How much planning do you do each week?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teachings4Me, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jan 23, 2011

    As a new teacher, I feel like planning practically consumes my life. Also, as a new teacher, I knew this was to be expected. I'm not complaining, I'm just wondering how long until it gets easier and less time consuming?

    Here are my questions for you:
    How much time does planning take for you each week?
    When do you do most of your planning? At school, evenings, weekends...?
    How far in advance do you plan?
    Any tips for us newbies? ;)

    :thanks:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 23, 2011

    At this point in my career, it takes next to no time. And the bulk of the time I DO spend is over the summer.

    If I have a relatively new prep (translation: I haven't taught it since I quit in 2000 to be a SAHM) I spend serious time over the summer pulling together some pretty comprehensive notes. I also rough out a pacing guide for myself every summer.

    Weekly planning takes just a few minutes. It's always fluid, but I can rough out what I want to teach by looking at that pacing guide.

    As to advice: KNOW YOUR MATERIAL!!!! It's so much easier to teach when you're absolutely solid about what you're doing, when you can anticipate where they'll go wrong.
     
  4. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    Jan 23, 2011

    I am really lucky to have the team I do! We all plan one subject. I am planning math and typically I might spend an hour or so a week putting plans together. If I have materials I usually have a mom helper that can get them together for me. Again, I am really fortunate!

    Can you work with your team to plan, or do you all do your own thing?
     
  5. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2011

    How much time does planning take for you each week?
    I probably take about 1-2 hours each week planning, although, it may be longer. It seems if I have nothing going on, I am always looking on the computer for stuff to do.
    When do you do most of your planning? At school, evenings, weekends...?Sundays have always been my lesson planning/paper grading days. However, I have recently gotten into the habit of planning a little bit each day of the week for the next week.
    How far in advance do you plan? I use my curriculum maps to plan, so I always know what I will be teaching during the nine weeks. I only plan one week at a time, because inevitably something always comes up and I don't get through all I had planned. This is especially true in my social studies classes. We only have 1/2 hour a day of social studies, and for one reason or another we always only get through half of what I planned for the week. Makes easier to plan for the next week, though!
    Any tips for us newbies? Make sure you take time for yourself and your family. This is my fourth year. My first two years (in two different grade levels) were the hardest. Last year wasn't so bad (my second time in a grade level) and this year is the easiest. I have made a conscious effort this year to not bring home work during the week. It is nice to just come home and be with my family.
     
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Jan 23, 2011

    My first few years teaching, I spent several hours on Sunday preparing for the coming week. It really took an enormous amount of time, and I had it hanging over me the whole weekend.

    Now I am pretty much able to get the actual lessons planned in school, as I try to utilize every minute of my daily 50 minute planning period. The only work I will take home is grading (and I try to keep that at a minimum).
    It works, because I do my planning in a staggered way. For example, I'll spend my planning period for a couple of days planning my next math unit. Then, the next couple of days, I'll spend my planning period planning my social studies unit, etc.

    I am also able to do this because I have been in the same grade level for several years, so while I don't always teach the material the same way, I know the material very well and am familiar with the objectives/assessments, and it doesn't take me a long time to come up with ideas for activities (though I do vary them, as well as the way I present the material.) I have learned that for some subjects (social studies and science) it pays for me to write out my lesson plans specifically, but for reading/language, I keep the materials/worksheets and come up with new activities the week/day before I teach the lesson.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jan 23, 2011

    I've been teaching almost 10 years and still spend several hours a week planning. Our curriculum expectations change year to year and how the kids respond to the objectives change. I have some old standby activities-but I do new lesson plans every week. I try to do some each night (our plans are due Friday morning for the next week), but a bulk of it I'll do on the weekend when I can sit down and search for ideas.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 23, 2011

    It only takes me about 10-15 minutes to plan each week. It is the prepping that takes me forever. I have about 3-4 different levels for each subject that I teach and I hate having to get all of the material together. My school pretty well supplied me with nothing, so if I don't have it, then I spend all of my time on the internet searching for material. I think I spend anywhere from 2-5 hours prepping for each week.
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jan 23, 2011

    My first year I spent about 30 minutes a day planning (outside of planning that occurred while students were there).
    It is now about an hour a day between the prep time we get and before school. Some planning is also done after school or occassionally during lunch (trying to eliminate that). But I sort of combine plan/prep time as the same thing.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jan 23, 2011

    It varies. For the past few years, I haven't had all that much to do because I'm teaching the same grade level with the same standards. I've only had to change a few things here and there for the specific needs of the kids.

    Next year I'll be super busy because we're switching to the new common core standards.

