Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lesson Planning: Computer vs. Paper

My lesson planning has evolved over the last seven years...

When I started teaching kindergarten, I was a long-term sub job that lasted over 1/2 the year.  She did her plans in a plan book, so I just used her system.  I was always confused and found that I was in over my head (I had 31 kinders and an aide for 2 hours of the day in a full-day program).  This was before readers and writers workshop, and anything that wasn't play-based.  I mostly organized the day's materials.  Sad, but I learned as I went along.
When I was hired for a kindergarten position, I made it my mission to learn EVERY benchmark and expectation for my littles.  I integrated the standards into my lesson plans, which were incredibly detailed.  This was the most amazing learning experience.  That practice got me on the report card committee as a first year teacher (again- a great learning time for me).  I still wrote them in a plan book, but transferred them to digital after.  I did some long range planning in the book.  I  used a table format in Word.  This allowed me to keep many of the things that we did each day, at the same time, the same.  I was also able to cut and paste the benchmarks.  I would highlight them on the original state document in order to make sure that all were met.  It looked like this:

By my second year, I stopped using the paper planner.  My principal appreciated reading the standards, but after my first few years.... we both stopped :)

When I switched to first grade, I pulled out the standards again for the first few months..... then stopped because there were so many in one week that it was more than 1/2 of my plans.  I was also the only one who did this.  It was time that I trusted myself and my attention to the goals for my class.  Keep in mind that I was using Lucy Calkins for writing and had a set plan for reading from our ISD, along with a new math program- no need to write it out in detail.  My plans changed to this last year:

This year, I'm entering in to a new chapter.... the Erin Condren Teacher Planner! I've been using the life planner for a few years and L.O.V.E. it!  I like to write things down and make lists - even if I'm about to cross it off!  So much of my lesson planning is done for me.  I write directly on the teachers editions when I make changes and/or add in extras.  My writing is all over everything.... I feel bad for the teacher who will someday take my place!
Here is my Condren Planner for next year:

I need to get on that daily planning!  School starts September 2nd!
LOVE the plastic insert pages for the necessities of planning.  The pouch is perfect for tiny notes and receipts!
I'm coming full circle.  With confidence and knowledge comes the ability to simplify and focus on what matters most at work- actually TEACHING.

Seriously fabulous, right?  As a thank you, they even send it with a $10 off coupon- which I used to buy my Life Planner for this year.  If you are interested in Erin Condren designs, check it out HERE

*This post was not sponsored in ANY way.  All opinions are my own.

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