters and their development in texts.

  • What is the Exemplar tool used for?

    -The Exemplar tool is used to provide exemplary responses to assignments, helping teachers understand the standard they need to set for their students.

  • How does the Annotation Expectations tool benefit students?

    -The Annotation Expectations tool benefits students by providing clear directions for annotation tasks, ensuring they understand what is expected of them.

  • What is the main challenge Chrissy Schultz faces as an English teacher?

    -The main challenge Chrissy Schultz faces is coming up with exemplary responses and writing them day after day for her students.



📚 Introduction to Magic School for New Teachers

Chrissy Schultz introduces the Magic School platform, highlighting its relevance for first-year teachers who may feel overwhelmed by their new responsibilities. She emphasizes the importance of starting with educational standards and presents her top five tools designed to streamline the teaching process, allowing new teachers to focus on the art of teaching more effectively.

🎯 Utilizing the Standards Unpacker Tool

The video demonstrates the use of the Standards Unpacker tool, which helps teachers understand and apply educational standards. Chrissy uses the tool to analyze complex characters and their development, as per the Colorado state standards for 10th grade. The tool generates expectations, learning targets, and assessment strategies, providing a solid foundation for lesson planning.

📖 Creating a Unit Plan with Magic School

Chrissy showcases the Unit Plan tool, which assists in planning a cohesive unit of study. She uses the tool to create a plan for teaching 'Sula' by Toni Morrison, focusing on feminism and intersectionality of racism. The tool allows for customization based on the number of school days and integrates previously selected standards, resulting in a comprehensive plan complete with culminating activity suggestions.

📝 Generating Lesson Plans

The Lesson Plan Generator is introduced as a tool for detailing daily lesson plans. Chrissy uses it to plan a lesson on the complex relationship between the characters Sula and Nel, emphasizing the impact of sexism in their community. The tool provides a clear objective, end assessment, key points, and a structured layout for the lesson components, including suggested differentiation for students with varying needs.

🌟 Setting the Bar with the Exemplar Tool

The Exemplar tool is highlighted as a resource for setting high standards for student work. Chrissy uses it to create an exemplary response to an assignment prompt, analyzing the impact of racism on the characters' relationship in 'Sula'. The tool's detailed response, including page number citations, serves as a benchmark for student performance and helps the teacher anticipate potential student challenges.

🚀 Clear Directions for Student Success

The final tool discussed is the Annotation Expectations, which provides clear directions for students to follow during their learning activities. Chrissy demonstrates how Magic School simplifies complex directions into six manageable steps, ensuring that students are well-prepared and understand the expectations for their work.



💡First Year Teachers

Refers to educators who are in their initial year of teaching. The video script emphasizes the challenges and the overwhelming nature of tasks that first year teachers often face. It suggests that the tools presented in the video are particularly beneficial for these new teachers to streamline their work and adjust more quickly to the teaching profession.

💡Magic School

Magic School appears to be a platform or set of tools designed to assist teachers, particularly new ones, in managing their teaching tasks, from understanding and applying educational standards to planning lessons and units. The video script suggests that it offers a variety of resources to help teachers become more efficient and effective in their roles.

💡Standards Unpacker Tool

This tool within Magic School is used to decipher and apply educational standards, which are the benchmarks that guide what students should know or be able to do. The video script describes it as a starting point for teachers to align their teaching with state or national educational standards, such as the one for analyzing complex characters in the state of Colorado.

💡Unit Plan

A unit plan in the context of the video refers to a structured outline of lessons centered around a particular theme or subject matter. The script describes how Magic School's 'Unit Plan' tool helps teachers organize their teaching around a specific book, like 'Sula by Tony Morrison', and integrate various educational standards and strategies for assessment.

💡Lesson Plan Generator

This tool is designed to assist teachers in creating detailed lesson plans, specifying objectives, assessments, and instructional strategies. The video script illustrates its use in developing a lesson focused on the relationship between characters in a novel and how societal issues affect them, including the provision for differentiation and extension activities.

💡Exemplar Tool

The Exemplar Tool is a resource that provides model responses or examples of high-quality work that students are expected to produce. In the video, it is used to demonstrate the level of analysis expected from students when examining the impact of racism on character relationships in a novel. The tool includes specific details like quotes and page numbers to guide students and teachers.

💡Annotation Expectations

Annotation expectations refer to the guidelines or standards set for students when they annotate or make notes on texts. In the video, these expectations are used to clarify for students how they should approach annotating a text, ensuring they understand the process and what is expected of them in terms of engagement with the material.

💡Culminating Activity

A culminating activity is a final project or assessment that brings together the learning and skills developed throughout a unit of study. In the video, the script mentions a 'cratic seminar' and a 'group presentation' as culminating activities for the unit on 'Sula', which are designed to showcase and evaluate students' understanding of the themes and content of the novel.


Differentiation in education refers to the process of tailoring teaching methods and materials to meet the diverse needs of students. The video script mentions that the Lesson Plan Generator includes options for differentiation, suggesting that teachers can adjust the lesson content to challenge advanced students or provide additional support for those who need it.

💡Clear Directions

Clear directions are explicit and understandable instructions provided to students to guide their learning activities. In the context of the video, 'Clear Directions' is a tool from Magic School that helps teachers formulate instructions in a way that prevents confusion and ensures students understand what is expected of them.


Chrissy Schultz introduces her video aimed at first-year teachers, offering tools to help manage the overwhelming tasks of new educators.

Magic School's resources are designed to streamline tasks and help new teachers focus on the art of teaching.

Starting with standards is crucial, and the Standards Unpacker tool is highlighted as a favorite for its utility in this regard.

The video demonstrates using the Standards Unpacker with a 10th-grade English standard from Colorado, focusing on analyzing complex characters.

The Unit Plan tool is showcased, with an example of planning a unit on 'Sula' by Toni Morrison, incorporating themes of feminism and racism.

The Unit Plan generator provides culminating activity suggestions, enhancing the creative planning process for teachers.

Lesson Plan Generator is introduced to help teachers design daily lessons, with a focus on the relationship between Sula and Nel from the novel 'Sula'.

The Lesson Plan Generator includes an objective, assessment, key points, and differentiation options for students with varying needs.

The Exemplar tool is used to set high standards for student work, providing an exemplary response to guide student expectations.

Exemplary responses from the Exemplar tool include specific quotes and page numbers, aiding in clear understanding of expectations.

The Annotation Expectations tool is mentioned as a way to provide clear directions for students, ensuring they understand the task at hand.

The video emphasizes the importance of having a clear grasp of standards to support students effectively during lessons.

The presenter shares personal experience as an English teacher, highlighting the difficulty of creating exemplary responses daily.

The video concludes with a recommendation for the five Magic School tools, hoping they will be helpful for first-year teachers.