Primary Chalkboard: planning
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Making the Most of Your Planning Time

Hi friends! It's Haley from My Silly Firsties! I wanted to stop by and share some tips I have been trying to really use my planning time effectively. Like everyone else, I am constantly trying to use my time well so I can go home, be with my family, and relax! My first few years of teaching I was totally okay working all night and all weekend...but I have so much going on now that's just not feasible! 

Soo...I have been on the hunt for ways to maximize the time I do have so I can leave and really LEAVE after school! :) Of course, some nights I stay way too late...and I almost always have things to do on Sunday evening. But these things really have helped, and I hope they help you too! :) 

The first thing I would say is have a plan!! When I don't, I literally play on Facebook my entire planning time, hahaha!! Anyone with me?!?! 

Here is the plan that has been working for me for a few months! It took some tweaking at first, but this schedule really works for me! 

My bestie, Miss Decarbo, has a more detailed schedule on her blog. She's WAY better at planning ahead than me!! 

Something else that keeps me going is constantly keeping a To-Do list. This seems like such common knowledge, but I'm telling you, it helps! When you have a few extra seconds, you can check something off your list! You can grab these To Do lists and tons of other organizational forms in my Editable Teacher Binder! And when something crosses your mind but you can't do it right then...add it to the list! That way you won't forget things! :) 

This is HARD for me. But it does help me stay accountable and know when I need to stay after school. It helps with the constant "I'm never done..." feeling! I just worry about what I needed to accomplish that day! 

This is probably my biggest tip...if you don't get anything else done, get your week paced out. You don't have to know exact activities, but I promise it feels so much easier to plan activities once that is laid out. My team and I work on this every makes it so much easier for me to plan when I have more time. 

And last but not least...

I am the worst about chatting my entire time away and then being frustrated when I have to plan on my own time. BUT...if I lock myself away during my planning, get things accomplished, and THEN go to happy hour, I feel refreshed and relaxed! :) 

These are just a few tips I have for guys are the true experts do YOU make the most of your planning time? 

Back to School Planning: Teaching with Themes Throughout the Year

Hi everyone! It's Leslie from First Grade and Flip Flops! Hard to believe that back to school is in full swing for some of our teacher friends! I still have a few weeks left but it doesn't mean that I am not in school mode! I have been busy planning and getting ready for the year by prepping beginning of the year homework, information packets, making a new decor set, and the list goes on and on! 

This meme is the story of my life! 

One of the things I want to share with you is how I plan during the year. Of course I teach to our curriculum maps. That is a must! They are always in my plan book and I refer (and agonize and sometimes have an adult beverage just to sift through some of those tough standards I have to teach!!) to them constantly as I am planning weekly. It takes me at least 2 hours or more just to plan some weeks because our curriculum (like yours) is so. packed

One aspect of planning that I do is that I love to teach with a weekly theme in mind. It's not all the time (sometimes, I go with the theme of our weekly story) but it really helps to give me direction as far as gathering materials for my instruction. I tie in the standard to the theme (if I have one) to help make my planning and instruction go more smoothly-- plus, the kids love knowing what we're learning about. 

For example, we had an Olivia week where we learned all about Olivia. It happened to be that that was our story in our reading series. So I placed books about Olivia, books about pigs, all their literacy centers were pig or Olivia based (and skill targeted), and they had an activity where they had an art gallery walk just like Olivia in the story. 

I usually plan by seasons and if you were to take a look at my file cabinets (well, I rather you wouldn't as they are a HOT MESS! ha!) and my teaching tubs, I have them set up and prepared by what I teach by season. Here are just some examples:

Sometimes we get to it and sometimes not; you know how that goes! Our days are so packed with standards, curriculum, and pacing-- that sometimes we can't always fit it in! I do want to note that although I did list some holidays, our district has gotten very strict with mentioning anything of the sort. Who knew that Santa was another bad "S" word? LOL!! In all seriousness,  just to be on the safe side, check with your district to see what their policy is. For example, this year we weren't allowed to do anything Grinch related even though I could have tied it in with all the standards we were teaching that week (in ELA). I was very sad

This is just a sample of what I've taught throughout the years and if you have other ideas that you'd like to add to the list, we'd love to hear them!! 

And I've got a little {FREEBIE} for you to download, print, and keep in your plan book! It might come in handy when you are planning. 

I hope that this helps you with your planning as your school year begins! I know that it really helps me! Don't forget to check back with us for more fantastic ideas to help you with back to school! 

Take care!! :-)

Lots of love,