An Autism Connection

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lesson Planner

I have struggled with different planners to write my lesson plans in so that I can keep track. We don't have to turn them in weekly or anything, but we do need to turn them in at the end of the year in case there's ever any questions about what was happening in class. No one ever looks at them, for which I thank my lucky stars, because mine were always haphazardly put together.

 I've tried binders and loose papers, but they seem so bulky, or there are too many papers and I lose track, or I keep having to scribble them out or rewrite them because my plans were constantly changing due to unexpected things happening in my day, like Para absences and no subs, student tantrums, fire drills, etc, etc. I would give up and just write them on little post its and stick them all over the place. I was also relying on my memory (hahahaha), which didn't work so well. With me teaching so many different group/subjectss and putting together an entire day, I needed something a little more structured that I could reference throughout the day. So naturally, I turned to Pinterest, a teacher's best friend and resource. I love Pinterest!!

And I found this pin

 and this one

You can click on the pins to get more information. I also saw a similar post on someone's blog but I must have deleted it because I can't find it, otherwise I would also give them credit. And I found the blog, it is from Life Skills in High School. This is her example.

In any case, a light bulb went off. None of these samples were perfect for me because they had too many spaces, or not enough,or  required too much set up, etc. But the style and concept of the planner is perfect for what I do because of it's flexibility, and who doesn't love that!

I decided to take the planner we have access to at my school and just add post its. I chose this because it is set up for a 7 period day. And no more messes. I can change the post its, move them around, and edit the entire book without doing a lot of extra work. There's even a way to write your lesson plans on your computer and print them on to posts its if you want. I don't have a link but I have seen it on pinterest, so therefore it is true. But that's too much work for me, I am looking for SIMPLE and EASY. Anyway, here is how mine turned out:

This is the planner we use at my school, although you can use whatever you want, including notebook paper, a spiral, binder, etc. 

There are spaces for 6 classes going across, which works out perfectly for me because  of our 7 period day, with one period that is a panning period. I try to follow the bell schedule the best that I can. The days of the week go down.

 See what I mean about scribbling and crossing out? I ran out of a different colored post it so I decided to just write it, but then changed my mind about what we were going to do. For 1st and 5th, I have teacher time and mostly teach math (so I used the same color post it), but also other skills that don't fit in elsewhere in their schedules. For 2nd period I teach ULS (Unique Learning Systems), for science and social studies, for 3rd period I teach language arts, and 6th period I teach social skills. On Fridays during 6-7th period, I alternate between art, drama, games, and cooking. On Tuesdays and Thursdays during part of 6th and 7th periods in nicer weather, we go out into the community. Those post its will be in the boxes on the right.

And there you have it. 


  1. Awesome! I just posted something similar like this on my blog. I do something similar because like you, my schedule is always changing. Check out my blog

    1. I just went and looked at your blog and you were the one I was referencing, so I will edit and add you to the body of the post. I think the new planner is going to work swimmingly, thanks for giving me inspiration to change mine!

  2. Very nice! I teach elementary, so my day is set up a little differently, but have the same problem, constant changes, we don't have planning books anymore because everyone types their own, I usually type up the basic plans, leaving spaces and then write in add ons. I like this idea though, I might need to modify my system! thank you! Paula

    1. You are welcome, hope it works out for you. A couple of the pins go into further instruction on how to make it yourself. If I can't get a hold of another planner next year, I will make a template and run off some copies and just use a binder. I thought about reusing the one I have, but I've written in it and my lesson plans won't be the same because my students needs will have changed, or I will have new students. Good luck!