Designing the Perfect Planbook

My first couple of years teaching, I just used a generic planbook.  I became frustrated with the lack of space and lack of personalization, so I designed my own in Photoshop.  I use a view binder to hold everything, which is so much better than a traditional planbook because it has pockets inside for holding extra papers.

The first thing I always do every year is design a cover.  I always use a photo I've taken in a francophone country, and I add my name in a cool font.  I then print this out and stick it in the front of the view binder.  You don't need Photoshop skills to make a good cover.  Just find a photo from your travels or another image and print it out.  There are a number of really great mobile apps (I love Typic) that allow you to add fun fonts and graphics.  You're going to be looking at this binder a lot though, so I think making the cover look nice is important.

 I keep a big pad of paper in the pocket in the back.  This comes in handing when I'm assigning groups for projects or taking notes at a meeting.

While I used Photoshop to create the pages, you could easily create something similar in Word with some text boxes and lines.  If you like what I've done here, you can click on it to view it larger and print it out to use yourself!

 For those of you who don't speak French, the first line is for the day and date.  Underneath is a box for objectives, then the agenda.  On the right, a place to put the homework and check off the standards.  I have New York State standards and common core state standards.  Depending on where you live, you may use different standards.  The standards have been abbreviated for space reasons.  At the bottom is where I write notes, such as "great lesson" or "activity was too hard."

The perfect plan book is the one that suits your own needs.  Have you made your own plan book yet?  Are you planning to make one?

4 Things I'm Excited to Try Out This Year

Normally I blog about things I've already done, but in this post I'm going to share a few things I'm excited to try this year.  I'll let the folks who've already tried them do the explaining.

Goosechase:  This is a scavenger hunt app I first read about on El Mundo de Birch.  I think it sounds like a great review activity.

Emojis:  I love this post about ways to use emojis from Musings from the Island.  I can't wait to try out some of her ideas!

Triventy:  This is a collaborative quiz app I first read about on Maris Hawkins blog.  I love having students take charge of the learning so this seems like a great tool.

Google Scoot:  My colleague Susan Frost first directed me to this activity on Erin-tegration.  I love an excuse for students to get out of their seats, so this activity seems like a great blend of technology and kinetic learning.

What are you excited about trying out this year?

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