You can view the full version of my plan book (edited slightly for privacy) here as a PDF or here as a Word document. The first and last page have been printed on card stock and laminated to increase durability, and the whole book is coil bound. I sent it off to my school’s print shop a couple weeks ago and it was printed the same day. Unfortunately due to their limited summer hours and my conflicting schedule while teaching Summer School, I haven’t been able to pick up the finished product, yet. Summer School wraps up this Friday, so I must continue to anxiously await until then.
All right, to move on to the main feature of this post, we need to start with some confession time: I did a real poor job of keeping track of my planning papers my first year of teaching and still haven’t even figured out and logged my PD hours (it’s on the to-do list for summer, m’kay?), so I knew I needed to have a better system this year. I had so many unit plan calendars in so many places (hey, I did have 4 preps), and I had revisions of unit plan calendars in so many places, AND THEN I RECYCLED THEM. What?! What was I even thinking? The best/only explanation I can come up with was I was temporarily possessed. Where were Sam and Dean Winchester when I needed them?
I even took the time to write myself memos about how lesson plans went so I could refer back to them a year later and refresh my memory about what worked, what didn’t, and ideas to make it even better. Those got recycled too, I assume. Fun fact: I went to a university that had 5 different types of recycling bins. Recycling is in my blood. I see paper, I recycle. Reduce, reuse, recycle, #amiright? Well, I was wrong, very wrong to do that. Definitely did not do my future self any favors.
Thus, my huge make-an-all-in-one-resource summer initiative was born. I can’t tell you how many versions and variations of my plan book I have made in the last few months. With each blog post I read from other teachers making their plan books, I kept getting more and more ideas to make a resource that would (hopefully) really work for me this year, and allow me to keep all of my most important planning information in one place.
Without further, ado, let’s get into it:
The front page has my name and the current school year on it. It’s printed on card stock and laminated.
The next page is a copy of my school’s 2016-2017 calendar, available for easy reference. (Wouldn’t want to accidentally plan a great lesson for MLK Day or Memorial Day.)
On the back side of the calendar, I keep a page for “Important Information.” I can’t tell you how many times I had to search for the pin to my office phone voicemail (we have own phones both in our classroom as well in a separate shared office space), or the password for the online textbook, lunch ID number, etc. This page will keep all of the important information that I don’t use frequently enough to remember.
Like I said earlier, I didn’t even keep track of my PD hours this last year, so I’m going to be much more proactive about it this school year and record my information after each PD session since I’ll have this lovely plan book with me, anyway! I have two pages dedicated to this Professional Development Log, which I hope is enough to last the whole year.
Next, I have a 10 month calendar in green for my Algebra 1+Support class (I color code my different preps). Then, I have a 10 month calendar in blue for my Geometry classes, and in purple for Algebra 2 + support. I also do all of the important handouts for my classes in the corresponding color coded papers, throughout the year.
This calendar section of the plan book is to plan out a from a glance plan of what needs to be done each day within a unit. For example, cover section 2.1 on the 12th, section 2.2 on the 13th, quiz on the 14th, move onto section 2.3 on the 15th, and then finish off the week with section 2.4 on the 16th. This allows me to get more of a “global” sense of what will be going on through the semester.
To go into the specifics of each day and week, I will use the next (largest) section of my plan book. Here I break each week down, day by day, into three columns (one for each main prep). On the right side, I have a spot to write notes to myself, reminders, to-do lists, memos about how things went, etc. I wanted to make sure that I could jot down any thoughts and not worry about losing them or having a sticky note fall off (and get reycled).
The next chunk of my plan book is dedicated to meeting notes. I can’t remember who it was, but some lovely soul posted about their own plan book and had a note taking template similar to the one that I used. I streamlined it a bit, and am in LOVE. It has room for actual meeting notes, important dates spoken about in the meeting, as well as to-do/action items that came about as the result of the meeting. It’s so visual, which makes it easy to see exactly what needs to be taken care of.
The next thing I included was a student home contact log. I certainly kept a log last year, but I kept it in about three different places, which can’t be called great record keeping, by anyone’s standards.
My classroom has a bit of a weird setup where the phone has to be on the opposite diagonal corner from my desk, so keeping an electronic log isn’t the most convenient. Paper will be much easier, and I definitely preferred it last year. I envision bringing my plan book with me as I contact parents and write down comments as we have our discussion. Additionally, now that I have a dedicated log for this (rather than a section of some 5-Star notebook), I think I will be able to keep a much more cohesive and detailed list.
My district has a professional development program called Math Studio–we were graciously given a separate binder to use for these special PD days, but I found myself not applying the information as much as I would’ve liked since I never would see my notes again until the next math studio day. This year, I wanted to keep a section in my planning book where I could easily look back on the great ideas talked about and presented in these math studio days, as well as the goals I have made for myself. I came up with so many great goals during these studio days last year, but I can’t say a lot happened with them. This year, I will definitely be much more purposeful with their implementation.
Lastly, I’ve included a few “miscellaneous” pages for those things that I I’m sure I’ve forgotten to include dedicated pages for.
I tried my hardest to not overlook any major day-to-day resources I would need to include, and this has certainly come a long way since my first draft. Let me know if there are any glaring missing items that I should include! Potential unforeseen flaws and all, I am so excited to use my personalized plan book this year…and not recycle it at the end of the year by mistake. 😉
Thanks for reading, and happy Blaugust Day 2!