A couple of years into my teaching I decided there must be a better way to keep track of my lesson plans. Up until that point it was just scribbles in my teacher planner and messy folders full of PPT's and wsheets on my hardrive. This all made perfect sense to me at the time but if I were to look back at them a couple of months later it just looked like utter nonsense!
Creating lesson plans during your PGCE/NQT year does add to your workload but at least you have a written record you can go back to and consult when planning your next lessons.
So, one summer I came up with a template which would be quick to complete but something that I could keep in a file and when I came to teach that topic again I could look back and know what vocab, activities and resources to cover. At the end of each lesson I would make a quick note in the feedback section as to what worked, what needed changing/adapting so next time around I could quickly find what i needed and make any necessary amendments. This transformed the way I planned and dramatically cut down on planning time for me.
At the start of the year I printed out lots of blank templates, I had 3 folders; 1 each for KS3, KS4 and A Level. I used these every time I planned a lesson and by the end of the year I had 3 folders full of lesson plans and meaningful feedback. The following year when planning a lesson I got out the folder, found my digital resources and quickly made and changes I needed to. This was such a game changer for me, and I still continue to use this method.
Everyone has their own way of planning lessons and you need to do what fits you, your classes and your time constraints. But, if you think you might find this method useful you can download it for free on our site.
How do you plan? Do you have any nuggets of advice to share with us? Leave a comment below.