How I Organize My Teacher Lesson Planner

This is our in-service week, which means planning for all the things!! In my post about My Lesson Planning Process, I explained how I plan each week. Today, I wanted to show you how I keep it all together! 

My lesson planners from last year and the year before

Every school is different. When I taught in public school, my daily schedule was extremely consistent (same thing at the same time everyday). All that changed was the “special” of the day). The Erin Condren lesson planner worked perfectly for me in this setting! 

When I switched over to private school, I bought another ECLP, only to abandon it halfway through September. 

I tried and tried to make it work. I really did. But our schedule was so different, it just wasn’t happening. 

I kind of floundered around for a few months when it came to planning, trying several different methods. Until finally (in January), it hit me! Just create your own! 

So that’s what I did. 

First I asked myself, what do I like so much about my EC Lesson Planner? Then I made a list of the sections that I absolutely cannot do without. They are:
  • Yearly Curriculum Map/Pacing Guide
  • Usernames/Passwords
  • Monthly Planning
  • Weekly Planning
  • PD Hours
  • Grading

Then I set out to make a sheet for each section that accomplishes the same purpose, but fits my needs: 

Yearly Curriculum Map + Yearly Checklist
There are a lot of great ones online, or you can create your own using Word or Pages (or Excel or Numbers, if you’re really talented). I just wanted a place where I could quickly look at a certain month and know what we’ll be doing.

You think you have a lot of usernames and passwords. And then you become a teacher. I can’t even tell you how many websites I have to log into (or log my students into) every day! It’s really helpful to be able to have all of that information in one place! Nothing really fancy about this 🙂 

Monthly Planning
Pretty straightforward. I downloaded these editable monthly calendars from Learning in Wonderland (one of my favorite teaching blogs!) so that I could type out and color code my monthly schedule. There are also tons of free monthly calendars available on Pinterest! And of course, you could always make your own! 

Weekly Planning Sheets + Weekly Checklist
This is the main part of my lesson planner! The weekly planning! I have talked before about how every day looks different at my school. We get to do a lot of exciting stuff (on top of whatever lessons are planned), and this helps me keep up with it all! Since teaching is a pretty cyclical profession, I print out this weekly checklist to help me stay on track!

PD Hours
Something that’s really unique about my school is that we’re responsible for keeping up with our own PD hours (versus public school, where they take attendance and report it). It’s great that they trust us enough to register our own hours, but I learned the hard way that if you don’t report all of your hours correctly, you’ll have to do them twice :/ I’m determined to never let it happen again! 
This is definitely my favorite part of my planner! Instead of giving weekly assessments to the whole class, I just test them on certain skills as they’re ready. At the top, I included every skill from their report cards (we have three a year). I leave the boxes under each skill blank until they’ve mastered it! Once a child masters a skill, I fill box with green. This is an easy visual that helps me see what skills we still need to work on as a class, and which skills individual students need extra support! 

*Lots of White = Reteaching skill to class/small group

*Lots of Green w/ a Couple of White Boxes = Working one-on-one with that specific child on that specific skill

These editable binder covers are a free download from Maria Gavin

And that’s my lesson planner! It may not be the world’s fanciest or most beautiful planner, but it helps me get my job done! 🙂 

What kind of lesson planner do you use? What do you like about it? What would you change about it?

To see my classroom in action, follow @organizedcharm on Instagram! 🙂

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