    So, pretty much I'm really busy when we get new standards, and not that much otherwise. Most of the time I can get my planning for the week done on Sunday afternoons.
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jan 23, 2011

    I'm a new teacher and I spend an enormous amount of time planning. Now, when I say planning, I also mean coming up with tests, quizzes, and my own worksheets.

    I read through each chapter in the social studies textbooks and make a very detailed outline of what I want to focus on. Then I look through all the supplimental materials as well as my own materials and decide what I want to use and what I need to create. I also come up with activities, assignments, and projects to go with the unit. I then put it all in a spreadsheet which includes standards and objectives, materials, bellringer assignements, and homework assignments. This all takes, no joke, about 10-12 hours or more. I teach two grade levels so I have to do this for EACH. However, these are my plans for usually 3-4 weeks. Each week, I just plug the plans into my online lesson plan program, tweaking them as necessary. This only take about 20 minutes.

    I sometimes think I must be doing something wrong that I spend so much time on all this but I can't figure out how else to do it.
     
  12. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jan 24, 2011

    I do not spend much time doing actual "planning" after 9 years. A little more because I have only been in this school 2 years and that changes things a little.

    However, I spend more and more time formatting the plans the way admin wants them, in this or that format, LFS, Word Wall, KUD, etc. I don't consider that real planning.

    For a newbie, I would suggest creating binders and writing down or typing a log of what you do every day. You could also write in red what didn't work and in another color what went really well. That way, next year you remember exactly what you did. My first year teaching, I assumed that when I looked back at my worksheets and materials, I would remember what I did, but that wasn't always the case. And sometimes I would have to cut out really fun activities because I just forgot about them and didn't plan for them.
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2011

    I'm very lucky that our administration allows us to format our plans however we want them. I know most people type theirs, but I find it much easier to hand write them. I use a lot of check boxes: for assessment, individual differences, and for one subject GLEs. I have the things I always do copied onto my format: journals, etc. so it saves me time writing them out for each lesson. Another thing that helps is having only 2 preps and being on block schedule, so I'm only planning 6 lessons a week. But when I taught kindergarten, it took hours to plan things. Even then, my plans were mostly fill-in-the-blank and check lists, which saved so much time! Look at your format and see if that's contributing to how long it takes you.
     
  14. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Jan 24, 2011

    Nope, you are doing the right thing...and next year and the years after that, you will have a wonderful resource in all that material that you prepared this year - and next year won't take as long in planning time, and the year after that even less. The first years of teaching are the hardest, and each class that is new to you will probably take as much planning as you are doing now, but you will feel better and be much more efficient in your planning the next time you teach that class.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jan 24, 2011

    How much time does planning take for you each week? Maybe 8-10 hours?
    When do you do most of your planning? At school, evenings, weekends...? I stay later one day a week after school, and then I come in on Sundays for about 4-6 hours.
    How far in advance do you plan? I plan for the following week. I have an idea of what I'll be doing for a few weeks out, but I don't actually type it up until the week before.
    Any tips for us newbies? Nope, I'm fairly new, too! :)

    I should also add that I don't do anything exactly the same from one year to the next. I'll use ideas, but I rarely do things the same time of year. It all depends on the needs of my current students. Each year has been a different pace.
     
  16. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Jan 24, 2011

    How much time does planning take for you each week? probably around 10 hours

    When do you do most of your planning? I come in on Saturday between 4-8 hours (depending on the week)...I really try to keep Sunday free and not take home stuff during the week night..everyone's different, but I'd rather give up a weekend day rather than stay late at school during the weeknights

    How far in advance do you plan? I plan for the following week. We have curriculum maps, so I would like to plan ahead, but something else always takes precedence....

    Any tips for us newbies? I'm in the same boat..
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 24, 2011

    I spend about 3 to 5 hours one day a week (usually Sunday). After that, my plans are done for the entire week, so I really don't have anything else to do.
     
  18. nasirahc83

    nasirahc83 Companion

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    Jan 26, 2011

    I am a first year teacher as well and I probably spend about five hours in week planning but no more than six. I stay late twice a week to plan and also get use my planning period. I get to work early each day and I am in the habit of making copies on weeek in advance so I really don't need to spend each day making copies for the next day. I guess as us first year teachers grow the less planning time we will need.
     
  19. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jan 30, 2011

    Well thanks for sharing everyone. I wish we had the option to go in on weekends. I don't think I'd do it every week, but it would be nice to have the option... and then to leave work AT WORK! Work is currently at school, at home, all over my computer desk, in the spare bedroom and on my living room floor. I've condensed it mostly to this spare bedroom and that's helped a little... I'm still trying to get in the habit of grading the papers from each day at school, but I've gotten a little off with that.... I hope it'll all be easier next year!
     

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