My preplanning work station.
A few weeks ago, I started organizing myself in order to tackle my curriculum planning for the 2015-16 school year. I addressed developing a Classroom Bootcamp for the first quarter, and relied heavily on the difference between a bootcamp and a simple review. There are a lot of ways to organize yourself, but sometimes, especially when you’re a new teacher, it can be overwhelming. Whether you’re working on an entire curriculum, unit plan, or just a weekly/daily lesson plan, you can become distracted by all the options and resources that are available. So here are a few tools that I use in order to relieve some of the frazzle-osity of planning.
There are two types of websites that I use to help keep myself organized. The first is what I call the “Catch-All” and the other is “Application and Reflection.”
Evernote – I’ve blogged in the past about how much I love this website/app/program. Evernote is a multi-platformed resource that allows users to accumulate notes, websites, media, and other information that they would like to save for later. The organizational capacity is fantastic! Categories are designated into Notebooks and within each notebook, notes are created that can be customized by adding your own text, checklists, bullet points, lists, etc. Additionally, users can attach pictures or other documents that coincide with that particular content.
Sample list of notebooks from my Evernote account.
One example of a note created in my English IV Curriculum notebook.
Sample checklist in my English IV Curriculum notebook.
Pinterest – I don’t think there is a soul out there who uses the internet that doesn’t know about Pinterest. It’s more than just a way to waste a couple of hours planning weddings and dream homes; Pinterest has been one of the most helpful resources for developing everything from classroom management plans to creating posters/anchor charts for my walls to interesting articles about texts we are reading in class. By being able to create specialized boards to organize each of these “pins,” I am able to efficiently incorporate their contents into my classroom.
Obviously, “I am a runner” and “Workouts” don’t make too many appearances in my curriculum, but they do give me the endorphins to make it through my lessons. =)
Application and Reflection
Google Docs – I have found myself becoming more reliant on Google Docs over the last year, and I admit that I have A LOT to learn. I have uploaded all of my curriculum documents and lesson plans here, but I also complete reflections on my lessons. This is something I am setting up for the first time this school year, so I will keep you updated as to my progress.