There are many ways to keep track of lesson plans, but my favorite took me a few years to perfect. I separate the ideas of “lesson plans” and “scheduling” when I think about lesson plan books. I cannot keep my lesson plans in a book. My lesson plans are strictly electronic files. When I refer to my plan book, it’s the schedule I keep of when I plan to teach each lesson. I don’t think writing down a few sentences in a little box is sufficient for effective lesson planning.
I have crafted my plan book over several years and last year was my favorite version. The first year, I printed the pages I needed and kept them in a three-ring binder. It allowed me to try a format for a few weeks, tweak it, and then print the next set of templates. This worked wonderfully, but I don’t love keeping my plan book in a three-ring notebook. It’s great for adding pages to, but easy to lose pages from it.
In the past few years I’ve been doing more spiral binding at my local Office Depot. It usually costs about $3 to have a notebook of 75 pages or so bound together. It’s much more manageable for me than a three-ring binder.
Here’s what I will put in my plan book this year:
- Generic Weekly Schedule (I put in a file folder flap and tape the schedule down so that I can see it at the same time I’m looking at the other weekly calendar pages)
- AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
- Projected Pacing Guide (printed in mini)
- Tips for writing ELL Language Objectives
- District calendar
- Weekly Calendars for the entire year
- To Do lists for the year (copied to the reverse of the calendar template)
- Generic annual Calendar (my favorite are the Yearly School Calendars from Calendar Lab)
- Blank Team Planning Notes (I use these at every meeting I sit down in to keep track of how I can contribute)
There are many other things I could include in my book, but I’m careful about it getting too large to carry between school and home.
- Bulletin Board plan
- Library tools for collection development, weeding, inventory, purchasing, etc.
- Professional Development log
- Substitute Tips
- Passwords list (I don’t recommend writing personal ones down, but keeping a list of school subscriptions can be helpful)
I have my plan book calendar and lists available at TeachersPayTeachers. It’s not the fanciest file in the world, but it gets the job done for me and it might be what you are looking for!