We’re two weeks into the new year. Are you feeling organized?
Planning and organization can make life so much easier. I map out lesson plans (and my life stuff too) using the Top Notch Teaching Lesson Plan Templates.
Start with a big picture overview and break your year down to a quarter, a month, and then your daily schedule.
Get organized in your classroom
Take some time to organize your space. Being able to find what you need reduces stress and saves time!
Here’s three tips to get you started:
1. Get rid of things you don’t love.
One of the best ways to reduce clutter and make it easier to find things is to get rid of what you don’t use. If your binding machine doesn’t really work, it’s time for it to go. If your students never use a certain puzzle or game, make room for the ones that everyone wants to play.
2. Store things logically.
If things never get put away because you’re always pulling them out, maybe they need a more accessible home. If you use something only once a year, put it in a more out of the way cabinet.
3. Set up an outbox.
Yes, we have an influx of papers, but we also have things that need to move out of the classroom. Have a system to keep things moving out so they don’t stagnate and build up clutter (or end up being late).
Get your year organized
Before you try to plan out your week or day, get an overview of the whole year. Block out holidays and breaks. Map out key topics and themes. Jot down schoolwide activities and key assessments.
Get organized by breaking it down
Once you have mapped out key events in the year, start narrowing your focus to the quarter or next 90-days. Use this planning stage to sort out long-term assignments or map out longer units. I’ve set up different views to help you break it down this way.
Once your quarter is set up, figure out how to get all your lessons, objectives, and assessments in month by month.
We’re starting to get into the details now. Your weekly plan really helps guide you, but those weekly plans are more effective when they are set up as part of a bigger plan. You can do an overview of the week, with checklists for each day, notes, a daily review, and a box for anything essential that you need to highlight.
Your daily checklist is how you actually get things done. This is the spot for things that may not go into your planner: calls you need to make, activity sheets you need to print, etc.
And checking things off a list is incredibly satisfying. Pro tip to help you check more off your list: Assign a time to each task.
Your action step for today?
Plan ahead for resources!
I’ve put together more than 200 of my popular phonics and literacy resources including:
- Lesson Plans
- Teaching Tools and Posters
- Teacher Reference Material
You’ll find it all in the Top Notch Literacy Club. This membership gives you instant access to more than 200 resources — and at least 5 resources are added monthly.
All resources align with the research based approach used by the Science of Reading. And can easily be differentiated for students at different levels.
Phonics lesson planning for the new school year just got easier — and it stays easy throughout the year with your phonics scope and sequence to guide you and done for you resources in the Top Notch Teaching Literacy Club.