What?! How can July be halfway over already? And what’s with this “lobe of Arctic air” that pushed down into my nice, steamy, humid Missouri summer? There’s time enough for that stuff in January. The only upside to the very below-normal temps is that I was stuck inside for two straight days of professional development, so at least the cooler weather didn’t interfere with any time on the Lazy River! Oh, and I’ve snagged some really great new clothes and shoes for when it’s time to stop wearing my usual July outfit of shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. It’s almost enough to make me look forward to going back to school…almost. 🙂
After taking some well-deserved time to rest, relax and recharge, The Reflective Educator is back. While I’ve not managed to cross everything off my “to do” list for this summer, one thing I can say is complete is my curriculum planning and pacing guide. Woo-hoo! I LOOOOVVE to plan!
Wondering about the skull-and-bones flag on the front? My district’s mascot is a pirate, so it seemed appropriate. The spiral binding and clear plastic covers are courtesy of my local Staples store. For only $4.31 they bound my curriculum planner for me in just 45 minutes. That’s quite a bargain! It’s definitely got my thinking about what else I could have spiral-bound.
Keeping It Affordable
I created my curriculum planner in PowerPoint using a variety of fonts, graphics and papers that I had acquired from Teachers Pay Teachers. Some I paid for and others were free downloads. I also kept everything in shades of gray, black and white so I could print it from my laser printer. I tend to save the color ink for high-visibility items and this is just for me so I went with the more subdued color palette. The one page I did print in color was my district calendar as it was originally designed with color anyway.
Curriculum Planner Format
Now in a perfect world, I would be able to plan out my entire year with 100% accuracy. Yeah, right. So this is just my best guess as to how the school year will unfold. Fingers crossed that winter weather won’t completely ruin my second semester’s plans like it did last year. At least having a plan in place acts as a guide for me. It’s much easier to change plans at the last minute if I have a back-up in place already. It’s not my Bible, it’s just a guide. So here’s what one month’s curriculum planner looks like. The columns represent the various subjects and the rows are different weeks in a month. That worked well for most months, but a few I had to fudge a bit on the last week as the last day was in the middle of the week.
I also included a regular calendar so I could make note of special events, birthdays, holidays, etc. I printed those pages on the back of the curriculum planner pages to save paper and so my “book” wouldn’t be too thick. I was also able to customize my calendar to include professional development days and other special events happening at my school. Here’s how that turned out.
DIY Curriculum Planner
Now that I have a basic plan in place, I can search for resources specific to my curriculum as well as expanding on what I’ve been teaching for several years now. Okay – that’s it for now. Another post focusing on getting organized for the coming school year will arrive next Friday. Until then, the only thing I plan to do is enjoy my summer vacation!