One of the most time consuming parts of teaching is planning lessons. Yes, lesson planning is sooo important to make sure you are prepared and teaching the standards and engaging your students. But even the most exciting, innovative teacher can be sucked into a lesson planning black hole that takes so much time. So, here are some lesson planning hacks to save you time!
Hack #1: Use a weekly lesson plan map.
Us elementary teachers have to teach EVERY content area. But let’s get real, that planning can be super overwhelming. Here’s my tip! Use a simple weekly lesson plan template like the one in my New Teacher Masterclass to make sure you are covering all subjects. Use a paper or digital copy where changes can be made quickly and easily to make sure you save time and are on task! Plan for each subject, day by day, but know that plans can change dependent on your students’ needs.
Hack #2: Look at the big picture.
Yearly planning sounds scary! There are days where it’s hard to know what you are doing that afternoon or the next day. Keeping your eye on long term goals and knowing where the year is leading is helpful and can alleviate stress. Even having an abbreviated week by week plan with an overview of topics covered each day in specific content areas is helpful. Planning templates like a “Year at a Glance” document that helps you plan ahead and keep your eyes on the big picture!
Hack #3: Make emergency sub plans.
It is sooooo difficult to take a day off. Lesson Planning Hacks to Save You Time It can be incredibly stressful to make sub plans when you’re sick. Plan ahead! Make some emergency that are easy for your sub to follow and for the kids to implement. Creating up to a week’s worth of emergency sub plans that can be used at a moment’s notice is key!
Hack #4: Leave organized lesson plans and materials for your sub.
When it comes to planning for subs, content is important, but organization is king! I use a sub binder and sub tub to make sure my sub has everything they need. Information about the school, student accommodations, and even where things are located in the classroom are important pieces of your sub binder. The sub tub has everything your sub needs for the day and beyond.
Organize your sub plans just like your lesson plans, by subject. My Teacher Masterclass has sub lesson plan templates, labels, and more.
Whether you are delivering the content or you are out of the classroom and leave plans for a sub, these lesson planning hacks to save you time are all about planning ahead, seeing the big picture, and staying organized. This is important in all stages of your career, but as a new teacher, it helps to get a good start putting together lesson plans that work and you can update and refine for years to come. Try my Teacher Masterclass to find a community of teachers and abundant resources to help with all your planning needs and questions.