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First with Franklin

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Do You Plan Linky & BIG Change for Me!

Mrs. Stanford is having a very cool Linky and giveaway! It's all about how we plan - with a $25 Erin Condren GC to one lucky linker! I've always done my lesson plans by myself and I haven't ever purchased a planner. There are three reasons for this: 1. I can't ever fit all the details in those tiny boxes in normal teacher lesson plan books. 2. They are ugly. The ones our school provides is as boring as you can get. Blah! 3. I'm too cheap to buy a cute planner. But.... I may have found my answer! So enjoy reading my post and the others in the Linky, but do not, under any circumstance go enter it yourself. That way I can win, get it? You'd be doing me a big favor. That's not very bucket-filler of me though, is it? Okay, fine, I want you to enter... really. I do. I would really love to read some other peoples ideas on planning. Maybe I'll just suck it up and buy one of her planners for myself if I don't win.
I normally use a template that I make to plan my lessons. You can click here to see last year's plans. Each day was two pages (or front & back) long, with every little thing listed. I like planning this way because I think it makes it easy for a substitute to walk in and follow the plans without too much trouble. I also have a sub folder that I leave extra plans in- just in case.
It takes a little time at the beginning of the year (or one of the 100 times I have to change the schedule), but weekly planning is pretty quick.
I know many teachers keep lesson plans from the previous year to look back at and help plan the new year.  I never do this.  I feel like every year I have a completely different class and I need to do things they way they need them (plus it drives me crazy to do things exactly the same way twice- seriously, I can't even stand to watch a movie that I like over again.)  So, that's how I plan for school.

Now, my big life-altering (okay, maybe just for me) change....
This year I will be teaching a split 1st and 2nd grade class!  Ahhhhh!!!!  Our school couldn't afford to hire another teacher and our board decided (thankfully, I think) that the single class sizes were too large.  This was the solution that was decided on and I got nominated to teach these kiddos.  So, now that I told you how I plan, I think I'll have to totally change the way I do everything.  I'm a little majorly nervous about how to meet common core with both groups and how to teach 2 math lessons a day.  I think Daily 5 will be a blessing with this situation, hopefully the first few weeks I can do very similar things with them since neither group has done Daily 5 before.  So what other blogs out there are teachers that teach more than one grade?  Because I.  Need.  Help.  Please.  Pretty please.
I did find Marvelous Multiagers and I'm about to send her a message... anyone know any others??? With only a week left, I'm freaking out!  I would love some suggestions, so please send them my way!  Schedules, plans, techniques- anything, really.  Thanks all, I love ya!

I guess I need to change my blog to First (and 2nd) with Franklin, huh?  I really didn't think I would ever teach a different grade!

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  1. Good luck with teaching a combo class! That sounds like an exciting adventure & you will do great! I think there is a blog that is Fun in K/1 also. I hope you find some helpful tips. You are definitely in the right place to find good advice & tips! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    1. Thanks- I hope the year goes well. I know the kids that I have are very sweet, so hopefully I can figure out how to meet all of their needs at the same time! Thanks for visiting!

  2. God luck! I, too, never used the past year's lesson plans. I did keep them because if something might work for the current class, I could look back at them and make sure that I had everything I needed. Usually, I would tweak it a little to make it different!

    Hope you have a wonderful year and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Reading Toward the Stars!

  3. I taught a 2/3 combo and the key is being super duper organized, but it sounds like you are so I think you'll do great!

    Teach on a Limb

    1. I know don't about being super organized... I've always been organized enough to get by, but I think I'm going to have to step it up this year! I do have some ideas on how to stay more organized this year- hope they work!!! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Thanks for sharing your planning ideas! I love the back to back plans you had in previous years! And the idea that a sub could easily read and follow them in a crunch must be wonderful ( I need to look into this idea!). Wishing you the best of luck with your combo class this year! I agree that Daily 5 and centers are going to be a huge help in meeting all of those kids' different levels.

  5. I taught in a 1/2 classroom and I love, love, LOVED it!! So much differentiation of course, but those 2nd graders all had little 1st grade buddies and they taught eachother SO much! Have fun this year and good luck!

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

    1. That's great to know! Did you use entirely different curriculum or did you use the same materials, just at a different level? I'm not sure where to start! Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

  6. So happy you thought of me! Like I said in my email, let me know if I can help you with ANYTHING!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  7. I am also teaching a first second split...found out the day before school AFTER Meet the Teacher, big mess. Anyway, I do have. Part time aid that will start soon, but in the meantime I could use some suggestions for math. I have done math workshop the last two years and I think I will continue that, but I will need to tweak some things. Glad I found your blog! Good luck!

    1. Wow, and I thought finding out just a week before was stressful! I actually am very lucky and I am going to be able to teach the bulk to the math lesson with one group while the other group is in PE. We have to provide PE for our own students on most days, but my fellow 1st and 2nd grade teachers are being kind enough to take my kids with theirs so I can have some time with each group. I'm also using Daily 5 for this year and I hope that it gives me some time with group. Good luck!

  8. So I just stumbled upon your blog while looking through sites listed on the Lesson Planning Linky Party. My plans are VERY similar to's almost scary! I actually had to go back to my blog and check to see if I had shared mine at one point in time! I take it your school does Saxon Math? Do you supplement your program with anything? I still have mixed feelings on the whole program, especially when it comes to fact practice. I thought, this summer, I would look into more resources to tie in with it.

    I love your blog! Thanks for sharing your ideas! :)

    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings