Are you a planner? I couldn’t get through the week without a good lesson plan. Having a really dialed in lesson plan for the week makes everything go more smoothly, but I’ve learned that a good weekly lesson plan requires more than just looking at the week.
Each individual lesson plan has lots of details, but when you start with a broader view and work down you get something really cohesive—and you know that you’ll cover all the things you need to cover.
Now is a great time to focus on planning to set up your year. Look back at what worked last year and what didn’t. Make notes about new standards you need to cover or ways that new scheduling will affect how you block time. Think about recurring meetings, conferences, assessments and report cards, and anything else that happens throughout the year.
Then start breaking it down.
Lesson plan breakdown
The Topnotch Teaching Lesson Plan Templates help you break it down. To help you get organized and stay organized, you get:
- Yearly planners
- Quarterly planners
- Monthly planners
- Weekly planners
With these, you can start big and work down to a weekly plan, while making sure that tasks, and necessary reminders, don’t get lost along the way.
Get the big picture with yearly planners
Map out your year. Include breaks or holidays. Identify topics or themes that will affect your lesson plans. Add in school wide activities, training, and key assessments. But don’t stop there. Think about any significant events you have going on in your life outside of school. This overview will help you map out the rest of the year as you get more detailed.
With the templates, you can put the whole year on one page, use two pages to give more space for planning or set up checklists for each month of the year.
Fine tune with quarterly lesson plans
You’ll need more detail than you can get in a view of the year, so start some quarterly lesson planning. Quarterly lesson plans are useful to help you make sure assignments and projects can be done by a certain date, such as before a break or so they don’t interrupt a unit that needs to happen at a certain time of year. Plot out when you want a unit or assignment to end. Then work backward to identify other key dates in your lesson plan.
The quarterly lesson plan template pages allow you to track appointments and meetings, lessons and assignments. This is also a great place to map out different units and skills to cover. You can view three months on one page in the 12-week view or look at each month on a page broken down into traditional quarters (January–March, April–June, July–September, October–December).
Go deeper with monthly lesson plans
We have a yearly plan and quarterly lesson plans. Now it’s time to think month by month. Do you like to think just about the school week? There’s a lesson plan template for that. It provides space to add check-off lists for tasks you don’t want to forget. If you want to think about your weekends too, try the template that includes weekends in the view.
Set up a weekly lesson plan
It’s time for the specific details. This is where you really look at what happens each day. That said, if you skipped to this level of planning, I encourage you to go back. My weeks tend to work best when I make a lesson plan that is guided by my bigger picture plan.
There are a lot of ways to set up your weekly lesson plans, and I use different formats at different times depending on my needs or what is working at a specific time of the year. Some options include:
- Creating an overview of the week with checklists and notes for each day. I like to include a daily review to see how things went or if there are any changes to carry over to another day. I also leave space for any essentials I need to draw attention to.
- Creating a week’s worth of lessons focused by subject.
- Creating a detailed weekly schedule with meetings, appointments, and lessons set to specific times.
Now is a great time to do some of your big picture planning, so that when the start of school rolls around, you can get into the details and set yourself up for a strong year, one month and one week at a time.
Lesson plan templates
Ready to get planning? The Topnotch Teaching printable Lesson Plan Templates pack provide the resources you need to make lesson plans and so much more. Plan out your whole year and then break it down to the level of detail you need. There are more than 30 different lesson plan templates (64 pages) in the pack including yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly planning pages; checklists; and assessment tracking forms.
Note that these templates are designed to be printed and cannot be edited. Even if you do most of your scheduling on your computer or phone, there is something about writing it down on paper that helps you fit the pieces together. Plus, if you have your plans laid out in a binder, you’re ready if anybody needs to cover your lessons.
Pick the templates that suit your needs the most, print them, bind them for durability and you’re ready to go.
Get your Lesson Plan Template pack here >> Lesson Plan Templates.