Planning like a pro isn’t something that comes naturally for all teachers. The way you learn to lesson plan in colleges doesn’t always translate well into your own classroom. It’s not just about filling out templates; it’s about really integrating content and standards into your organized lessons. In addition, lesson planning is about organizing your time wisely. Lesson planning can feel overwhelming, but it’s even more frustrating when you don’t have plans ready-to-go. Learning how to plan like a pro can help you feel confident teaching content and working with your students to meet their needs! Here are some lesson planning tips you won’t want to be without!
Weekly and Long-Term Planning Tips
Planning your lessons is not just a daily task. In fact, setting up lessons that incorporate weekly, quarter, semester, and year-long plans saves you time and helps you focus on long term goals for yourself and your students. Planning long term is easiest when you have a system or organization (for time and materials) in place. These and other tips are available in the Classroom Organization Academy!
Set Up a Clutter Free Planning Station
Make sure you have a place to plan that only has what you need for the tasks at hand. Clear away other distractions and keep what you need at your fingertips (or at least on a nearby shelf). These materials include:
- Teacher Editions
- Grade level standards
- Pacing guides
- Long range planning sheets
- Previous plans from the year before to reference what you’ve done in the past
- A portable, sturdy teacher bag
- Lesson planner (digital or paper)
Learn more about setting up spaces to stay organized in the Classroom Organization Academy!
What is Batch Lesson Planning?
Batch working is not only something used by teachers. Experts say that doing a ‘batch” of common tasks in one session saves time and helps you focus. Planning pros use batch lesson planning to effectively plan long-term. Here’s how it works!
First, take one subject and plan out multiple days/weeks worth at a time. If I can plan out two units or even a full month of content, the better. It can seem daunting at first, but the hardest part is really just sitting down and getting started. Start by writing out the plans, making all of the copies, prepping all of the materials, or uploading all of the resources that will be needed.
Benefits of Batch Lesson Planning
Big Picture Planning
Batch lesson planning gives the benefit of knowing the bigger picture through long range planning. Plus, you are focused on planning content, not the other stuff!
You actually save time because you are not switching your time in changing tasks and context switching. In addition, you enjoy stress-free weekends filled with doing the things you love. This is all because your lessons are planned ahead of time!
Being prepared for your students with lessons is so important! With batch lesson planning, copies are made and ready for the week You’re prepared to walk in the door and teach on Monday!
Get Started Lesson Planning
Lesson planning doesn’t have to be stress-inducing. Here are some easy tips to get started planning your weekly and monthly lessons!
- Schedule a SET TIME (pick a date) and eliminate your distractions and just plan! This might be 1-2 hours. Ideally, you are going to plan out 1 month of lessons.
- Pick another day to plan out the following few months or weeks. Once you start this system, it becomes so much easier!
- Have your standards accessible. Use backwards planning because this is what you will need to be teaching. Ask yourself, what are your kids working towards? Check out Understanding by Design resources regarding Backwards Design. Pick activities to address the standards you plan.
- Give yourself some wiggle room. Add 2 floating days into your lesson plans-leave two days blank, those will be days that you can push certain lessons back.
- Pick one day to make copies for the entire next week. If you can have parent volunteers in your classroom, utilize them to make copies!
- You’ll feel so much better and save time because you’re only making small adjustments to this planning!
Store Lesson Planning Materials
Where do you keep all your weekly materials and Teacher Editions to keep the clutter at bay?
Try some of these ideas for storage and organization in your classroom!
- Utilize bins for subjects (ELA, Math, Science etc.) and drop everything you need for the week or the unit in the bin.
- Have portable or permanent cabinets in your room? Use the drawers for subjects like you would use bins.
- One affordable, simple way to organize papers and lessons is with magazine Boxes for days of the week. Use them on their sides or standing up.
- Try colorful hanging files for days of the week to store lesson plans, master copies of handouts, or student samples.
- Have manipulatives or student supplies on a cart or tray (ready to be used).
Organize Lesson Plans for Substitute Teachers
Not only do your lessons need to be organized for you and your students, you also need to make sure they are ready for subs! Your sub will be less likely to waste a day with a video or busy work when you have your lessons organized digitally and ready-to-go!
Creating easy digital sub plans will save you time when you’re not feeling up to planning last minutes. Use digital sub plan templates via Google Slides to save you and your sub time!
For paper materials, use a sub tub to house all your lessons and things that a sub needs throughout the day or for long terms sub jobs.
Become a lesson planning pro with these tips to organize materials, batch lesson plan, and save time! Join the Classroom Organization Academy for tips to keep your physical and digital classroom organized so you can get back to doing what you love, teaching students! What are your favorite teacher tips for lesson planning?
Leave a Comment