My Lesson Planning Style {Tickled Pink in Primary}

I'm hope you have gotten a lot of ideas so far of how to organize your weekly, monthly, and yearly lessons. I liked to do my lesson planning in the middle of the week for the following week. This gave me a few days to make copies, laminate, and prepare for the week ahead, without having to come in on the weekend. I used to get to school about 1 hour early, use my prep period to work, not talk :) and was able to leave about 15-20 minutes after school ended. Don't get me wrong, I socialized with colleagues, but I also tried to use my time wisely. Being organized and prepared will save you hours of time at school. 

My last district had all the grade level teachers form committees to work on a curriculum map so every school was teaching the same thing at the same time. This uniformity in your corporation helps students that move around in the district. Here's a peek into how we set our Kindergarten curriculum. It was a lot work to get to this point, but now that it done, it is SO helpful! We have the time frame, skills, vocabulary, mini-lessons, mentor text, standards, extra resources, etc. already listed for us. How amazing is that?!?
Below are more detailed lessons that I would create for myself. I could probably just teach off of the curriculum maps, but I like to have it all spelled out and in 1 spot. 
At the beginning of the school year, I teach 1 nursery rhyme a week. That is something that I add in that is not in the curriculum maps, but they are just too fun to not teach. I do a variety of activities during the week to practice the nursery rhyme, sight words, sequencing, retelling, comprehension, etc. You can find these activities for 10 popular nursery rhymes in my Nursery Rhyme Bundle
One thing that saves me a ton of time is having my literacy and math centers all planned out for each month. I use similar games, so I can quickly change out a center for the new skill, and the students will already know the game format and directions. Creating and preparing centers can be very time consuming. I have bundled all of my literary centers into one bundle here and all of my math centers into another bundle here
 
I hope you have a great school year and that we have helped you find ways to save time and energy when lesson planning.

My Lesson Planning Style as a Technology Facilitator (Kim from For a Love of Teaching)

Hey y'all! I hope you've had a wonderful start to a new school year! I'm here today to talk a little bit about my lesson planning style from the view of a Technology Facilitator. Lesson planning for me has taken on a whole new look and meaning this year! I've moved from 4th grade to Technology Facilitator, so I'm no longer planning for one grade level. Now, I'm planning for grades 1-6. I also teach from the computer lab, so I no longer have a "classroom" of my own.

I teach all grade levels every day. At my school we follow an A, B, C, D schedule. Each classroom (First Grade - Sixth Grade) is assigned a day - Day A, Day B, Day C, or Day D. Each class visits the computer lab on their assigned day. Basically, I see one classroom from each grade level daily. We average 4 classrooms per grade level, however we have three grade levels with 5 classes each. In this case, one classroom splits their class four ways so that those students can also visit the computer lab.

When it comes to lesson planning I have to be one week ahead at all times. I do this by meeting with each grade level on a regular basis (sometimes it's just over e-mail). I try really hard to collaborate with teachers and integrate their curriculum into my digital lessons I teach in the lab. I follow their pacing guides closely, and I try to plan lessons that correlate with what students are learning in their classrooms.

I use my Erin Condren Planner and the Perpetual Calendar that came with it to keep a running list of ideas and topics for each grade level.

The Perpetual Calendar is perfect for listing topics/ideas that I want to make sure I cover during a particular month.

As you can tell...I'm still planning September! However, I have topics and ideas listed all the way through February for various grade levels. Each time I meet with grade level teachers, I take this calendar with me. I add to it as we come up with new ideas and ways that I can help implement the curriculum from the computer lab.

I use Planbook.com to complete my lesson plans. My school requires all teachers to use Planbook, and this is our 2nd year using it. It has it's pros and cons, but so far I love it! Here's a snapshot of last week.


I like to have my lesson plans in front of me, so this was one of the things I didn't like about Planbook to begin with. However, each week I just print my lesson plans out and put them in a binder to keep on my desk.


