Friday, November 11, 2016

Writing Detailed Lesson Plans (That Won't Take All Night)


Hi friends! I've have had a love-hate relationship with writing lesson plans in the past. I love them because the more detailed they are, the more prepared I feel! I also am less anxious if I have to miss a day unexpectedly because a substitute can grab my plans and teach. However, I am less thrilled about the time they take to write. I've changed up the way and programs I've used to write lesson plans more times than I count! Since I've finally found a program that has really worked for me, I thought I would share it with all of you! It's called Planbook and it's an online program that allows you to input your schedule, include attachments, and write lesson plans. This is in no way a sponsored post. I just love Planbook and wanted to tell you all about it! If you haven't heard of Planbook you can go to the site by clicking here! Even if you don't decide to use Planbook, you will still find some great tips and tricks on writing detailed plans that will make your week run more smoothly!


When I first started teaching, I was writing detailed lesson plans that were seriously taking me hours and hours! Luckily one of my amazing co-teachers, Melissa from Dills' Darlings, was using Planbook and suggested I use it too since we would be co-teaching together. Planbook is a great tool if you are co-teaching because you can easily share your plans with one another and access the other's plans.

When I write my plans I like to write them so that a substitute can pick up my plans and know exactly what to teach. To do this, you can include an explanation of your classroom procedures and where to find things you use on a daily basis. For example, during my intervention groups we alway start out with a review. Since I know we will be following this procedure each day, I made sure to type up a very detailed explanation of how to run the review. I include what I say, how the students are expected to respond, and where I keep the materials needed. When you have this information added to Planbook there is the option where you can "extend" the lesson. Once I have this information added in to my plans, I can click "extend" and select the amount of days I want this information to be included in my plans for. So much easier than copying and pasting or retyping information!

Include detailed information on common procedures through your lesson plans.

Another feature Planbook has that I love is the ability to include attachments for each lesson. I love using SmartBoard lessons and anchor charts, so having the option to attach a Smartboard or picture of an anchor chart is great! So many times I have had a Smartboard lessons ready to go but have not been able to find it on my desktop. With Planbook,  a substitute or I can just click right on that day's plan and be ready to go! Another great part about Planbook is that if you have a video or online game, you can easily copy and paste it.

Including attachments

Well I hope this helped! Again, you don't need to use Planbook to do all of these things but it is by far the best program I have found for writing lesson plans. No one likes to unexpectedly miss a day but I hope that if you do, some of these tips can make your substitutes and your day a little better! Do you use Planbook or an online program to write your lesson plans with?


Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Make a Kinesthetic Clock

I have been seeing this cute idea all of over Pinterest! Unfortunately I couldn't find the person who originally posted it so if you know who did, please leave it in the comments! I would love to give them credit here.  This activity is a great way to reinforce telling time in a kinesthetic way. Tell students a time and have them use their arms to show it on the clock! Check it out below!

Yep... that's me showing 5:00. 
When it was time to start teaching telling time in the first grade classroom I co-teach in, I knew we needed to give this great idea a try! Since I love making classroom projects digitally, I decided to make the numbers on the computer rather than writing them on sticky notes. This also lets me share it with all of you! If you would like to see how I put my clock together and grab the number printable for free, keep reading!



First you're going to need a hula hoop, stapler, laminator, and some heavy duty paper. Print the numbers on the paper (I love Astrobrights!) and laminate them. You'll need to cut out the numbers in the rectangles.


Bright colors make everything more fun, right?
Once the numbers are cut out, you are ready to start stapling the numbers around the hula hoop. Fold the numbers around the hula hoop. I stapled each number three times. Once on the bottom and twice on each side toward the top.

Staple, staple, staple...
Almost there...
Got it!

Staple all the way around to add each number in order.... then you're ready to go! Pretty easy right? OK... now for the freebie! I've uploaded this one to my Facebook Page. Follow the link by clicking here or the picture below to get to my page. On the left side of the page you will see a tab called "Sparkling Fan Freebies." Click the tab to access the Dropbox link. While you're there, check out the rest of my fan freebies under that tab! Be sure to "like" my page to keep up with more fun ideas and freebies!



Happy teaching!,