Heather and I received some very exciting news this past week. Our school will be adding one more desktop computer to our classrooms (we currently only have 2) as well as each teacher will be receiving a laptop. We were jumping with joy when we found out!
Which leads me to my blog post for today. (I am not receiving any compensation for this advertisement) How do you make lesson plans? Do you handwrite them, do you type them on the computer? I would love to see how some of you plan your days and weeks out! Heather and I are lucky to be at a school that does not require us to have our lesson plans submitted early and approved. However at any moment, we need to be prepared to show our lesson plans to an administrator if needed.
Recently, I have been having an ongoing discussion with my husband about emergency sub plans. He has asked me what my emergency sub plans look like and how many days they can be sufficient to get me through, if an actual emergency occurred. As we have been talking about it, I realized that I have emergency sub plans but they are really just "busy work". I don't know about you but if I am going to be out, I want the sub to continue what I have been doing in the classroom. We all know what it is like to return to a classroom after you have been gone. Disaster! So, I began wondering how I could have my lesson plans prepared daily in case of an emergency where I wouldn't be up in the middle of the night typing up plans for a sub to read.
I did some looking around online and discovered a website that allows you to have your lesson plans online. Hmm....I began toying with the idea. I can type faster than handwriting plans and I like the idea of being able to have them available at anytime. PLUS...if I could find a program that was accessible from my iphone or ipad, that would be icing on the cake!
I came across www.planbookedu.com. It is set up like a word document. They had a 14 days trial so I signed up. Immediately, I was in love! I can type in it just like a word document. I can attach files and it has the entire common core linked so each plan you can have the standards that you are teaching. Here is a screenshot of my math plans today. At the top you can see we are teaching time this week. Underneath the standard is my plans for that day.
It also allows you continue a plan for as many days or weeks as you choose! So this is what I did:
I took my current sub plans, you know, the ones that have the minute by minute schedule and directions that you don't need with instructions for each block of the day but want your sub to have. Then I copied and pasted it into the plan book and asked for it to repeat daily until the last day of school. Then I had my entire schedule and important information that a sub would need in every day for the rest of the year. That meant that all I need to do for myself is to type into that template. I might not need that extra stuff, but it is there JUST IN CASE! Here is just a snapshot of two blocks of time in my day.
It saves me time because I can type my plans quickly. The beautiful thing is that at the top of each day, there is the option to print the plans. So if I still wanted a paper copy for the week, I could have it. Or I can just pull it up on my phone or ipad and there it is!
Check that out!!! If for some reason you don't get it taught that day you can bump it to the next day. Or if you miss a day because of weather you can just bump it also! They've thought of everything!
The only tricky thing is that it costs $29.99 for an entire year to enjoy all of the perks of the program. They offer a free version too, but it didn't include the features that I had grown to love over the 14 day trial. I thought it was worth the money so I purchased it. I have been so pleased with it. Yesterday, I needed to take the day off. I simply selected print and had my subplans completely ready to go. I didn't have to type a single thing or worry that the plans weren't good enough or lacking anywhere. It was a truly beautiful thing.
And now that we are getting laptops of our own, Heather plans to sign up too!
We would love to hear what things you do to make your planning easier. And if you haven't ever tried online plans, I highly recommend them, it has made life so much easier!