Lesson plan book – is it too early to begin setting up my lesson plan book for the new school year? Is it, maybe, a bit neurotic to get going on this in the first week of July, with two months to go? NO! I think most teachers would agree that their lesson plan book is pretty much attached to them once school begins – there is so much to do, and so little time, that having that week by week self- created guide/to do list/reminder book is key to maintaining some semblance of sanity and calm. I guess my motto is: Keep Calm & Carry Lesson Plan Book!
Here is my trusty old planbook – I’ve had the same kind for the last 9 years:
I love the fact that the page opens out to make equal room for the three subjects I teach: Language Arts, Writing Workshop and Social Studies. And that I can scribble on notes, attach charts, and tack on post its as reminders, memos to self, and so on. I know lots of colleagues who type up their lesson plans in color coded splendor, but I prefer using a pencil I need to sharpen every now and then, and a highlighter to mark essential questions. I like being able to write, erase when needed, re-write – it allows me to think through my week and feel clear about what lies ahead.
But, times do change. Next year, we have a new evaluation system, and we are expected to turn in all projects, handouts, and assessments along with our lesson plans every two weeks. The old-fashioned spiral lesson plan book was going to have to go…
I could adapt the old to the new. Which is what I did. I purchased a brand new 1 1/2 inch binder – something strong that would last the year. This was a lot of fun to choose and personalize, for some reason, and I enjoyed the process more than I thought I would:.
Since I really loved the old fold-out three subject page format, I simply removed these from a new plan book and 3-hole punched them to fit within the new binder. Presto – new binder, trusty old page format. For some reason, this idea came upon me late one night, and also made me extraordinarily happy:
I have one section set aside for my heavily annotated copy of the Common Core State Standards. I have notes from many a session at TC scribbled exactly where I need them, so why print ourt a brand new copy and start all over again?!
I set aside a section for my “yearly plan” – my month-by-month plan for units in my subject areas. For a time, I leave in last year’s section as well, just to refer to and fine tune. A lot of hard work went into that plan, even though I will move things around to suit a new group of students and a brand new school year.
I left sections open for my gradebook, and for the projects/assessments/handouts that I’m expected to turn in:
So, there you go…a new lesson plan book for a new school year: something old, something new, something borrowed (from last year) ….but nothing blue? I guess I should have thought of that when I purchased that binder, but I find red is just a much more cheerful, positive color – just what I need to keep beside me through the new school year.
I’d love to know how others set up their planbooks!