Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lesson Planning

I'm finding that I am constantly revamping my lesson plan template year after year.  While my school doesn't require teachers to hand in lesson plans they do like you to have them typed out and readily available in case you need to be pulled out.

During my student teaching period, I hand wrote them and only wrote a small phrase or short sentence to explain my objective.  Of course I had to write long formal lesson plans for my cooperating teacher and my professor from my Master's program but beyond those specific written plans for observations, that was as detailed as they got.

My first year teaching I hand wrote my plans in one of those planners I bought at a teacher's supply store.  Yes, I wrote out each state standard and each objective.  It took foreverrrrrrrrrrr.  I eventually just began writing each objective because writing that aligned state standard took too long.

I still can't believe I used this planner!
My second and third years I used the same template.  This time, I made the template because I hated trying to squeeze everything into those tiny boxes.  The first year I used my computer-created template I printed the page and handwrite in the information.  I literally had the column for the subject and another column for the lesson objective and components.  The next year I got smart and started typing everything out.  That worked as well but I still didn't like my template or the way my plans were coming out.

About two years ago, I saw a post online (I wish I had saved it) about how someone created their own template, photocopied it at school and then took it to Kinkos or Office Max to have it bound along one edge (I wish I could remember where I saw that so I can give that person credit).  So, I decided to try that.  I loved it!  This time I typed the template in landscape mode in Microsoft Word and photocopied everything double sided.  Each day had two full pages and I hand wrote everything again.  I loved my template but was spending HOURS each week writing my plans.

Last year I tried this template.  I liked it and my whole grade level liked it so much that I made one for each of them but, at the end of the day, I think it was too minimal for me.  I was missing having the extra space to write more details.    On to another new template this year!

I was reading Ladybug Teacher Files's blog and came upon this post that Kristen wrote.  I decided to try her lesson plan template.  So far so good!  It has just enough space for objectives, CCSS alignments, details and student work period to do's.  I adjusted it to meet my needs and so far I'm loving it!  I just haven't decided if I like typing better or handwriting better.  My best teacher friend is using it as well and said she likes it too.

Meredith over at The Big Apple Teacher held a giveaway for an Erin Condren gift card.  I never win anything but was shocked to find that I had in fact won that giveaway!

Erin Condren has a great life planners (I had one of those...I loved it) but she also has fabulous teacher plan books.  I bought it this year but will try it out next year.  I love how everything is in one spot and how organized everything is.  It's so bright and colorful!  I can't wait!

Do you change your template every year?  Do you stick with the same one year after year?  Do you like to write a lot or a little?  Do you type or hand write?  Such hard decisions!!!  I'd love to hear how you handle lesson plans each day/week/month!


  1. You must have been reading my mind! One of my goals over break was to redo my lesson plan layout. I just hate it and have been unhappy with it all year. You have given me some good ideas so thank you! Congrats on winning the Erin Condren planner. It's awesome!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for visiting my blog. I think that revamping and trying new things is what we do...we wouldn't be teachers if we weren't like this! Good luck trying out different lesson plan formats. :)