I can't erase or move lessons around, (one of the cons of digital lesson plans) but I do make notes and check off items. I use the notes section on the right side to make a list of reminders or to modify a lesson. Can you see where I've written "too hard...modify!" Ha-ha! This is my first year as a Technology Facilitator, and since I've only worked with 4th graders for the past 10 years I tend to over plan, or I take for granted what younger students can and can not do! Next year, I'll look back at these lesson plans and hopefully my notes will help me! :)

What's your lesson planning style? Do you use Planbook.com? If so, let us know how it's working for you! 

Have a great school year!!!


My Lesson Planning Style (Lisa from ALL Y'all Need)



I have a confession to make... My lesson plan system is a complete disaster right now and I'm blaming it on the fact that I've moved grade levels. While teaching Kindergarten, my lesson plans were nice, neat, and written with my favorite flair pens inside my Erin Condren planner. I LOVED my planner. It was bright, happy, and I could cross out items on my list. Needless to say, I was happy, happy, happy. Then, my district chose to require online lesson plans using a system that could be viewed by administrators. I totally get the accountable standpoint, but it took away my creativity in lesson planning. (AKA you can't cross things out on a computer) I felt like I had to have two versions; One that was administrator friendly and one that was busy teacher friendly. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about and I'm preaching to the choir.
I am currently finishing the first week of school and I'm in survival mode. I've moved districts and grade levels. Currently, I'm teaching Pre-K and love it! However, the planning format is completely different from Kindergarten and I've relied on my wonderful team to show me the ropes. This week, my lesson plans have been written in Word format. I have also heavily relied on my Erin Condren spiral. It is chalk full of ideas to implement in my classroom. I felt like I needed to begin my year with an extremely detailed daily agenda. It has worked this week, but next week I'll be using my fabulous Erin Condren planner! My new district does require the same online lesson plans like my previous district. But, they are asking for our plans to be written using the "We will...I will" format. This format makes sense to me because we are really focusing on HOW we want our kiddos to master the standards. To help save some time, I am printing small labels that will say, "We will" and "I will." The labels will be handy to use in my planner so that I'm always keeping the end in mind.

This year, I'm taking back my planner! I'm going to be using my Erin Condren planner for me and me alone.  I'm so excited to have a planner filled with bright, happy colors!


Happy planning!



My Lesson Planning Style {Core Inspiration by Laura Santos}


Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to share my first-ever post on Elementary Entourage! For those of you who don’t know me, I am Laura Santos from Core Inspiration. I currently teach second grade in California but have also taught third and fourth grade during my seven years in the classroom. Today, I am going to give you a peek into my ever-evolving lesson planning style.

For this first year ever, I am using a digital lesson plan book. I have tried so hard to take the leap to paperless planning for many years but always reverted back to a trusty paper plan book before the first day of school arrived. I am all about being eco-friendly and having remote access to my classroom, neither of which are supported by a paper plan book that never makes it past my classroom door.

This summer, I sat down an analyzed what was causing my paperless planning anxiety. I quickly realized that I had yet to find a format that truly fit my needs, so I decided it was time to design my own digital plan book.


To create this paperless plan book, I simply added a table to Google Slides, inserted the days of the week, added the most consistent time blocks in my classroom schedule, and started filling in my plans. I also added a little flair to help with my withdrawals from colorful pens and washi tape. If you would like to use my Google Slides plan book as a starting point for your own digital plan book, you can grab it here for free

My weekly lesson plans are guided by the long-term plan my team and I design at the end of each school year. Compared to my experience with planning during the summer, I find this end-of-year planning session results in more detailed and strategic decisions (without the side effect of summer brain invading our planning mojo). This session guides the creation of standards-based, cross curricular units that make our teaching more powerful and efficient.

Our year-long “Master Plan” makes weekly lesson planning quick and easy because I simply research the specific lessons to support the topics and units we are teaching that week. This frees up a lot of brainpower for creating enrichment activities for my advanced learners and curating reteaching materials for students that need extra support. If I’m lucky, I may even have an extra hour to gather my materials for the whole week and be uber-organized for a few minutes.  


