Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lesson Planners

Ahhh, the joys of going back to school.

With the return of August and a new school year, my attention has turned to getting things ready for my new class (finally! I've been so unmotivated all summer!)

One things that has been on my mind lately is my lesson planner.

When I taught Kindergarten, I used these:
I never filled up all the boxes in these...especially since I only taught 1 section (1/2 day)!

For the last two years, I've used this one:

The first year that I used it, all the boxes definitely filled up. My principal (and I've never had this before) was very critical of my plans and almost wanted everything written out.

Previously, I've recorded what we were doing-referencing things, books, activities. This principal wanted assessments at the end of each lesson, purpose of learning, etc. (I apologize if you have to do this-I never had to before this principal, so I was set in my planning ways. My problem with this was that not everyone on the staff was required to do this)

This year though, I definitely didn't use up all the boxes.  Most everything was laid out in the teacher editions, so I didn't see the need to rewrite everything. I definitely made notations of the important things I wanted to cover, and additional activities that weren't in the teacher editions.

So I felt a little like I was wasting my money-especially since it includes all the extra pages that I don't use.

I've been thinking a lot about making my own. (I saw a lot of pretty ones on TPT-but the money thing again, as well as might not having exactly what I'm looking for or the design ;).

Experiment time!

I've always had the long sideways planners and never a 'regular' size one. But as we've discovered, I don't fill up all those boxes.

After playing around a little the other night, I came up with this:
Here's a closer look at all that cuteness:
But I wasn't sure that it would fit my plans.

So I did the only logical thing before spending a ton more time making my planner.

I mock-planned a day to make sure everything would fit! (In reality, I probably overplanned/overexplained a bit-but I wanted to make sure it would work!)
I think it will work! :)

What do you use for a lesson planner?

Smiles and Sunshine,


  1. I've used home made ones both years I have been teaching. When I got my job (3 days before school started), one of my teammates said "don't worry about buying a planner" and the next morning copies of plan pages for the whole year, with our lunches, recesses, PE, etc blocked out on them were in my box (great teammates!). Last year, I changed it up a bit, but the same idea. I highly recommend adding in those things that happen every week at the same time before you print! Such a timesaver!

    A Place to Thrive

  2. So glad you found my blog so that I could find yours! I'm following you too now :)

    I usually use a Lakeshore planner but this year for my birthday my hubby got me an Erin Condren planner! I can't wait to use it.

    Floating Through Fifth

  3. I have an Erin Condren planner for this year but most years I have made a homemade one like yours, just a bit different. Once I get my schedule, I type things in that don't change (recess, lunch, specials) and then print copies. Makes it very very easy to stay on top of things.

    I've also done it where I've typed my lessons into my template and printed them but the downfall of that is when things change (and invariably they do!), I have to draw arrows and whatnot and I don't like making my planner look messy!

    I also use and have exclusively for the past two years. It's nice because if things do change, I can move things around and then print. (I printed by day.) This year I will use for my reading groups and math groups but my EC planner for everything else.

    The Caffeinated Teacher

  4. I've actually never used a pencil/paper lesson planner. The first year that I taught, the team I joined used a lesson plan template that they'd come up with in Word, so I started using that. This year, the school I'm moving to has a lesson plan template that they want the teachers to use as well. I like being able to put everything into the computer and copy/paste to avoid rewriting things. I keep seeing all of the Erin Condren planners (cute but expensive) and know I just wouldn't use it. I guess it's all what you get used to :) Good luck with your planner design!!!

  5. I use It is truly amazing!

    Simply 2nd Resources


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