Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely obsessed with planners, planner accessories and school supplies in general. Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I am absolutely obsessed with Erin Condren! http://www.ErinCondren.com is my go-to spot for planners, notebooks and any other personalized stationary I would ever need. My most recent Erin Condren purchase included two new covers for my Life Planner, an interchangeable cover for my Teacher’s Lesson Planner, a set of elastic bands for my Life Planner, a set of elastic bands for my Teacher Planner, a pen holder, a free t-shirt that matches my Teacher Planner and my wonderful, amazing, highly coveted Teacher’s Lesson Planner for the 2016-2017 school year!
I seriously want all of my teacher friends to purchase this planner so much that I decided to review it and explain how some of the pages can be changed to personally fit your classroom. The planners are not cheap, but they are definitely an investment. This year I did a horrible job at keeping records of my lesson plans, so next year I hope that this planner will inspire me to be more dutiful.
Here lies the cover of my majestic planner. It comes with a ruler that you can move to any page of the planner with ease. Since I spent $100 on my order, I received free shipping and a free t-shirt that matches this planner. All of their planners are able to be personalized, but you can also choose the non-personalized options.
The back of the front cover is a dry-erase list. I will definitely be using this to keep track of daily tasks next year. The first page is just the obvious cover page, which I might cover up with our school bell schedule using washi tape.
I love the quotes that Erin Condren has throughout the planner. I will be using the All About Me page and will definitely be tracking my passwords in this planner. There are so many school accounts I have to access that all require different passwords. I am not worried about students seeing these passwords, because I trust my students enough to know that none of them will want to try to steal my planner and also would have no interest in the websites I’m accessing. Not many middle schoolers have a desire to enter SLO data on their free time, believe it or not.
Next year I am starting a show choir at our middle school, so I actually will have a use for the volunteers and field trips page. However, I will definitely not have a need for the substitute page. First off, I could never list all of my students with special needs on those spaces, because a large amount of my students have some sort of behavioral plan or IEP. Second, my substitutes need way more information than that. Third, I would never leave my precious planner with all of my information with a substitute, because I know that I am a very nosey person and would absolutely read through someone else’s planner (yes, I am that guy). I will be using washi tape to cover up that page with something that will be more useful to me (parent contact log, discipline log, etc).
These pages are nice, because they lay out all of the important holidays throughout the year. I will add in our conference and quarter dates as soon as those are confirmed.
There were many times this year that I wished I had kept track of student birthdays. Next year I will have about 190 students (as compared to the 130 I have now) so I will have to write names very small. I think I am going to let students get something out my teacher treat drawer when it is their birthday (or their birthday is on that weekend or that holiday break).
These pages will absolutely be re-purposed. Having 190 students makes it ridiculous to keep track of absences. I keep track of classes individually, but usually don’t need to worry about makeup work since my choir classes are participation based. I will most likely turn this into a parent contact or discipline log. Those are two more things that I wish I would’ve kept better track of this school year.
These pages will be dedicated to drawing out how I am remodeling my room over the summer. I will also use them for blocking formations and positioning for my choirs.
This is where I will keep track of when our concerts and performances are, as well as when SLO pre-test and post-test data will be collected. Those pre and post tests take up about a week of my class periods, so I need to plan ahead for all of that missing rehearsal time.
This is an example of the calendar layout. All of the calendar pages are listed and tabbed in order. They are undated, so that they can be used during different years. The planners come with date dots, which are really easy to use and fit perfectly in the little circles.
Another example of cute quotes found throughout the planner. At the end of each monthly calendar spread there is a page for notes, which I will use for our monthly staff meetings.
This is the spread for the actual lesson plan section. I teach six bells, so I will use the first column for first bell (8th Grade Concert Choir), the second column for second bell (8th Grade Show Choir), the third column for my plan bell, the fourth column for my third bell (7th Grade Concert Choir), the fifth column for my fourth bell (7th Grade Show Choir), the sixth column for my fifth bell (6th Grade Concert Choir) and the last column for my sixth bell (6th Grade Concert Choir). Choir classes can become rather monotonous-warm ups, sight-reading, rehearse music, class dismiss-so I am hoping that if I plan ahead I will be able to break up the routines I have fallen into this year. Erin Condren has a huge fan following, so there are many resources on the internet for ways to personalize and make her planners more convenient. On this blog I found an editable way to make stickers, so that you don’t have to write out your columned classes every week. So helpful!
I paid extra to get 25 pages of these checklists added into my planner. I keep track of daily behavior for their weekly musicianship grades, so I will be using these pages diligently. I’m hoping that I will only have to use them for my concert choir students, because my show choir students should be well trained enough to behave appropriately next year.
One thing I forgot to get a picture of is the amazing set of stickers that come with the planner (you can see the outline of them on the back of this right page). They range from field trip to IEP meeting and I will be using them in the calendar section. At the back of the planner there is this folder that I will definitely use.
There is also a smaller scalloped folder, which I am obsessed with.
There is also a pocket pouch to keep important documents in and the back of the back cover is an unlined dry-erase page.
Alas, we have the back cover.
Receiving this planner in the mail (less than a week from when I ordered it) got me extremely excited to start planning for next year. I have decided to wait until I am done with my Spring Choir Concert this week to start playing around with my planner, so that I can reward myself for surviving my first year of teaching.
I am always interested in hearing suggestions on how I can make the pages work better for middle school grades and large classrooms, so if you have any ideas please let me know in the comments.
If you are interested in purchasing this planner, you can use my Erin Condren referral code and receive $10 off of your first purchase!