I thought I would give you a little glimpse into what I do
for lesson planning each year.My first
year of teaching I started by writing my lesson plans on a store bought lesson
plan book.When I realized how much work
it would be year after year writing and rewriting each week’s lesson plans I
decided to take things digital!
I created this lesson plan template in Microsoft Word so I could open it up and
work on my lesson plans at work or at home - since both of my computers had the
Office software on them.I created
multiple text boxes and sized them into what I needed for my daily schedule. (Each year I sometimes have to refigure my
text boxes depending on my schedule and what I am adding to my day.)
The thought of retyping lesson plans and starting from
scratch year after year makes me cringe.So I save my lesson plans on my computer on a week by week basis.That way each year I can copy, paste, move,
add, delete, etc. instead of retyping.Here is a look at what my lesson plan files look like saved on my
Displaying My Lesson Plans
I print and place each weeks lesson plans in clear plastic sleeves. Then I store them in a 1" binder. I have placed my 1" binder on a plate stand and have it on my desk for easy viewing!
Thinking back to my first year teaching I remember how
helpful it would be just to see a first grade teacher’s weekly lesson
plans.I thought it would be so helpful
to see what lessons to teach, what time to teach them, etc.So I decided to upload my weekly lesson plans
here.Hopefully someone will find them
Click HERE to download my weekly lesson plans for FREE on my TpT store!
(I will be adding the rest of my weekly lesson plans as the school year continues.)
Yearly Outline Curriculum Maps
The district that I work in provides teachers with a math
curriculum outline that lays out each weeks/days math lessons that are to be
taught at that time.
I saw how helpful it was to have a yearly look and
perspective on things.It helps to know
if you are on track, behind, or ahead of the game with your lessons.It was so helpful that I decided that I
needed to make my own Language Arts curriculum outline for each year. This week by week look into the curriculum really helps me coordinate my lessons together. I try to align certain lessons together. For example, my reading series story, phonics lessons, and spelling lessons are similar in what new skill is being introduced.
I usually work and prepare my curriculum outline map during
the summer months in preparation for the upcoming school year.It helps by giving me a general overview on
what I am teaching each week.It also
helps me stay on track with my lessons and make sure I get everything covered
When Common Core was implemented and I saw how much
writing was stressed I made my own writing lesson curriculum outline as well. You can view my writing curriculum and outline HERE.
I look at all my curriculum outlines each week as I type up
my weekly lesson plans to make sure I am on track and covering everything that
I need to! :)
Click HERE to download the lesson plan and curriculum outline maps on my TpT store!
I decided to share a little glimpse into how I put together
my Parent/Teacher conferences each year!
First, I start out by sending home this parent/teacher
conference request form.
When the parents return this form requesting a parent/teacher
conference I schedule their conference and send home an appointment notice
letting them know the day and time their conference is set for.
I also send home this parent questions and concerns form.This really helps me make sure I am not caught
off guard by any questions the parents might have and make sure I have all the resources
available to answer their questions during their conference time.
Before conferences I put together a folder for each child that has all the
information, paperwork, etc. that I am going to discuss during conferences with
Each folder has….
...a benchmark note that explains to the parents the different tests and data we
use to measure how a child is performing academically.It explains the data and where a first grader
should be at this point in the school year.It also lists how their child is performing at this time.
...Printable reports such as their child’s Accelerated Reader
reading report, STAR Reading level report, report card, etc.
...An evaluation of how their child’s work habits and behaviors
are at school.
...Handouts and ideas on how they can help their child at
home.This might include sight word
practice pages, handwriting practice pages, math fact practice, reading fluency pamphlet, writing prompts, non-sense word practice, syllable count practice, etc.
During conferences I set out this bulletin board outside my
classroom door.This bulletin board has
helpful information for parents to read while they are waiting for their
conference time.The bulletin board
includes handouts and practice pages they can take home to help their child at
home.Many parents want to help their
child at home, but just don’t know how.These handouts and practice pages give the parents easy ways to help at
Click HERE to download my Parent/Teacher conference forms,
bulletin board, and practice pages on my TpT store!
