Free Lesson Plan Templates

Happy Friday!

As I was scrolling through Facebook and the many teacher groups I am apart of, someone had mentioned they the were a first year teacher and would like an example of a lesson plan template.  I figured this would be the perfect time to share my resources as well as some websites that I pull from.  I have been teaching for almost 10 years and I believe I have finally found what best works for me.

Teachers PLAN and they PLAN and they PLAN! I utilize both digital and paper planning. Here’s how I supplement one with the other.

Here’s what I do for every Unit.  

  • Create a google drive folder
  • Create subfolder for every unit
  • In every subfolder, place your unit lesson plan, click here for an example of how I write mine. I really like the Engage, Explore,Elaborate, Assess lesson format. This unit plan is typically what I would send to my Administration for review and suggestions.
  • Place all of your files for this unit in this subfolder. This will allow you to have everything in one spot.
  • Print out your Unit plans so that you have your “guided questions” in front of you daily.

***Many of my unit plans came from one of my favorite teacher sites, Mr. Bucs Science, he has so many resources that I love!

Also another great website I use for resources is Middle School Science, I absolutely love her and all of her stuff is FREE!! Who doesn’t love that!

Here’s what I do for me

This document is pulled up everyday-this lesson plan template is not too detailed, but gives me an “oh okay this is what I have planned” without looking to deeply at my unit plan. This is also where I document my reflections on my teaching practices. As you know,  there will be moments where you stray from your Unit Plan, because something either took much longer for students to understand OR you had an aha moment and you went further in depth with a concept because it was the right time to do so.  My digital lesson plan template was found at this website Tammy’s Technology Tips for Teachers– I have of tailored this template to fit my needs.  My template that I have edited for this year can be found here.  This is a google doc, so in order to edit this document, all you have to do is open in, click file, then click “make a copy”. This will allow you have your own version without messing up mine ♥. Here is what last year’s looked like, click here.  I did add notes and reflections to this years, only because I wanted to be able to reflect on what worked and did not work. Today, I meet with another teacher to help her get her website for her students set up and I was thinking, this document could be embedded into your website for parents to see what happened in class that day, since it’s not as detailed. Just an idea.

School Meetings/Family Stuff

I also keep a Happy Planner for my school meetings and stuff..but Im thinking I am also going to go digital with this as well. I don’t know yet, I enjoy seeing a print version of this.

Here’s a Pic of the one I bought.

Teacher Planner

TIP: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect-If you do not reflect on your teaching , I highly recommend you do. Write it down during your plan as to what worked and did not work. This will help with planning in the future.

TIP: If you use Google Docs, Sheets, whatever, you can embedded this into your google sites webpage. Anytime you make additions to the document, it will automatically update.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

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Free Syllabus

With school about to start, I have created a rough draft of my Science Syllabus for the upcoming school year. I used the Google Theme provided for free. I want to share this with all educators out there. One of my favorite things about this syllabus is the Retest Policy. I am a horrible test taker, just because of my test anxiety. I over analyze everything. With STATE testing, we have to provide this type of Formal Assessments (I prefer not to do any of this) but unfortunately many states require this “multiple choice” form of assessment to get funding. Shaking my head. Anyways…back to the topic at hand…

My Retest Policy states that students must have a tutoring session with me prior to re-test (within 5 days of test). If a student is retesting then they obviously are missing concepts and YOU should be trying to make sure that they understand what they didn’t understand.

However the student is responsible for scheduling this “tutoring session” with me. If a student wants to retake a test, then they must come to me first. Being responsible is one of my classroom expectations. If they want their grade to change, then it is up to them. What is that phrase “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.”
So yeah I will provide the time, but it’s up to the student.

This is a google doc..so all you need to do to is “make a copy”  then change it to what meets your needs. Science Syllabus 18.19

TIP: Create set days for which you are available before/after school or during lunch. This will allow student to be in the “know” of when you are available to meet. For example, I will be available before school Mon/Wed, during lunch on Tues/Thurs.

TIP: Go over previous test, during the “tutoring session”

Hope this help!

Hope your having a great summer!

 

Free Missing Work Form

Do you struggle with keeping up with who is missing what? I know I sure do. When you have 100+ students, keeping track of who is missing what becomes such a daunting task.

The perfect classroom is one in which everyone turns their work in on time, you grade it all at one time, provide feedback…and don’t have to worry about all those papers being turned in late.  Unfortunately, that is not the case, we do have those students who are absent, don’t have the support at home, or just simply forgot/got busy.

So what do you do? How do you keep track of over 100+ students who might be missing work?  I decided that for this year, I will have a “Missing Work Form. If a student is missing something, they will write their name on this sheet. This will provide me with a list of who I need to follow up with.  If a child completes the assignment, they will date stamp the “Missing Work Form” along with checking off their name. This will provide me a date on how long it took them to complete. As I am typing this…I just thought, maybe on the side you can date it as to when you followed up with the student, this might be beneficial when communicating with parents. Just an idea.

Not only is this a great tool for you because it will allow you to follow up with each student, but it also provides you with data on patterns amongst students.

TIP: You can laminate this document for reuse. Just use an expo marker.  ***I prefer the paper, only because it’s nice to pull out at parent-teacher conferences.***

I hope you enjoy this freebie!

Missing Work Form

What are some of your strategies for Missing Work? Have you tried this before? Does it work for you?

