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Hpylife 03-25-2019 06:10 PM

Getting it done
Hi all,
I decided to put this here because it has to do with managing your time in the classroom.
How do you all get your planning done for upcoming lessons?
Iím struggling. Have been for about three years. At first I just thought it was getting used to a curriculum but itís not.
I struggle with planning out my lessons . I never have enough time to plan them out ... I plan for 6 subjects each team plans together but just for one subject area, that leaves 5 other subjects that I do individually.
How do you do it every day? I am coming in 2 hrs early to work on plans then at night Iím doing another 3-4 hours !!
Any tips, ideas or how you do itís?
Please donít say thatís just how it is with teaching,, there has to be better ways ...
Thanks in advance for help!

Haley23 03-25-2019 08:55 PM

You need to figure out a way to get into some sort of routine as much as you can. That way, the basic structure of the lessons is already done and all you need to do each week is plug in new content.

You'd obviously have to figure out how to make it work for your content, but for example, I figure out elements that need to be present in every lesson and make sure those are taught in the same order every day.Then I figure out elements that need to changed and see if there is a way to make them weekly routines. For example, when practicing spelling, it's sound spelling mapping on Monday, word chaining on Tuesday, dictated sentences on Wednesday, etc. I have the basic outline and just need to plug in the new content each week.

I would also consider what you're spending your time on- is it making cutesy props or "fancy" activities that could be cut out? Kids really do well with structure and routine. Don't feel like everything has to be a dog and pony show lesson. Making materials that the kids could really help with or that are unnecessary/could be taught in another way with less teacher created materials? Are you writing out too much information in plans that may not need to be there? Spending a lot of time second guessing yourself and changing plans? Can you use a structure or method that your team uses to plan together and apply it to any of the other subjects? 5-6 hours daily just on planning is pretty crazy, IMO. I think it might help you to figure out exactly what you are doing that is taking up all of that time.

Another thing that helps me is planning only a couple of days at a time. I used to plan for the entire week and found that halfway through the week, I was redoing work I thought I'd already finished because I needed to tweak things based on unexpected schedule changes, kids moving slower/faster than I thought, etc. It's also not so overwhelming to take things just a couple of days at a time.

Lottalove 03-26-2019 05:39 AM

Haley is on the right track
What grade level? Kids actually thrive on routine. School has a lot of stress and anxiety for some kids. Part of that is not knowing what comes next/what will be expected of them. Establishing a routine eliminates this part of it. Also, if you have a routine in place, some kids will be able to carry on even if you have to stop classroom instruction for a phone call/visitor/behavior issue, etc.

Do as much as you can the same every time. For weekly subjects like Reading or Spelling Word work, Mon-intro new concept or idea, read story together Tues-blah blah blah, and so on. The next week do it the same way just insert the new story title, concept and vocab. The structure, instruction, layout remain the same each week.

It doesn't have to be too boring or too fancy. You can use a menu or tic tac toe board for variety. There are also listings online for 60 ways to study your spelling and so on.

Hpylife 03-30-2019 06:05 AM

I have a routine for each subject and I donít do anything fancy or over the top. I canít inagine the time it would take if I did.
I actually sat down and made a schedule to see what I was doing for every minute.
Even with a basic skeleton lesson plan and plugging in it still takes on average 25-30 min per lesson to plan out.

What is the average amount of time it takes you all to plan one lesson? Iíd love to get it down to 10-15 minutes tops per lesson but I donít see how to do it.

geoteacher8 03-30-2019 08:20 AM

It does take time during the first years that you are teaching. I chose to do most of my planning over the weekend, and typically, that meant 4-4 hours at school on Sunday afternoons. It was worth it for me because then I went into the week feeling really prepared. Now most of my planning consists of making tweaks to what I did in earlier years. I read over old plans, decide what to keep and what to eliminate, and add in any new elements that I have thought of. Tomorrow afternoon I will go in, but I hope to create the bulk of my plans for the rest of the year.

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