who plans on a weekly basis? i need your help

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by traeh, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. traeh

    traeh Companion

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    Apr 6, 2008

    I always try to plan for the entire week but due to being a perfectionist, I end up planning day-to-day, because then I know what I got to and what needs to be transferred to the next day. Then I can add activities accordingly. However, I hate having to make copies the day of the lesson and want to start planning weekly so that I can make copies for the week and not feel on edge the night before each school day.

    For those of you that plan weekly.. how do you do it?
     
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  3. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    It gets easier the longer you teach. I've got a pretty good feel for what I can get accomplished in a week, and plan accordingly. I always have a back-up activity in case things run short, and if I don't get to everything, I don't get to everything.

    If the activity I didn't get to is critical, I'll modify and adjust, but it doesn't happen often. :)

    To get to this point, I use my timer. If I'm giving a lecturette, I decide for how long I'll talk and use a timer. I practice at home if necessary. If I'm giving a classwork assignment, I'll set a timer. Unfinished work is homework. Of course, if I've seriously underestimated the time something will take I adjust but what I've found is that if students use their time wisely, they can get finished.

    In short, you can use a timer to keep yourself on track but you can still remain flexible to your students needs. After using the timer for awhile you will develope your own "feel" for how long things will take and that will greatly assist your planning.
     
  4. BeccaK

    BeccaK Companion

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    Apr 6, 2008

    Also, it is important to remember that there is always tomorrow. If you absolutely cannot get something in that is critical then simply push things back a day. I know with our curriculum there are a decent amount of "catch up" days towards the end of the year where there is nothing specifically stated in the guides.

    I agree with ancient...timers have definitely helped me get on track and make sure that I get the most out of my day. Another good thing that I am trying to do is ask veteran teachers how long certain tasks generally take their students. This way I know about how much time to plan for each topic.

    Although things still go wrong and, as a new teacher, I am always rearranging my plans for the week....I have noticed things improving drastically. I only started in February and I can honestly say that I have reached a point to where I have a decent feel for how to plan.

    I guess the best advice is not to get upset if things don't go as planned...take your time and keep at it and it will come. (or at least thats what I keep telling myself.)
     
  5. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2008

    I plan a week at a time and write it in pencil!! I do make slight adjustments if I don't finish something but as the other said, my timing has improved with over time.
    I do know teachers who have the whole year planned out but of course they've been doing it for years.....I don't think I'll ever get to that point!
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Plan more activities/lessons than you think you will need. Go ahead and prepare those lessons that are crucial. The rest you can pick and choose depending on the time slot you have available. If you have to hold a lesson over until the next day, that's okay.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I can usually plan without having to adjust too much. One thing I do is to let them finish things as morning work the next day if they need to and have them practice writing words or a story on the white boards as they finish things up. You can also leave a little room on Friday (write it as Review -- on lessons) to complete tasks, or you can actually use the time to review. If you really can't think of a thing to review, you can always read a really great book that you wouldn't usually have time to read.
     
  8. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    I plan weekly, but copy daily! I think it is something that goes along with for. language. For example, for just my advanced class this week I have to copy a subjunctive worksheet for them for Monday. I will do that Monday morning when I get to school. Tuesday we are going to listen to ojala que llueva cafe en el campo but I am not sure that the website I want to use (it has lots of practice activities to go with the song) will run on my school's computer. So I won't be able to know that until Monday, which means I won't copy the song lyrics until Monday afternoon at the earliest when I have my prep. Then Wednesday they are going to be working on a commercial for a new product to help the environment but I have to make up the rubric. I don't have time to do the rubric today so I will probably make it up Tuesday so I will copy it Tuesday. And I have five other classes to make copies for! I would have to do so much work on the weekend to be prepared ahead of time! And to make it worse my middle school students (7/8 graders) have finished their textbooks! Gee, I am efficient. What about the next eight weeks? Yikes!
     
  9. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    I plan weekly. The way I'm able to be flexible and change things frequently is that I plan entire units ahead. I keep all my work for each week in colored file folders in my filing cabinet. (Each subject is a color and each day of the week has every subject.) Behind my "weekly folders" I have extra folders for each subject where I keep extra lessons and activities.

    About a week before I am going to start a new unit (apples, polar animals, insects, etc.) I find everything I want to use in that unit...all papers, worksheets, manipulatives, etc....and I copy and prepare everything I need for the entire unit. (It does mean at times I leave the copy room with extreme amounts of paper, but usually I'm prepared for the next several months.) Then in my classroom, I go through all the activities and lessons and put them in the order that I want to teach them to the class. I then stick the entire unit (with notes of when I need manipulatives, etc.) in my "social studies" or "science" file folder in my filing cabinet. When I'm planning for the week, I look at the activities closest to the front (beginning of the unit) and put those into my lesson plans. I then file each lesson/activity into the appropriate subject & day of the week folder.

    If a lesson/activity takes longer than I expect or I don't get to it (or even if it goes faster than expected), I simply shift the activities back/forward a day and put the extras into my extra subject folder, ensuring they'll be included in my next lesson plans.