One last feature I love about my personalized digital plan book is the “Master Mind” page. The three columns on this page are a lifesaver. 

Each time something does not go as perfectly as planned, I take note of it in the “Revise For Next Year” column to save my future self a little sanity. Anytime something happens that makes me feel like I’m floating on teacher cloud 9, I make a quick note of it in my “Remember for Next Year” column.  The “Do Now” column is filled with notes I copied from my “Remember For Next Year” and “Revise for Next Year Columns” from last year’s paper planner – so far my advice to myself is really paying off.


Today was our sixth day of school and I have not jumped the paperless planning ship yet…I may have finally converted! Would love to hear about your paperless planning struggles and victories in the comments below. Want a peek at some of my other organization tips? Swing by Core Inspiration for more.  

My Lesson Planning Style {Lauren from Mrs. Thompson's Treasures}


Being a homeschool teacher has it's advantages and disadvantages when it comes to lesson planning! One advantage is that I have complete control over my curriculum and daily schedule. I don't have to follow what anyone else thinks is best for my kids. I have the flexibility to change everything up if I need to!

But on the negative side, having no one to answer to about meeting certain standards, I can tend to get lazy with my planning. When I am on top of things, I like to plan a whole week at a time, but to be honest, many nights I am up late after the kids go to bed, planning for the next day.

Another disadvantage is I have multiple grades to teach each day, so I have a lot of different plans to make. This year my oldest is in 2nd, and then I have one in kindergarten and one starting preschool. So, when I write plans for the week, I usually am not too detailed. I have a simple template I print out for each kid, then I write in the readings and activities for each day. We also try to combine and do things together when we can - usually with science and social studies activities.

 
To make the day go smoother, I like to use the workbox system. Here is our setup from last year. The colorful drawers in the corner had all the activities for the two older kids to do for the day. They would each start with their red drawer, then work their way down through some independent work.



This year, I am hoping for a setup similar to this: (found on www.justlaine.com)

We just need to make a little trip to Ikea to make it happen :)

My Lesson Planning Style {Haley from The McGrew Crew}



Hi friends! For those of you who have headed back to the grind this week I hope all is going well so far! As mentioned before I am a public school teacher turned homeschooling mama! My lesson plans may look different than some of yours, but hopefully you can take something away from this post!

Personally, I thrive on organization! Now, I don't claim to always be organized, but I sure seem to work better when I am. I live in a house full of boys...it's always chaotic! This is my teacher school binder. I LOVE it! The colors, the polka dots...everything about it!
 And every (wannabe) organized teacher must have tabs! There are 3 major components to my planning book. The first tab is everything needed for our home school COOP that we attend each Friday. This includes the syllabus for each class they take. This way I can refer to what they are learning about when I make my own plans.
 The next tab is RESOURCES. This includes any standards, TEKS (Texas) and other things I use to make goals for my kids. I also have a page of the actual resources I use for teaching. Because we home school I do not use one set curriculum. We use many different publishers, textbooks, workbooks, websites, etc. to accomplish our school goals.



Then comes the actual lesson plans! I have created my own lesson plan page to make it more suitable to our needs. I currently have 2 children I plan school for. I like to have one page per week, which leaves me very little room to actually write. I write small and strive to use keywords to help me when writing out plans.
As you can see, I'm a little OCD and MUST cross off items as we complete them! Surely I'm not the only one....right?!

Happy Planning,

My Lesson Planning Style (Angie from Lucky Little Learners)

Hi friends!  It's Angie from Lucky Little Learners and I'm here today to tell you how I go about my lesson planning.  Now, before I start it is important for you to know that I don't start back to school until September 8th so no judging here when you see that some of my pacing guide planning has not been finished!  First things first...the lesson plan book!  I LOVE my Erin Condren planner.  This will be my second year of owning one of her planners.  If you don't own one yet, and want to, here's my affiliate link which will get you a discount on your very own planner!


