Looking for some lesson planning templates that use pen and paper and are free? Planning for the 2021-2022 school year remains challenging in many ways. Let me walk you through how my favorite way to plan out my week, month, and entire school year using paper, a pen, and post-it notes.
How do you like to plan? Digitally or with pen and paper?
This is part 1 of a 2 part series on planning for back to school for 2021-2022. In this post, I want to give you some ideas on how to plan on paper, mainly because that is still my favorite way to plan anything. If you are more inclined to plan on your computer, then be sure to check out my blog post, with free digital lesson planning templates. For this post, make sure to scroll to the bottom to download a free planning template AND my social skills calendar for 2021-2021.
Flexibility of using paper lesson planning templates
I have surveyed quite a few teachers this summer, and the overwhelming majority of you still prefer to create your lesson plans using pen and paper. We spend so much time in front of the computer, any chance to step away is welcomed.
There is one drawback, however, a lack of flexibility. We all know lesson plans need to be flexible. You may think it is harder to make changes when planning on paper. But, let me show you my favorite way to tackle this problem, and it is its simplicity that makes it so awesome.
I learned this trick in my second year of teaching. My classroom always had a VERY mixed population of students. I had all different ability levels as well as grade levels. In addition, I was constantly getting new students enrolled and having other students track out. It was enough to make me pull my hair out.
I typically had an idea of the topics I wanted to teach in a quarter or semester. I might even know the order of those topics. The big issue was how long it would realistically take to teach each one.
The power of post-it notes
When it comes to mapping out my main topics, I have been using post-it notes to schedule and plan for years. I like how I can see the entire quarter/semester at a glance. But, what I love is the ability to quickly move things as needed due to re-teaching or other unexpected events.
A great tip is to use a separate color post-it note for each subject. That way, you can quickly see math, ELA, or science at a glance.
Obviously, this does not take the place of my daily lesson plans. That is an entirely different beast and calendar. However, I think too often we get overwhelmed with the daily details. That is why having a simple monthly or bi-weekly calendar where you can plot out your big topics for the quarter or semester is helpful. It gives you a road map to go back and refer to as you develop those detailed daily plans.
Download your lesson planning templates
If you would like a copy of either template shown below just click the link below the image. This is pdf file that I have created for the 2021-2022 school year. There are 2 versions. The first one is the entire month on one sheet of paper. You will need smaller post-it notes for this one. The other version is just 2 weeks at a time, so there is more room for post-it notes.
I also wanted to share my Social Skills Planning calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. I figured it would be one less thing you have to think about and plan. CLICK HERE to download this calendar. It has clickable links to the resources I used that you can purchase in my store.
One last note, if you are looking to add one thing to your lessons for this year be sure to check out my post: The ONE activity to add to your small group lessons. CLICK HERE to read more.
Check back next week, where I will share my favorite online tool for planning. And, I will give you the link to my own version, so you will not have to recreate the wheel!!