Thursday, August 13, 2009

Teacher's Planner, revisted

As a new school year is rapidly approaching, I am now in full blown planning mode, revamping my school planner, school room and lesson plans. Here is another look at my planner and what it contains. I use a plain white 2" three ring binder (Sam's has them in bulk for a great price, this is what I use for all of my household binders and for the kids school binders). My planner cover has an icon of our patron Saint Theophan and his troparion.
When I open the planner there is a Table of Contents (this is an example from a few years ago, I have not completed one for this year yet). Then I have what I refer to as my inspirational pages. It is a set of prayers, poems and quotes that I refer to when I am feeling overwhelmed. They encourage me and remind me of why I am doing the things I do. I also have a copy of my personal mission statement, and a copy of why I homeschool.
Then I have a set of 8 dividers:
Prayers - Here I have a copy of the Orthodox morning and midday prayers. We normally use a prayer book for these, but I like having a copy in my planner in case the prayer book is not handy, or if we are schooling on the go. I also have a copy of the troparion to St. Theophan set to slavonic tone 8 (arranged for us by the Queen's godfather).
Calendar - I usually put a set of D*yRunner style month in view pages, and I also print off the monthly calendar pages from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. These are nice to have at my fingertips since they contain the major saints for each day and a fasting guide.
Lesson Plans - Here I have a copy of our daily school rule, followed by a set of weekly planner pages. Since we are going to be doing the workboxes this year, I am not sure how my planner pages will change, so I am posting what I have used in the past. Last year I penciled in a rough outline of what I wanted to cover for the week and kept it in this section.
Lesson Log - Here is where I record what we accomplish. This section contains a copy of the kids math facts progress charts from Math on the Level and the Concept charts from Math on the Level (this is a great chart where I can track each math concept the kids master from Preschool - Pre-Algebra). Then I have my planner pages. I have wanted to redo my planner pages for awhile now, but I think I need to see how this year starts off before I start changing them too much. Since we use a lot of CM style homeschooling, I have always loved the beauty and practicality of the Tanglewood Planner. It is visually attractive, and I like the concept of simply circling the days we complete tasks such as Picture Study. It is the planner I used for the first few years of homeschooling. Using this concept, I created my own set of planner pages with icons and quotes from the saints that inspire me in teaching my children. These pages are where I document what we actually do each day (as opposed to what I had planned :) This is far more detailed recording than my state requires, and I think I will probably drop the daily grid page and just record what we complete for the week instead of recording daily work.
Curriculum - In the curriculum section I have an outline for each of our subjects. This section really requires its own post so I will wait and go into details for this section a little later.
Extra-Curricular - I file any info on possible field trips here, such as directions to the local pumpkin patch, dates and times for the local children's theater etc.
Grade Report - Here I keep a copy of my state laws concerning homeschooling (courtesy of the HSLDA), and a copy of the kids grade reports which I have to send in twice a year. I also have a copy of a great article someone wrote which I find amusing to give to people when they ask me the ever-recurring "socialization question." I am sorry I cannot credit this properly, I have a bad habit of saving posts and forgetting to document who wrote them.
Recitation - The final section of my binder has a checklist for recitation which lists the subjects I want to cover each time we recite. I also have the Bible verses, poetry and songs I want us to learn.
This planner took me several years to develop, and it is of course constantly changing as our family changes. It is not a necessity for home schooling, but it gives me one place to find all of my important information, and it allows me to very quickly see where we are and what we need to do.


Susan Sophia said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I just finished creating a planning sheet very similar to the one you have with just the days of the weeks at the top and the subjects on the left. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the one you created with the Icons!!! I purchased Tanglewood planner awhile back and have used it for a couple years but wanted something I could put on the laptop to work on. I might see about somehow using your icon pages though. They are wonderful!

leah said...

I've reading through your archives and am finding so many helpful ideas. I especially love the idea of your teaching planner. Thank you for sharing all you do.