10 Easy Steps to Get Your Planning Done (During Your Planning Period)

10 easy steps to get your planning done

10 Easy Steps to Get Your Planning Done (During Your Planning Period)

This post is part of a blog hop with lots of other Tricks and Treats for Teachers!

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I am one of those people who can get in the zone and have my work done before I go home for the day. I have always left on time after school, too! I have typically used my planning period for planning and meetings, and lunch and after school time for grading and making copies. Now, there have been days for whatever reason that I could not get everything done that I needed. Sometimes a lab requires more materials and prep than usual and I may have had to stay later. I grade papers while the copy machine runs to save time since I am sitting there anyways waiting for the copies to finish. Tutoring is an after school activity that will push your time back, so you can grade papers on non-tutoring days. Always have a tote with your papers that need grading. You never know when you will have free time waiting on someone to show up for a meeting or training.

Here is my method for planning that can help you leave school on time each day.

Spending a little more time up front, can save big later on.

Get organized (This is the time spent up front to make the rest of the year plan easily):
1.Start with a monthly calendar and your list of state curriculum standards.

Here is an example of my February month plan for 5th grade Science. I have these set up for each month of the year before I start on my weekly lesson plans.

sample planning for a month

2.Divide the standards you will be teaching among the 30 (give or take) weeks of teaching before your standardized testing time.

3. Write the standard(s) into each week you want to teach them. Leave a week for each unit test to account for review and catching up on days you missed due to any changes in your schedule during each unit. Fire drills, substitute teachers, assemblies, and snow days happen!

* I like to do this step in power point on a calendar template so I can easily copy and paste any notes to my lesson plans.

4. Now, take a lesson planning template and begin filling in each week with standard(s), and teaching ideas. My lesson planning template is FREE for a limited time just for this Tricks and Treats Blog Hop!!
* I like to stay at least a couple weeks ahead on planning in case I need to order special materials or prepare any big projects.

lesson planning
Plan the teaching:
I like to follow a similar method each week to keep planning simple and on track. Here is the day by day method I use for most of my planning. When it is time for a unit test, the week will have two to three days for catch up and review, one day for testing, and one to two days for going over the test and goal setting.
5. Monday – Begin with an “attention getting” activity or lab. Build the anticipation for what the students will be learning. Introduce word wall words or key terms for the week by giving the students an opportunity to guess what the word might mean. The picture shows a snack I prepared for the Mixtures and Solutions anticipation activity.

mixture cereals

6. Tuesday – Prepare an informational text for the students to read and learn important facts about the standard’s topic. Have a fun, new graphic organizer for the students to complete and process the information from their reading. Using the reading, have the students discuss their new definition for the words.

boiling and melting/freezing points

7. Wednesday – Students will write a summary of their informational text using some key terms or word wall words. This is also a good day to complete an interactive notebook activity. I always prepare one side of the notebook for teacher input and the other for a creative or exploration activity that is more student directed. An experiment, creative writing, diagram or illustration, or science stations are all great ways to allow creative exploration of a topic. For more ideas on interactive science notebooks, follow this link.

Interactive Science Notebooks

8. Thursday – Prepare a major lab for the standard’s topic. This should be a lab that follows the scientific method. For topics which labs are not the best way to learn, I prepare a game or stations that allow deeper understanding and exploration of the topic.

9. Friday – This is a good day to create an anchor chart as a class. I make a big one on chart paper to hang up in the classroom, while the students make their own either in their notebook or on a printed page they can fill in. I also have the students work on vocabulary processing practice pages.

Forms of Energy Anchor Chart Science lessons

There is your plan for the week! And all this can be achieved in your 45 minute planning period, while eating half of my lunch!

Here are my favorite resources to help you brainstorm and plan the activities for each day.

Pinterest -follow me by clicking the link!

5th Grade Lesson Planning Guide – FREE ready to go lesson plans for each week of the year

Teacher Pay Teachers Store: Elementary Ali – science resources for Kindergarten through 8th grade

Check here for more Tricks and Treats for teachers!!!

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