One of my go-to feel good pump up jams is “Bright Future in Sales” by Fountains of Wayne.
I guess it’s obvious that I was just looking for an excuse to put that front and center in a blog post. But it’s been running through my head all day because, with students returning in a little over three weeks, I gotta get my… life together.
I’m a third year teacher, so of course I have big teaching goals for this year, like fostering a growth mindset in all my students and making math class a fun and enjoyable experience. But also, at a more fundamental level, I really just want to achieve some fundamentals like staying ahead of the curve on lesson planning and grading. During my first couple of years, this has been a major growth area, so I’ve invested quite a bit of time this summer improving my organizational systems. (Future post idea: no-frills bullet journaling.)
I created a weekly lesson plan template, loosely inspired by some of the analog and digital examples I’ve seen surfacing around the MTBoS over the last couple of weeks. I was aiming for a system that would let me keep track of the big things — each day’s learning objective, the main activities for the day broken down by approximate time duration, any assigned homework, and my reflections on the lesson. Each week gets its own tab. (Color coding helps me keep track of things, but YMMV.)
(BTW, if you want to use this template, you need to install the Montserrat and Lora fonts in Google Drive — not sure how it will look without them.)
So far, I’m really happy with how this has been helping me with my planning. I wasn’t really expecting it, but when I started adding hyperlinks directly from the spreadsheet to the relevant files, it became a one-stop shop that made accessing resources when I need them much quicker. Here’s hoping I can keep it up once the craziness begins…
(P.S. As you might have noticed, a whole lot of my first week activities came from Designing Groupwork, which Sarah Carter has also recommended and provided resources for at her blog. I can’t say enough good things about this book — I’ve learned so much about why students often struggle with groupwork and what kinds of skills they need to be successful. And that’s only in the first four chapters. Very strong recommend.)