When I think about lesson planning, I think big picture first.  My second grade team will sit down with our standards, learning targets, and curriculum.  Then we decide which skills we want to teach in which month.  I love this method because I no longer have to stress in May that there are standards to cover and not enough days left to do the job!


As you can see, the beginning of this process starts out with some sticky notes and my EC planner.  Like I said, no judging, we don't start until September 8th but might I also add that the reason we don't have ELA and Writing done yet is because of this...


That's right!  We JUST received our brand new reading curriculum that we will be teaching this year and a few days later we received our training.  So, now my team is going to sit down and figure out the rest of the order in our long range plans.  We will be using this product from Traci Clausen over at Dragon Flies in First...


Isn't it beautiful?!  When I saw this post on Instagram last spring, I just KNEW that I needed to own this!  I can't wait to get ours finished, printed, laminated, and hung!  It is going to help keep me focused and organized this year.  I also like the visual of what to expect each month at a glance.  Each teacher owns this file and will display it on their classroom wall.  This will keep us all on the same topics which will make our lesson planning meetings go very smoothly!


Once our pacing guide is complete for each month, then I am ready to do my lesson planning.  I wish I could tell you that I use some cutesy templates or some fancy typed plans but the truth is, I like the good ol' fashioned flair pen on paper.  I like to cozy up on my couch each Sunday and draft out my week.  You will notice that my lesson plans may not seem very detailed but what you don't see are my detailed notes that I have ready to go each day for my core and tier math and reading blocks.


Teacher confession:  I love washi tape!  Is it an academic necessity to my lesson plans?  No.  But what I will say is that washi tape makes this teacher's heart happy.  So, my goal this year is to add a little cutesy to my lesson plans in an effort to sprinkle a little happiness throughout my week!

My Lesson Planning Style {With The Kindergarten Connection}

Lesson planning! I believe there are several lesson planning personalities. There are those who are super organized to the last minute and detail (oh to dream), those that are organized in their brain but still kind of a hot mess on the outside (raises hand), those that are like "what are we doing?" (wouldn't recommend this method) and so many more. Well - where I virtually raised my hand - that's me!


No matter what time of year it is, I always have my lesson planning binder. It's a (yes, pink) binder that I bought and just made a cover sheet for. I figure I have to look at it all year long so I may as well love it! 


Inside I have tabs for Common Core standards, as well as a school year's worth of these editable planning sheets. They are from Babbling Abby, are free, and I love them! Simple and effective - which is just how I like it!

At the beginning of the year I type in my schedule, and then I print a ton of them off, hole punch them, and stick them in the binder! You can see a blank example of the template I used last year below.

You can also save these electronically and type into them. Many people love typed lesson plans. 

Guess What? I am not one of them. I am kind of a hot mess with lesson plans. I like to hand write them, cross out (I even write in pen sometimes and scribble it out - what can I say? I like to live on the edge a little) erase, and make notes all over them. 

So, I print them and do just that! 

As the year progresses, I still write detailed plans in the notebook so that I can keep them organized and aligned to standards and goals, but I don't feel the need to constantly refer to them or the schedule.  

After awhile I know our routine, I know my kids and the rhythm of our day. I also know that sometimes teaching needs to be adjusted many times in a day, no matter what "the book" says. 

So while I still have my full lesson plans, rather than need them close to me all day, I like to have an "at a glance" option! 

So I made a weekly snapshot page to post in my room or near my teacher area (I don't have a desk). 


I can quickly type or write down the main goals of our day.

It is not my lesson plan, and to people just glancing at it, it wouldn't make sense -but to me, it reminds me of what is in my detailed lesson plan, and I don't have to search through it all to know what is coming up in my week. 

You could even use it to write down reminders such as who is parent pick up or leaving early, etc. It is editable  - so simply click HERE or on the picture below to download! 


I am curious - do you type your lesson plans, hand write them, or are you sometimes a mixture like me? Leave a comment and let us know!