It’s August which means time to get serious about planning for the coming school year. Thusfar in the summer I’ve done lots of thinking and reading about the next school year, but the year doesn’t feel like it’s taking shape until I’ve got my lesson planner and I start filling it in.
I received my planner from Amazon about a week ago, and now I’m busily filling it in.
Over the years I’ve used a couple different types of planners. Usually I have a weekly lesson plan book as well as a regular calendar. And though I’m pretty good at the computer and my phone and I sometimes use the calendar features on them, I really like the feeling of a solid paper calendar. Here are my favorites.
The At a Glance Teacher’s Planner is definitely my favorite planner. It is set up vertically (the days of the week are listed across the top of the columns) which somehow feels more intuitive to me and it has plenty of record keeping pages in the back, as well as a couple of seating charts. It’s thin but has a substantial, sturdy cover. It definitely makes it through the school year with minimal damage. This year I bought the undated version (I didn’t find a dated one anywhere) which works pretty well, as it allows me to just leave out weeks for school breaks.
The other planner I have used is this one created by Stephanie Embrey. I like the arrangement of this book. It is similar to the At a Glance planner except that it is set up horizontally (with the names of the days of the week down along the left side of the page.) This was a change for me after using the At a Glance calendar, but I adjusted to it quickly enough. It also has lots of great features. There are plenty of record keeping pages, a couple of seating charts, a couple of maps, a chart for figuring percentages quickly, and a place for logging parent communication. It also has folder flaps on the insides of the front and back covers for holding loose papers, which was really useful until the glue started to come loose at the end of the school year. This is a much thicker, more substantial planner, but it has so many features it might be worth carrying around the extra bulk.
My main complaint about this planner is that it is definitely not as durable as the At a Glance planner. As I mentioned, the folder flaps came loose at the end of the year, the cover edges became frayed and I sometimes worried that papers that I had stuck within its covers would not be protected and might fall out. It just doesn’t seem strong enough to keep all of that extra bulk in tact. Still, it serviced me well over the course of the year. If you appreciate extra features and don’t abuse your plan book too much this is probably the best book for you.
As I mentioned, in addition to carrying a teacher’s planner, I also carry a regular academic year calendar. A few years ago I found my absolute favorite weekly academic year calendar and it’s made by a company called Mixed Role Productions. I love this calendar because it is compact, comes with a little bookmark to mark the current week and it is an August to August calendar. I also just love the typeface that is used which has a sweet handwritten look. It also comes in several fresh, bright colors — I used the orange two years ago, the green last year and this year I have the “grape” color. I’ve bought this book for the past five years and I love it so much that I’ve had my mother buy it for me since I moved away from the town where I originally found it. Now that I know it’s on Amazon, next year I’ll be able to get it myself.