Help me stay sane while I try to plan lessons!
January 1, 2013 11:25 PM Subscribe
Teacher Filter: Increasing the efficiency of creating lesson plans
posted by Peregrin5 to Education (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I am a first year teacher. It probably goes without saying that I am stressed out. I try to actively deal with stress as it comes and not let it pile up.
I have been having mild to low success.
One of the areas of issue is in my lesson planning, more specifically coming up with activities and materials to best meet my learning objectives.
Being a new teacher, I don't have a large cache of materials that I can just pull out and use.
I stay at least 10-12 hours just at the school, and that's just doing administrative work (grading, phone calls, and the like), and then I get home and spend 3-4 hours more planning the lesson and creating the activities and printed materials for the next day right before I hit the hay.
I feel like I'm living, breathing, and eating teaching.
The actual planning part of what I need the students to learn is not difficult. I already have my objectives for the entire year planned out. I use Google Forms to quickly and easily document my lesson plans. The huge time consumption comes from having to search for good activity ideas, typing up worksheets and materials, writing up fill-in the blank notes, creating powerpoints and prezis, finding short videos, gathering materials (for labs), figuring out how I'm going to manage the logistics of complex activities, and this is all while dealing with my other duties such as staying up to date on my grading, making sure I improve my classroom management and control, and all the other responsibilities that come with teaching.
What I would like would be a guide from start to finish on how to most effectively plan my lessons. I don't need the stuff like the anticipatory set, blah blah, or the five E's of inquiry, I want to know how you approach it.
Do you plan on paper or on the computer? Do you pick a set day to begin planning each week? Each month? Do you plan in week or month, or 3-day intervals or maybe just the day before?
Do you create mind-maps to map out objectives and then place each objective on a certain calendar date and then figure out the activity from there?
Do you have internet resources from which you can quickly and easily match activities to meet your objectives? Do you use a lesson ideas book? Do you have a set few lesson templates (i.e. notes, foldables, etc. and you just pull a few general activities from there?)
Do you use specific textbook resources?
Do you plan everything around focus questions or do you pick the questions you're going to answer each day and pose those to students? I want details!!!
P.S. More information:
I teach 8th Grade Physical Sciences (chemistry, physics, astronomy concepts)
I have a CD that contained all the curriculum for 8th grade that I got from a cooperating teacher last year when I interned. He got it from someone else who got it from someone else. It's a start, but I don't really like a lot of the materials that are available there, so I usually end up remaking things from scratch or completely retyping up the materials to best fit my class if I use them at all. The way a lot of the material is presented is not intuitive or well chunked.
Anyway, advice and detailed walk-throughs of your planning strategies are most appreciated!
I would really love not being stressed to the point of tears each night while I freak out about what I'm going to be teaching the next day and all the preparation I have to get done before class starts.