Minimalist Planning – #TEACHERLIFE 101

Last week I shared one of the biggest ways I maintain my sanity and avoid teacher burnout – minimizing my grading routine. Today, I am going to share another one of my biggest ways to save your time and sanity: Simplify your planning and prepping routine. My way of simplifying and becoming a minimalist planner/prepper streamlines everything so I can leave work on time and leave weekends for family time.

My sister always pokes fun at my mom, telling her that she has a “cartoon wardrobe”. My mom finds a shirt and pants that she likes and buys them in every color. It sure keeps finding clothes simple and stress-free. I guess you could say my lesson plans have a bit of a cartoon wardrobe. I have a simplified lesson planning format that works really well and all I have to do is plug in the activities.

This makes it easy to plan because you know what types of activities you will need for each day of the week without having to spend hours on Pinterest looking for ideas. I know, no matter what week it is, that I will need activities such as an informational text, an anchor chart, a hands-on activity, a critical thinking activity… This routine helps me know what activities I need each day of the week. This routine also helps my students know what will be expected of them for each assignment. They know that every Monday we will read a short text and they will use context clues to define the key words. There is comfort in that routine for students. They know what to expect.

To better show you how I do this, I have created a FREE lesson planning template set for you!

You can see below how I plan every week of the year. I can easily build my lesson plans and streamline prepping with this method because every week looks like this.

For an even simpler look at a week in science, check out my digital week of learning lesson plan. This plan does not change at all each week. The activities are all the same. They just have different information in them to cover the standard of the week.

If you have a good, simple format, your planning will be a breeze. Just plug in your activities where they go each week. I don’t have to search generic “how to teach adaptations” and then sift through hours of links. I can search “adaptations informational text” and narrow down what I am looking for! I could also find a full year of informational texts that I pull from each week. That would save a ton of time!

Make sure to grab that FREE lesson plan template set, and find a way to simplify your planning process. If you really want to save time, find the lessons and materials that are already planned for you! I have a full year of weekly lesson sets with materials for grades 2, 4, 5, and pre-k with more coming for K, 1, and 3!! All you have to do is look over it, print it, make copies, and maybe grab some simple lab supplies. And, if you want to save even more time, grab my digital complete lesson sets. They are completely NO PREP science. You don’t even have to make copies or collect lab supplies!! Its all right there in an easy-to-use digital format. If there was ever a year that I appreciated the value of No Prep lesson sets, it is this year for sure!

I hope you found this #TeacherTipTuesday helpful!

Next week watch for my tips on streamlining your prepping process!

-Alicia (Elementary Ali)

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