If you don't know about this planner, you can check out my video walk-through HERE to give you a good sense of each of the sections and extras this planner provides. I loved using it, but, like everything, I wanted to adjust a few things to make it work for me. Here are my top tips to help make your Teacher Planner work for you this year!
Tip #1: Change The Birthday PagesThe Erin Condren Teacher Planner comes with two large pages that say "Happy Birthday" on the top and a large section for each month to write in your students' birthdays. While I love celebrating my students' birthdays, I felt this space was wasted considering I have less than 30 students.
My tip? Grab some opaque washi tape (I used glitter since it's so fun!) and cover up the "Happy Birthday" on top. Then, grab some white-out tape to cover up each of the months. Now, you have two pages full of twelve blank categories for you to use as you wish!
I split mine up by left and right sides. On the left side are school-related lists I want to accomplish through the year, like books to read, projects to do, and Publishing Parties to host. On the right side are blog and TpT items I want to be sure I share with you all.
Tip #2: Use Washi Tape to Show Different Grading PeriodsI love this tip! Washi tape is available at any craft store, Etsy, and even Walmart! Choose different colors and use them to separate the pages in your Lesson Plan pages by quarter/trimester/semester. We are on trimesters, so I chose three tapes and folded them over each page. Because washi tape is so thin, it won't bulk up your pages and will make it easy to see where you are in the year (and how much longer you have in the grading period to cover certain things!).
Tip #3: Use Printed Schedule Headers to Save TimeLike many of you, my schedule is set at the beginning of the year so the top headers in my Teacher Planner stay the same week after week. Because of that, I was getting tired of rewriting my schedule and times over and over again.
Solution: create a PowerPoint file that holds three weeks at a time! Now, I just print, cut, and attach with double-sided tape to the top of each week. Now, my lesson pages look uniform and easy for me and/or a substitute to read. Since I am only teaching half-time ELA this year, I took the last two columns to make "to do" sections, separated by a thin piece of washi tape.
|You can see how the folded washi tape from Tip #2 looks in this picture, too!|
Click on the image below to download:
Tip #4: Use Stickers to Organize Each Month by TopicI love the included stickers that are provided with the planners, and while I will use them for events on the monthly spread, I also like to use them when setting up the monthly notes.
On the back of each monthly spread are two notes pages. I color-coordinate my subjects and used similar colored labels from Erin Condren to divide up these pages. Here, I will brainstorm and plan all of the nitty-gritty details I want to make sure I hit during the month. This can range from spelling units to Publishing Parties to certain assessments. I will also include names of books I want to remember to read and themes I want to hit-- pretty much anything! I will start thinking about this over the summer and then add to it throughout the year, crossing things off as I go to make sure I hit them all. This has also been a great way for me to ensure I am doing the ideas I see on Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, and more. I'm always guilty of "Pinning and Forgetting" so hopefully this will help alleviate some of that!
I hope these tips helped get you excited to use your Erin Condren Teacher Planner, or any other lesson planner you're using this year!
If you'd like $10 off of your order from Erin Condren, click HERE to sign up and a code will be emailed to you!
Stop by each of these fantastic grade 3-6 blogs to read my friends' tips and find even more wonderful resources for Back to School!
Happy Back to School season, friends!!
Disclaimer: All planners were purchased by me. Links to ErinCondren.com above are my affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I only promote what I use and love!