My Weekly Lesson Planning Process

I recently received a request on how I lesson planning each week. I was really excited, and a little disappointed in myself for not thinking of it first! I LOVE lesson planning and I LOVE the lesson planning process that I’ve developed over the years! I’m so happy to share it! 
I’ll start “big” and go “small”, so that everything makes more sense 🙂 

1. I Look at Our Pacing Guides:

-Reading/Language Arts (4 days a week): Open Court
-Math (4 days a week): Everyday Math
-Handwriting (3 days a week): Handwriting Without Tears
*For writing, I use the writing checklist journal pages from One Sharp Bunch, she follows the Lucy Calkins writing curriculum. 
*As a Kindergarten team, we do a monthly “Artist Study,” where we study (you guessed it) a different artist every month! (example: September, Matisse… October, Picasso…)
*One day a week, we have “Discovery,” which is where each Kindergarten class rotates through all three Kindergarten classrooms and do a different activity in each one. For this, we either use articles from National Geographic Kids or a cute idea from Pinterest 🙂 

2. We Meet as a Team:
We meet as a team to plan once a week, while our classes are in P.E. and I am so proud to say that we get our planning for the upcoming week done in 45 minutes (and maybe a little chit chatting)! We schedule our lessons and come up with reading & math workshop ideas. 
During this time, we also plan any upcoming events (“Halloween party” or “Valentine’s Day crafts”). We usually spend some of this meeting time browsing Pinterest and looking through binders/notebooks of what was done last year. Then everyone’s ready to plan!
3. It’s Time to Plan:
Once we’ve discussed the pacing guides and chosen the crafty stuff, it’s time to actually fit it into the schedule. Everyone goes back to their classes and the real fun begins! It’s time to fit these lessons into our daily schedules. This is usually pretty simple (except when it’s not). 

4. I Make a Weekly Plan:
You know all those cute, traditional lesson planners with the square grids that come out every summer? Yeah, those don’t work at our school. We joke that “no two days at our school are the same” but in reality, no two days at our school are the same. 

It’s more like a college schedule, and it looks a little different every day! Our kids to go 12 specials a week. Yes, you read that right: 12! They LOVE it that they are old enough to walk across campus to Art or P.E. like the “big kids”. Here was our specials schedule last year:
-Mondays: Science & Spanish
-Tuesdays: Music & P.E.
-Wednesdays: Chapel, Technology & Spanish
-Thursdays: Music & Library
-Fridays: Chapel, P.E. & Art
So, I created a different kind of lesson planning sheet specifically for our schedule. It has been a TREMENDOUS help! Once I get everything plugged in there, I begin typing out daily schedules. The daily schedule is like our “flight plan” and keeps us on track for the day!

5. I Type Out a Daily Schedule:
On the daily schedule, I include things like: “finish art journals during free choice” and “Grey check out at 2:45,” as well as normal daily stuff like “morning meeting,” “calendar,” “snack,” and “lunch.” I carry this around on a clipboard all day and pencil in changes as needed. 

So that (in a nutshell) is my planning process! If it seems super interesting, I’ll go into more detail in another post! For this next year, I’m working on color-coding each subject on the schedule and the storage containers that its materials are stored in. (priorities)
Until I started teaching, I never realized that lesson planning looks different at every school! 

What does lesson planning look like at your school? Are your days really consistent or do they look like “college schedules?”

Share your process below and follow @organizedcharm on Instagram 🙂 

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