There are many Sundays where I see bloggers sharing their “Plan Day Sunday” posts. I guess I was never really that person (although my husband is!). I always tried to plan a little each day so I had lesson plans done by Friday when I left for the weekend (even if it didn’t always happen that way). To each their own I say! 🙂
Regardless of when you plan, I wanted to share with you today the how in my planning. I like to create a template so I’m not recreating the wheel each week. Let’s face it, many of us follow the same schedule week after week. (Although I also realize that there’s really no “normal” week. Somethings always comes up!)
Anyway, here’s some of the methods I’ve used:
- My first year I wrote everything out by hand in my handy dandy lesson plan book. Each week. The same thing. No thanks! Not again! (Try doing that for two grades! Eek!)
- The second year I created a paper template with blocks that had the subject in them. I still used the same plan book, but then I used glue sticks to paste my typed templates in each week. Better, but I wouldn’t go back to that either. (I was teaching three grades that year, so I had wised up a little bit.)
- The next year of teaching I used mini post-it notes. Yep, I have teeny-tiny handwriting when needed, so I put each of my Reading Recovery lessons on its own sticky note. These were put into my lesson plan book, and I wrote in my lessons for the groups I taught during Title. It worked, but it wasn’t ideal for my Type A personality.
- During my fourth year I finally created a template that I could use day after day. It was an electronic template that was about 60% filled out. I wrote the other 40% by hand.
- My fifth year of teaching was a little different. I was a co-teacher for a 5th grade classroom. The regular ed teacher did 90+% of the planning, and – as the special education teacher – I did more of the accommodations and pull-out planning. I honestly didn’t write any plans that year. I just did more documentation than anything.
- During my sixth year I finally went completely electronic. At the beginning of the year, I created the same template that I had during my fourth year. But this time I filled it in electronically, saved it as a pdf, and uploaded it to my classroom weebly. You can look at those plans here to see what I mean. I simply used Microsoft Word.
- My seventh year lesson plans looked very similar to those of year six. You can see them all online here.
- The eighth year as an educator, my district went an entirely different route. Several of our teachers had heard about PlanbookEdu, so the district bought licenses for everyone. It was AMAZING! Setting up a template at the beginning of the year took some getting used to, but then you were good for the year. The teachers loved it! Of course we had a few glitches – as you do with anything new – but the ability to track the standards more than made up for any small annoyances! You can try it out here.
Or click here to see lesson plans from the year I was departmentalized and taught reading and writing to grades 4, 5, and 6.
I’d love to hear about it in the comments!