    I hope that makes sense! I can picture the system in my head but I don't know how well I described it. :mellow:
     
  10. Ms. Geography

    Ms. Geography Comrade

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    Weekly plans

    I am required to submit weekly lesson plans to my principal on Sunday evening via email. I've always had to have weekly plans and wouldn't know any other way of doing things. I preview my material on Sunday just before making out my plans. This allows me to judge how much time I'll need for each lesson and how much time I need to get so that students are able to complete assignments in class. I teach 7th grade and usually make my copies starting on Monday morning; sometimes if I'm really organized I have my Monday copies ready on the previous Friday. Adjustments always have to be made and since my plans are typed I just pen in those things that I need or want to change.
     
  11. historyguy79

    historyguy79 Rookie

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    I just type up the main things I need to accomplish every week. Absolutly no one looks at my lesson plans, so maybe that's why I don't stress about it too much. But usually I'm spot on. I know how much I'll lecture, how long students will be doing work, and what kinds of things I want to do. Usually the first 2-3 days of the week are solid, the last 2 or so a little weaker and I may add things in then depending on the flow of the class throughout the week.

    Usually it goes well though and I don't need to change much from what I make on Sunday.
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Apr 6, 2008

    When I was ST in 2nd grade, my CT used a lot of arrows in her lesson plans, as well as a highlighter. She'd do her weekly plans, but she'd highlight lessons she actually taught. Anything that we didn't finish one day got "arrowed" over to the next day, and so forth. Depending on time, we'd combine the assignments, drop one, or just push the next one back. So when we'd do the following week's plans, we'd automatically move over whatever from the previous week that hadn't gotten finished. We asked subs to highlight the things they were able to cover, also. It really helped.

    We did spelling pre-tests first thing Monday morning to assign their lists for the week (normal, advanced, or review). So during their AM special, we'd make all the copies for spelling that we needed for the week (list to go home plus 2 practice sheets). Other subjects, we'd have worksheets, etc. made when we planned to get to them, but could always keep them for the next day if something else ran over.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 6, 2008

    We have to be 100% planned for the week on Monday.

    I am a first year teacher, and I am usually 2-3 weeks planned at all times. I usually plan a whole chapter/unit at once, so I know the big picture. So, for example, if I have a math test on Thursday, I will have the whole next chapter planned- a good week and a half to two weeks.
    If you flip in my plan book for next week (not the one starting tomorrow), I have one day of math planned, the whole week for science and reading and 3 days of social studies.
    I then review everything that I am teaching that morning and sometimes modify things.

    Of course, I think that the grade level makes a difference. I teach 5th but ST 1st. I could never be this far ahead in 1st. I usually was ahead in reading and that was it.
     
  14. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I am planned out through April for a few of my classes, others I am lucky if I know what I am doing tomorrow. When I get a big picture of a unit in my head I write it down with all activities and topics to discuss and then I fill in my lesson book. I am fortunate to make my own objectives for the most part so I do kind of fly by the seat of my pants.

    At the same time, I do need to have consistency and an end goal so planning out at least on cycle in advance is really nice to do. I usually start my copies as I plan the lessons and label them with post-its in file folders. We need to turn our copies in at least 48 hrs in advance and can't do our own so that helps keep me on track. Likewise, I don't have to turn in lesson plans, but I am sure if I was asked what I was teaching I would be expected to know and show my plans.
     
  15. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Apr 6, 2008

    I am required to turn lesson plans in every Monday after school. I plan for the week---usually on Thursday of the week before. I have my entire weekend free, know what I need to push into the following week and so I can copy things that haven't already been copied (and leave at 3:30 on Friday!!!)

    I'm kinda crazy about photocpoying. I copy materials for whole units at a time and file them in colored bins according to subject..so if I need to go ahead I can, or if I need more time, no biggie. I took all the workbooks (LA, math, religion) and ripped them apart so I have chapters stapled and filed, ready to pull.

    But I admit I still need to pencil in some things tomorrow...so nothing's perfect!
     
  16. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Apr 6, 2008

    I am still trying to make my plans for a week or more, and never seems to get past one day. The plans I make for the next day are pretty through, I have the warm up question, the exact activities I am going to use, worksheets, lecture notes etc.

    Can someone (middle school or high school preferably) give an example of what you have in your plans for a week. Some of the advice is really good, but general I think specific plans will help the OP but others who are reading this thread too. Thanks!
     
  17. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2008

    I try to plan for the week..sometimes I get in two weeks (once I had 3 weeks!!!) We don't have to turn in any lesson plans, just have them ready or an outline, in case someone wants to see it. When we are eval. most usually will give them what we are doing or at least run off the notes jotted down in our plan book. I usually have in my book written something like ..

    Begin notes (chapter/subject) or continue notes from (chapter/subject). I'll write in the journal entry questions, if I remember or may just put journal entry pg # (that means I'm using a question from the book or modified version. I'll put down if we are watching a video or doing a project. If it comes from the book, I put the page number. I've also highlighted or checkmarked things I've finished. Usually each class gets done with what we are doing, first period is generally a bit slower because its early and they are asleep; my 5th period is slower, somewhat just cause they are rowdy and it takes longer to get them to hush.
     
  18. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Apr 7, 2008

  19. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2008

    My plans are similar to historyguy's. I usually have Monday's packed, and then use the rest of the days on the lesson plans as a guide. It has definitely gotten easier to plan as the year has progressed. The first semester I was teaching, I was planning day-to-day...that was stressful.
     

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