A couple weeks ago I mentioned these binders that I use to organize all my lesson plans and master copies. There were a couple requests to see what's inside these guys so here goes...
First let me mention that I don't think there's anything groundbreaking or creative about this idea, it's just all about keeping track of papers. I have a binder for each half-year...no special reason other than that's just what seemed to fit. So for each course I have two different 2" binders. When I taught CMP2 I did one 1" binder for each book.
Inside it's just split into sections using these dividers. Random, but I'm pretty partial to those dividers in particular because they are extra wide which means that the tabs will stick out past sheet protectors. I've found that regular dividers don't stick out far enough which defeats the point..and also I'm really picky.
So inside each section is first the pacing guide from my school. Then in each section I print every lesson plan on a separate, colored piece of paper. After the lesson plan is any and all materials I may need to go with the lesson. Worksheets and tests and such get hole punched. Things like foldables or station activities go inside sheet protectors. For everything that goes in, I also try to include an answer copy or rubric right behind it. When I'm grading assignments or need to make an extra copy of something I know exactly where to look.
So for example, here is a plan for the math key words activity I did. I don't get too technical as far as standards and things like that go here because the goal of this plan is really for my own reference.
Behind the colored sheet is all the stuff that goes with that day. So for this day, first I did a pre-test and then did the activity.
|sheet protector with the foldable materials|
|back view of the sheet protector|
Inside that sheet protector is:
- the blank foldable
- a filled in copy of the foldable
- the page of key words that the kids sorted
- the sheet that went on the left side page
Some days there's a lot less. Here's one for a quiz. Even though there's not much to the plan, it helps me to see exactly what each day looked like.
Behind the plan is the quiz and behind the quiz is the answer key.
This system also makes it easy for me to figure exactly how I taught something the last time. Over the years I've tried a bunch of different systems but so far this one is my favorite. When I'm creating a new one of these (as I am now) I always print the plans after I've already taught the lesson. Very rarely do my plans for the week actually end up happening as I had planned so this way I can be sure that the binders reflect what actually did happen. They also help me to reflect on my teaching. If something needs to be fixed I'll try to fix it before I put it into the binder. This way it's good to go for next time around.
In addition to all of this I usually have digital copies of most of the things that are in here, but I like having the hard copies as well. There have been many many times where the network is down or my printer stops working or something like that where I've been grateful to have the hard copies to rely on.