I was super bummed when I found out
at the beginning of the school year that I had to turn my iPad back in to the
school.Since our school only has 10
iPads the teachers have to share the iPads between each other every year.I was really upset that I was losing my iPad
because I had planned to have one of my literacy centers be an iPad learning
center.On my drive home from work I
couldn't help but think, “What in the
world am I going to do for that center now?!?!"Then it hit me! I could use my old iPhone
that was sitting in a drawer somewhere. All I had to do was erase all the stuff
on that old phone, download some learning apps, then I could have my center
idea back! Not only that, but I asked my mom and brother if I could have their old
Now instead of the students having to share the iPad between each other –
they now have their own iPhone with the learning games!The iPhones don’t even need wifi for the
students to play the games.I just
download all the apps from home.Not
only do the students LOVE to go to this center – but it works as an awesome
center.The students are actively
engaged the entire time and they are learning the whole time.This really helps while I am reading
one-on-one or with a small group of students during the literacy center
rotations.I don’t have to worry about
the students at this center.They stay
quiet and engaged the entire time! J
Here is how I cleaned off my old
phones to get them ready for my students:
Click on SETTINGS – GENERAL – RESET
Then, click on ERASE ALL CONTENT AND
After I erased all the content and
settings I put all those extra apps that my students don’t need to click on in
a folder labeled Misc.I sent that
folder to the last screen page on the iPhone.When I was teaching this center to my students I made it a rule that the
students cannot click on anything but games – or else they would lose their
iPhone game privileges.
Next, I added restrictions to the iPhone. This
will make it where the students cannot click on apps, such as Safari, YouTube,
etc. that would not be appropriate for them.
To turn on these restrictions click on SETTINGS –
GENERAL – RESTRICTIONS.
Click on ENABLE RESTRICTIONS
Then turn off any apps you do not want the
students to have access to.It will even
remove the app from the home screen.I
turned off Safari, YouTube, camera, location, and mail accounts off.If your school has WiFi – I would make sure
to turn off iTunes after you have downloaded your apps.
Since my old phones were 3G’s it was a little
more difficult to find apps for these phones.Not all apps are compatible for this old of a phone.But with a little bit of searching I found
plenty of apps that would work.I made
sure that all three phones had the exact same apps so there would not be any
fighting over the phones!
Every year I always search the internet for a cute, simple
craft for a gift during our Grandparent’s night.Every year my search for the perfect Grandparent’s
Day craft ends up in a loss.So this
year I decided to make something for my students to create for a Grandparent’s
Day gift.Since Grandparent’s night
always happens during the first couple weeks of school – it’s hard to fit in a
lot of time for extra crafts with our busy schedules.So these crafts are super easy and
For this craft the students just stamp their handprint and sign their name.I of course supply a picture that I took of them during the first day of school.You could also just have your students draw and color a picture of themselves in that box as well.
I tape the handprint on the paper so it folds open as if it were blowing a kiss and the message "Blowing lots of kisses your way!" is revealed....
For this craft the student just stamp their handprint, sign their name, and write their age.
always like to have two crafts sitting on each student's desk during Grandparent’s Night
because so many of my students have two sets of grandparents that show up for
Grandparent’s night.I would hate for
only one set of grandparents to leave with a special gift.
Click HERE to download my Grandparent's Day crafts from my TpT store!
For this new school year I decided I needed to come up with a
plan for when I have students that are absent.In the past I would always forget to gather the work and handouts that
they missed.I would be scrambling at
the last minute trying to gather work for when the student returned to school
or a parent came at the end of the day to pick up their child’s missed work.So this year to help make getting work
together for my absent students I have made “absent folders”.When a student is absent, I place the “absent
folder” on their desk.Throughout the
day as I pass out worksheets, handouts, etc. I have the student that sits next to
that child put the work in the “absent folder.”When the student returns to school, I send the “absent folder” home with
them.The student then takes the folder
home and completes their missed work.When their work is completed they return it in the folder.It’s super simple and saves me so much time!
Here is what my Absent Folders look like!
Here is a look inside my folders. I have a "Missed Work" and a "Keep at Home" pocket with instructions.
You can't just have one! :)
Click HERE to download my Absent Folders from my TpT Store!
Last year my Wish List apples were a big hit! I had many parents leaving Open House with an apple that had an item to donate to our classroom. This year I decided to spruce up my Wish List Apple idea! Instead of just laying the apples out on the table, I took my Wish List Apples and transformed them into a Wish List Apple Tree! The best part of the Apple Tree was it cost me nothing to make it!! I just used an old pot that I had stuffed in a closet, sticks I found in the neighborhood park, and old flower arrangement Styrofoam and moss. I hole punched each apple and hung them on the tree! Now my parents can pick the item they would like to donate off of the tree!
Click HERE to download my Wish List Apples from my TpT Store!