When I did the post about Curriculum Mapping, Betsy K. asked in the comments about what my lesson planning crate was and how to organize lesson plans, so I thought maybe I would throw together a quick post to explain!
Knowing how to organize your lesson plans and lesson plan book in your elementary classroom makes it really easy for you to find the resources you need quickly and efficiently.
Which means your third grade students will get the writing prompt you have prepared in seconds. Or your kindergarteners have the new Venn diagram template on their desks in a snap.
Whatever grade level you teach at your school – you’ll find this easy example idea useful for creating your “lesson station.”
On Fridays, I always made sure my lesson plans were done for the following week, and then I started running copies and gathering my materials for the upcoming week, so that when I left on Friday (which of course, was not always right after contract time, but it is ever?), I would leave knowing that when I walked in Monday, I was good for the week.
And in the case of the sick child on Sunday night, if a last-minute substitute was needed, everything would be in place and ready!
Want to know more about time management strategies for classroom teachers?
Check out Teacher Life Balance Academy HERE!
How to organize your lesson plans and materials:
My lesson plan crate was kept on a table, counter top, or has even been located on an extra student desk that was shoved against a wall.
Inside, I place hanging files and matching file folders in whatever color scheme or theme you choose.
1 – I place labels for each day of the week on my file folders. You can find the days of the week labels I used in my picture, as well as additional plain labels as a free printable below.
2 – I began going through my lesson plans, and start running any copies I need or manipulatives and placing them in the appropriate day folder. I also place my TE’s (Teacher Editions) so they are standing up in the back of the crate. If there are manipulatives that are too large to fit in the crate, such as a class set of geoboards for math, they go next to the crate on the table/desk.
3 – Last, I usually place my lesson plan book/binder open to the week on the table/desk in front of the crate.
How do you keep the lesson planning crate organized from week to week?
Super easy for anyone to walk in and find everything that is needed in one place and if a substitute would be called at the last minute, I don’t have to send a detailed email or call in to try to explain where to find everything.
As a person who subbed for several years myself when I first started teaching, I learned very quickly which teachers I LOVED to work for and which I was not keen on accepting jobs for when the calls came in. Knowing that the teacher out was prepared always made the difference in whether I wanted to cover that class.
On Friday, I always cleaned out any remaining copies, samples, or manipulatives, and filed, recycled, or put them away – and then gathered everything needed for the next week!
It takes time to do, but will actually take you LESS time to pull everything together and run your copies at once, rather than having to travel back and forth to the copy room multiple times a week.
Plus, the line at the copier on a Friday afternoon is usually nonexistent.
This system has been the best way to save me time and sanity when it comes to weekly lesson planning and organization!
You might want to check out:
Need some new ideas for lesson planning and calendar organization in the classroom? This 107 page digital book has you covered!
Includes 22 articles from Organized Classroom, including topics such as:
-How to Make Your Own Teacher Planner
-Setting Up Your Daily Classroom Schedule
-Digital Filing Cabinets
-Weekly Planning Resources
-Several To-Do List Templates
-Balancing Home and Work Life in your Calendar
…and even more!
Also 9 additional freebie files! Now available in our Bookstore! And the second copy to share with a friend is half price!
How do you organize your lesson plan book and supplies for the week? We would love to hear other suggestions as well in the comments below!