Has anyone else gotten their back to school information... superintendent welcome back letter, back to school itinerary, scheduled meetings? I got mine last week and that's when it really hit me..... school is about to start!! Of course I have been working on things at home, but man, I need to get into my classroom! I keep reading all these posts about teachers getting into their rooms and decorating. I need to decorate, organize and start planning out back to school activities! The main
excuses reasons for not getting into my classroom are 1) I live about 40 minutes from my school building WITHOUT traffic, ughh, and 2) the carpet in my classroom is supposed to be getting replaced, so I can't do too much before that happens, and no one knows when that'll get done!
One of the things I have been working on at home is my Lesson Plan Binder. I've always been known to be pretty well organized and that's definitely a trait I brought into the classroom. I mean, I don't have a label and place for EVERYTHING, but I'm pretty organized and I like to have a plan. I want to share how I keep my lessons and all that jazz organized. The past four years I had a binder for just my lesson plans, then I had my curriculum binder, and my calendars with important dates on the wall by my teacher table, and extra planning guides shoved in my lesson plans. Well this year, I want everything, or at least everything needed for lessons and planning, in one place.
Introducing my new Lesson Plan Binder:
|Kinda plain... but it works for me!|
|Don't mind my crinkled tab - at least I'm re-using!|
The sections in my binder are:
Daily Lesson Plans
Year-Long Planning Guide
Alrighty, I'll show you some pictures of the sections and the rundown of what, how, and why. Be sure to click on the pictures if you want to see a bigger version.
*Table of Contents - pretty self-explanatory, but I also like to have that in there in case there's a sub or other staff member in charge of my class.
*Schedule - This is the schedule that I have laid out so far for next year. There are some blank spots because it's my first time teaching second grade and I may still be adding/moving things around. I used to do just a daily schedule and it was the same each day. But at my new school, we have a lot of different special classes (Music, Art, Computers, Library, Spanish) and we have PE every day. So after seeing a layout like this from a first grade team member last year, I fell in love with the organization of it and made one for myself. It shows exactly which special class we go to each day.
* Lesson Plans - This is where I keep my... you guessed it! Lesson plans! Don't judge me, I told you I was organized and maybe a bit meticulous. I use a two-page spread for each day's lesson plans. I've found that a lot of people use a one-pager for each day or even two-pager for the entire week! I don't know how they do it! I've toyed around with trying a two-page spread per week, but let me tell you why I don't. I am very detailed with my lessons. I don't look at tomorrow's plans for Reading and just see "Just Right books," I want to remember the things to put on my anchor chart, the questions that I want to ask my students, etc. My detailed lessons don't let me forget a thing! Another reason.... remember when I said that I live 40 minutes from my school WITHOUT traffic? Yeah, well when school starts, it'll take me about 50ish minutes... unless it rains or snows, then it could be an hour and a half! Not fun! So if I am late because of traffic or weather (which has happened) I have everything already laid out for whoever is in my room until I arrive. The main reason I love my lesson plan layout is for substitutes. If I get sick (I had strep throat four times in five months one year!!) all of a sudden the night before or that morning, I don't have to drag my sick butt to school.... in traffic.... to write out lessons for the sub. They are all there for them when they arrive. I have been fortunate enough to also work with great team members and if there's a book that needs to be put out or a copy to be made for my sub, they get it done for me!
|It's two pages|
*Year-Long Planning Guide - This is something I started using last year. Again, a team member showed me something similar to this with all the units they were planning for the year. I tweaked it and made one for myself. It allows me to see the whole year laid out. This way I can be sure that I cover all my units and objectives. Don't get me wrong, sometimes things change. Like maybe I didn't have time to get to Questioning in December because of all the snow days. Then I just move it to January. Anytime I make a change, I print out a new copy and put it in my binder. If you are a new teacher, I highly suggest using something like this if you don't already.
*Calendars - OK, so this section is for any/all calendars I may need for planning purposes. In the picture you can see my district calendar. I will also be adding our school calendar and student birthday calendar. When I would sit and do lesson plans for the following week, I was always getting out different calendars to be sure I was planning for the fire drill, assembly or student birthday. This way I have it all there in the same binder so I just flip to calendars and check it out!
*Curriculum - When I started at my new school district last year, they gave me a wonderful Curriculum Binder that included a list of curriculum materials for my grade level, mastery objectives, and the scope and sequence for each subject area. Now, this might be changing with Common Core, but we'll get to that when we get to it! Of course I still don't have mine for second grade next year, so I borrowed one of my new team member's Curriculum Binder. For now, I just copied each subject area's mastery objectives and put them in the binder. So when I'm planning lessons, I just flip to my objectives, check the specifics and plan my little heart out!
Whew!!! Thanks for staying with me for this novel of a post. I just wanted to be sure to include everything. If you're looking to start some kind of Binder like this or want to revamp yours, be sure to check out all the ideas on Pinterest and fellow blogs. Before I started mine, I looked at other teachers' ideas and then chose what I wanted to include and how I wanted to organize it.
If you have any questions about my Lesson Plan Binder, be sure to comment or email me and I will be glad to help you or answer questions!