Lesson planning is one of the most time consuming tasks as a teacher. Teaching engaging lessons is so much fun, but creating lessons can be time consuming. Leaving the classroom at 3 p.m. (or when you're released for the day) shouldn't be abnormal for a classroom teacher. In fact, when it comes to lesson planning, I have all the easy organization tools to help you get started without the stress. Check out these tips to make lesson planning easier.
Use a planner
We advise our students to write down their tasks, assignments, and homework. Teachers should hold themselves to the same standard. Of course, you know that writing down your plans (even when it's not required by your administrator) keeps you on track and organized.
I love using a digital planner! Not only is it simple to change and rearrange plans, it keeps everything in one place. You can't lose the planner or handouts when it's all online and backed up! Try these simple digital planners that are low cost or free!
Find a lesson planner that fits your style.
On the other hand, some teachers prefer to write things down. Find a planner that is within your budget and easy to use. I find that when I try to use a fancy planner with a bunch of bells and whistles I don't need, I end up abandoning it early. Save money and time with a simple planner. I am partial to the Teaching Texan Planner! Learn more about how to effectively plan in the 3 p.m. teacher series.
Set time aside to plan
Another tip is to set time aside to plan. Trying to have a consistent planning time each week will help you stay focused and get things done. Come to school a bit early to plan or optimize your plan time at school to get things accomplished. Leave the email, close the door, and plan! The rest of the week can be reserved for everything else you need to get done. Get out of school on time by really setting aside that dedicated time to plan. You too can be a 3 p.m. teacher by protecting your time.
Pull out resources to use at the end of the month
Get everything organized that you may want to use in the next month. It's OK if you don't end up getting to a particular activity, but at least you have it ready to go. You may choose to keep your files in a binder, a file cabinet, or maybe you're ready to go digital. No matter how you organize your files, making sure your files are ready for your next unit will save you time and stress.
Keep your lessons simple
Overcomplicated lessons may look cute on Pinterest, but they don't really help your students. Focus on your objectives, engagement, and what will help your students learn! Find simple teaching tools and lessons in my Easy Teaching Tools TpT Store!
You may have heard of backwards design. It works! Plan with the standards and objectives you're trying to reach in mind. As long as you are focused on the end goal for your students and plan engaging lessons that meet the learning targets, you'll find classroom success!
These tips to make lesson planning easier will save you time, stress, and money. Your students are so important, and they deserve your time and attention. It's also just as important for you to have time to yourself and with your family at 3 p.m. each day. Take the 3 p.m. teacher series to help you take back your personal life and leave the building at 3 p.m. every day.
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