August is here! I am an expert planner in August. Each August I fill up EVERY SINGLE SQUARE in my plan book.
Then comes September…I fill up most the squares.
Then comes October…out come the post it notes. I fill up no squares.
It has taken me 15 years to realize that daily boxes don’t work for me. It has taken me 15 years to do something about the fact that daily boxes don’t work for me.
I love to plan. I love to think about best practices. It is what I do when I am driving, in the shower, hitting snooze on my alarm clock, drinking my coffee, pouring over new professional development books, sitting at my computer and typing out ideas… However, those ideas never get placed in the daily boxes. They get placed on post-it notes. Do this…. Try this… Use this book for… Ask these questions…
I challenged myself this year to create a plan book that went with the way I think. I wanted something that would hold all of my planning in one place. So I did..
I couldn’t get rid of ALL the boxes in my life. So, I made sure there was a monthly calendar and weekly boxes. I have to keep track of meetings somehow! I also wanted a place that could give an overview for the week. Then I decided that I needed a little inspiration throughout the week. I created weekly inspiration for every week of the year. Each one has a different challenge for the week. It is easy for me to get caught up during the year on all of the little things. My hope for the weekly challenges is that it will give me a positive focus and a fresh outlook.
Then came my favorite part- a place to dig in depth into each learning target I teach. I tried to think about all the things that I try to consider when planning. I needed a place for all my post-it note thoughts! So, I added a spot for technology, resources, activities, and assessments. It is a note catcher. I might not use everything in one year and I can add to it in the future. Let me be really honest. Some years I do a better job of planning certain subjects or lessons. As the years go by, these pages will grow. As I get new professional development, these pages will grow. It will be a GROWING resource. Each year I will add to my in depth plans (filling in the gaps I might have throughout one year).
The next thing that I realized I needed was a timeline. I put two different lengths of timelines in my plan book. Some things take a little time and some take a lot.
Then I realized that I need a place for my small group plans. This makes up a HUGE part of my day. These plans are also different than my other plans. I start with an initial plan but then I don’t fill out anything until I have worked with the group. The plans are all based on their needs so I fill them out while I am working with the group. Tomorrow focus on…
I also wanted a place where I could track how my students were doing with each target.
Then came the part of the plan book that is a huge goal for me…REFLECTION! I learn so much when I reflect and I would love to reread those thoughts each year. Imagine being able to avoid making the same mistakes two years in a row!
I thought I was done at that point. Then I realized that I have post it notes all over books that I read to the class. What if I had a place to collect that information and use year after year? Here is another very honest moment: I do not preview every book. I do not think of higher level thinking questions for every book. I do not think of the Tier 2 vocabulary that I should focus on for every book. Imagine if I could change that as the years go by. Imagine if I could create this growing resource and eventually have a plan for each book I read aloud! The thought kind of blows my mind.
How do you feel about the way you plan? Do you need to save a post-it note’s life? You can find this plan book at my TPT store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Plan-Book-1924786
Check out some other amazing blogs and giveaways here!