New Classroom to Decorate

As some of you may know, this year I will be transitioning to a new school (same district) and new grade level. I will be teaching 8th grade science. This summer I have been so busy but I did get a chance to go and get an idea of what my new classroom looks like. I was a bit shocked by how much stuff was left and how dirty it was. My former classroom was left cleaned and dusted for the new teacher. I had my students help me the last few days of school. They loved helping me.

TIP: If leaving or changing classrooms, clean your room for the new teacher coming in. Don’t leave stuff on the walls. If you don’t want something and think the new teacher would want it, take it down and leave it for them on the counter. I say this, only because most teachers want to start decorating with a clean slate.

As you can see I have a lot of work to do. Stay tuned for the reveal of my new classroom coming up within the next few weeks!

TIP: Take before pics so you can figure out how you want to arrange your room.

TIP: Clean, clean, clean before you get your new stuff in! Saves so much time

What are your favorite cleaning supplies?

I hope all of you are having a great summer!! Only a month left!

Decor for the Classroom

A few years ago, my grandmother purchased a very cute hanging decoration for my classroom (the yellow crayon with my name on it- I did not make this one). I absolutely loved it, but when I changed schools 3 years back, I decided that I wanted to make one that went with my classroom colors. I used the one my grandmother purchased as inspiration for my project. To get started, I knew that I needed a piece of board, paint, and paint pens and twine. I headed to our local Lowe’s. I purchased some Valspar Paint, obviously, I didn’t need an entire can, so I just had them make my colors using the sample size (these were like $3.50/piece).  I also used this paint when I made my hanging pendants. I will post about that soon. 🙂 You can have them mix any color you want! I purchased a 2X4X10 piece of non-treated wood (about $3.00).

TIP: Don’t have the tools to cut the board, ask the nice employees to cut it for you. It’s free! I was able to get 2 pencils out of that one board-If you don’t want to cut the angled piece for the pencil tip, you could just buy a picket board. I think those are more expensive. I am about saving money.

TIP: In the very back of the Lowe’s store, in the lumber section, there is discounted wood for as little as $1.71/board.

Tip: you can use twine to staple to the back of the board to hang on the wall or above your door, ***that is what I did***

I then took it home and went to work.  I drew out my lines where I wanted the eraser to end, the metal part, and the squiggle tip.  Then I just painted each section. Once dried,   I used the bottom of a small cup (you could use the medicine to draw my circles. I painted them in. For my name, I used paint pens, any paint pens will work, but I used the //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=sciencematt0a-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B001ANVDMU&asins=B001ANVDMU&linkId=a6b59fcbc130ceae899015060ed50b03&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Posca Paint Pens These pens worked well. I received them as a gift from my mom for Christmas. You can click on the link above and I will also link it below. I liked how it turned out and it looked great outside of my classroom. img_2388

My daughter and I decided to use the extra pencil to make for her teacher at school as a Welcome back gift! Happy Summer and Have a great time crafting!

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Final Products! One for my hubbies class and one for Ms. Cierra’s Preschool teacher (back to school surprise)

Summer Reads

Summertime is the time when I finally get to sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy a good book. I absolutely love reading. I am fortunate enough to literally live less than a 1/4 of a mile from our local library.  If you are looking for a “good read”

Tip: I highly recommend you downloading the Goodreads app. This can be downloaded on any IOS device.  This is not a plug for an app. This is just one of those apps that I absolutely love! It is a must-have for me. You can also click here to take you to the desktop version.

This app allows you to keep track and rate the books you have read.If you connect it to your Facebook account, it allows you to see what your friends are reading.  It also allows you to create your very own personal challenges. I have a challenge of 12/year. Another great thing about this app is once you start rating the books you have read, they make recommendations for you based on your past ratings.  ANOTHER feature I love is that it allows you to scroll through books, and select ” Want to Read” and “Read”. When a friend of mine, tells me “hey you should read this book”, I open up my Goodreads app, look up the book title then hit “Want to Read”, then it saves it to your list for future reference.  Love this!

Books I have Read and Loved: 

  1. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  2. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  3. Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  5. I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Book I Want to Read: 

  1. The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz (this is a new series, called the Jane Hawk)-I want to read all of them. I think he has currently written 4 and plans to write 3 more.
  2. Night by Elie Wiesel
  3. I Found You by Lisa Jewell
  4. The Wild Oats Project by Robin Rinaldi
  5. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King

Tip: Check to see if your local library has an app for you to download. I have found that this is helpful especially if I want to reserve a book or if I want to see if it is available for my kindle or as an audiobook.

Grab a cup of coffee and get started on your Summer Reading List!! Are there any books that you recommend?

 

Summer Summer Summer Time

Summertime is finally here! Whoo hoo. This means time for fun in the sun with the family, catching up on reading, and of course, searching through Pinterest to find the best classroom decorations and activities for the upcoming school year. As an educator, I enjoy looking up activities, planning, and reading about what works for others.  That is why I decided to create this blog. I want to be able to share with other educators the tips and tricks that worked for me and also those that didn’t.  I firmly believe that Collaboration is key to being a successful educator.  One must be open to new ideas.

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This blog will be a place where I will share ideas, stories of success and failures, as well as some positive affirmations to help you get through the year. I hope you will join me on this Journey of Enlightening Minds and Hearts through the Power of Education.

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