January 16, 2014

New Year's Goal #3: Type up your lessons

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at eight small changes we can make today in our classroom that will make this new year the best one yet! 



Type up your lesson plans. Ahhh, I love this one. This goal is so useful for SO many reasons. Let me pause for just a quick moment and say that while I always typed up my plans, I also printed them out and put them in a 3 ring binder so my administrator could see them and so that I could move it around the room with me for easy reference during a lesson. Okay, back to the goal...

WHY SHOULD I TYPE UP MY PLANS?

1. While each year has it's own scheduling and challenges, you can often use a good portion of the previous year's plans. If they are already typed up, you simply need to edit a few things and maybe rearrange a few days and you have have whole new set of plans ready to be printed off.

2. You can access your lessons from multiple computers without dragging around your lesson plan book. Use Dropbox to store your lesson plans and you can access it from any computer with an internet connection and you could still have your documents even if your school computer crashed. 

3. You can avoid writing the same thing over and over and over. Our lessons often have components (like the standard you are working on, the topic, the obectives, etc) that repeat themselves over the course of a unit. Instead of writing them down for each lesson, you can just cut and paste them. 

4. For most of us, it's just quicker to type than to write. Same lesson written in half the time- I'm in!

LET'S GET STARTED

First Step: Create a template that you can use for each lesson. Each page could be one week or one day, depending on how you like to see your plans. Include headings for objectives, dates, standards, and other consistent elements. Save this blank template and just copy/paste it each time you make a new set of lessons.

Second Step: After writing up your lesson(s), print them out and place them in a three ring binder. The beauty of using a simple binder is that you can customize it to create the perfect lesson plan book for you. Group together lessons by subject, date, etc.

Third Step: At the end of the year, save the binder for a quick reference for next year. You will be able to see any last-minute changes or note you penciled in that will help you improve next year's lessons.

How do you write out your lessons? 
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Here are the goals we've done in this series:

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