My first year of teaching, my principal provided teachers with one paid planning day per grading period. It was coordinated with our team, so that we could reflect on the current grading period and plan for the upcoming one. Little did I know at the time how I spoiled that was!
Since that year, I have never had so much time to plan. My second year of teaching I didn’t even have a calendar of my lessons each grading period other than my lessons plans that I created only one week ahead of time. This was clearly not ideal, especially for me. I am a very organized person, and I love to plan ahead! Plus, with four different preps, I it’s very important that I plan well to ensure that all of my courses are on track.
Last year, one of my goals was to plan out a rough outline of each grading period ahead of time to not only make my life easier, but to make sure that I was planning my instructions based on assessments and preparing my students well. The first step towards attaining my goal was to find a good planner, but I couldn’t find any I liked. Most of them had monthly overviews with boxes that were too small or filled with random holidays, or extra pages with weekly calendars, which I didn’t need and just took up space. Also, since I needed 4 (one for each of my preps), most planners cost more than I was willing to spend. So I decided to make my own, with the main goals being simple, practical, and affordable, with plenty of space to make notes. I had it printed at Staples, and it worked great!
I made a few changes this year, and I thought I would share it in case any one else has faced a similar dilemma! The calendar includes every month from August 2016-June 2017 and only Monday-Friday to make the boxes bigger. There is a space on the cover to write in the class name, especially for those of you like me with several different preps! Once you download the PDF, all you need to do is print! I printed mine at Staples, because I like to have a cover and spiral to help maintain it throughout the year, since I use it frequently. This year, I printed four copies of the calendar in the same spiral and asked them to add cardstock as dividers between each. I placed my order in person at the store, but you can also print it online here.
I hope you enjoy! What do you look for in a planning calendar? What other strategies have you used to help keep your lessons organized?