Monday, June 1, 2015

DIY Lesson Plan Book

We have an in-school printing business; however, I'm sure any copy center could put your lesson plan book together for you.

One colleague formats every page of her book and sends it to our printing business.  I did that last year, but this year I sketched a general idea of what I was looking for, and one of the students developed the pages for me.  I tweaked a few things, changed a few things completely, and told her what I wanted for a cover.  She did a great job and even thought of a few things I hadn't.

The juniors and seniors enrolled in the classes for this printing business do some incredible work under the eye of an outstanding young colleague.  She is super organized, super detail oriented, and super insistent that her students produce quality work.  (And yes, she really is Super Woman!)

Anyway, this is next year's lesson plan book.
I loved the sticky note book from last year, but I switched from card stock pages to a heavy weight paper.  (Not so bulky!) The printing class even has a paper cutter that will cut through an entire pad of sticky notes, so they cut the English class (green) notes to fit my pages. The Speech, Drama, and Forensic notes come in the size I need.
Now, you might be wondering why sticky notes? I like the fact that I can peel them off and stick them to my clipboard and then return them to the page at the end of the day. (My clipboard is my brain.) I love that when our schedule changes, I just have to pull up the note and attach it to a different date. And I especially love being able to write underneath the note if I run out of room or have things I want to remember about that day's lesson.
I handwrite the dates on the weeks of my book.  They could type them in for me, but I knew that made quite a bit more work and wasn't a big deal to me.  I did ask them to put in blank pages to separate the months.  I will add the school calendar for that month. (I reduce the size of the month and glue it in.) The rest of it I use for notes to myself. (Things I don't want to forget, standards that need to be evaluated again, or a student I want to keep an eye on.)
Finally, every month in the Notes column, I had a reminder added to check on my advisory students and how they were doing in classes.  (Something, I frequently forgot to do this past year.)  And I'm sure in another year, I will have several other reminders that I will be adding in the notes columns.
And that's it.  I don't add the sticky notes very far out--usually, just a month at a time.  It keeps me from wrinkling them before the week arrives. (My computer bag gives the book a bit of a work out.) I am going to see if I can get the cover laminated at the beginning of school.  The business kids tell me that adding something or changing something (like the cover), even in the middle of the year, is a snap.

Oh, and you might be wondering about the initials: R W S L on the English page.  That is to remind me that my sophomore English students should be involved in productive reading, writing, speaking, and listening in class- every single day.  (Emphasis on the word productive!)


  1. They can trim post-it notes?! I don't even want to think about how much time I spent using scissors to trim tiny stacks of notes to the right size. Never again!

    1. I just learned that at the end of school, too. Much handier for those seating charts, too!