Many of our friends in the US will be heading back to school soon, and as much as we like a break, having the first month of school planned out makes that first month a whole lot easier.
I’m a big fan of big-picture planning funneling down to more focused lesson plans. I highly recommend taking a look at the whole school year as you plan your first month of school. And once you have the month mapped out, break it down to weekly lesson plans and tasks.
But let’s take a closer look at the first month of school.
The first month of school – 3 planning approaches
There are lots of ways to plan out the first month of school (or any month for that matter). The best way is the way that works for you.
Month at a glance including weekends
Do you like to take weekends into account when you are planning?
While I always encourage teachers to really take some time off, the reality is that many of us use weekend time for projects, such as lesson planning, grading, materials development, shopping for things we need for the classroom.
The other benefit of having weekends show up in your lesson planning calendar is that you can take into account things that are happening in your life when you consider the following week. For example, if you are going away for the weekend, you’ll need to make sure any prep you are doing outside of school hours is done before the weekend. And if you simply like a holistic look at your work and home life, you get that when you include weekends.
Mark the first day of school and any beginning of the year assemblies, meetings or events. Are you starting the year with benchmarking assessments? Block those out. What else do you know has to happen? Get that on the calendar so you can see where your time blocks lie to help you plan out your lessons.
Monthly outline with weekly task list
One of the challenges of planning your first month of school on a monthly view is that there isn’t a lot of room for details. That’s why I like to outline the month and then go into detail with a weekly calendar. Having a task list attached to your monthly view can help too.
As with a month at a glance, add any key events you know happen at a certain time. Then do a brain dump of tasks you need to do for the month. These could be specific to your first month of school lesson plans or they could be other things you want to accomplish in the month. As you go further in your planning, your to-dos can get assigned to specific days.
The monthly checklist can be used to track assessments administered in different months. It can be used to show when you cover different skills or standards. You could also use it to track any tasks that repeat monthly. It’s just one more tool to keep you on track during your first month of school — and the rest of the year.
Get ready for the first month of school
It’s time to get ready for the first month of school (Already started? It’s never too late to plan!) Start by getting any essentials for back to school. Get some new activities to help start the year off right. And absolutely make a plan.
Like I said, multi-level planning pays off and taking some time to envision your year, the first quarter, and the whole first month of school – and then breaking it down week by week – will help get you off to a great start.
To make planning a little easier, I’ve created lesson plan templates that are ready to download and print. You get 64 pages containing more than 30 different lesson plans including:
- Yearly planners
- Quarterly planners
- Monthly planners
- Weekly planners
Get your first month of school and beyond planned out and get ready for a great year with these planning tools >> Lesson Plan Templates