Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Activity Planner 6000

Today I completely forgot to prepare materials for an activity. How crazy is that? I've had so much going on lately that, while I knew exactly what we were doing in class today, I completely forgot to prep my materials. Then, when I got to work later than planned on top of that, it made for a very hectic morning.

I hate hectic mornings. I'm not a morning person anyway and the very last thing I need is to come to school to a mess of my own making. When I sat down and tried to figure out what went wrong, I realized that in my lesson plan for today (which I wrote three weeks ago), all I had written was "Peer Editing." I have a peer editing lesson that we use for the majority of our editing lessons, and I've gotten so comfortable with the lesson, I didn't bother to list the materials that I needed for the lesson. So I forgot to get them together.

Have you ever had this happen? Have you ever built up a wonderful, awesome activity in your head only to realize (too late) that you aren't anywhere near as prepared as you should be?

Allow me to introduce The Activity Planner 6000. I kind of love the name. :)

This is my newest template, designed to (hopefully) help me do a better job of preparing my materials in advance for lessons that require specific materials. This isn't something I would use for all of my lessons (although I guess you could), but I think it will be helpful in planning my big activities that require some prep work.

Here's the way it works. Besides the usual planning stuff (lesson title, date, class, objective, and standards) it also includes space to write down materials that the students will need to bring for the lesson and materials that I need to prepare before the lesson. I've also included a spot for miscellaneous notes and a spot for feedback. That way, at the end of the lesson, I can jot down a couple of things that I want to remember about the lesson for the next year while it's still fresh in my mind. Here are a few examples to show you how I plan to use them.

This sample shows how the template can be used to plan a single day event.
(This is actually the lesson that I forgot to prep today).
This sample shows how you could use the template to plan for a long-term project.
(This is a project I do with my 9H classes each year.)
As I'm sure you can tell, this is definitely not meant for thorough lesson-planning. I designed this with the hope that it would be an at-a-glance list of materials needed to prepare a lesson. I hope this will replace the current system I use, which is usually bits of paper scattered on my desk that say things like "70 copies" or "Book in a Bag stuff."
In the past, I've put my templates to work before I've shared them on the blog. This time, I thought I'd give you the trial runs. Download the PDF or the Word document* here and let me know what you think! Are they useful as they are? Do they need reworked? Have any suggestions? I can't wait to hear your feedback. :)
Happy teaching! Hope you have a better day that I did today!


*If you download the Word document, you will need to download the free font Rolina to see it as it has been designed. You can get that font here.