HOW TO ORGANIZE LESSON PLANNING MATERIALS (Paper Organization Series)

Learn how to manage and organize your lesson plans, teacher planner, resources, paper, and more!
When you draft your lesson plans, you have the following resources on hand: Computer with internet, teacher manuals, thematic resources you’ve accumulated, pacing guide / curriculum maps, Common Core Materials and Standards, and plans from previous years.  Wow, that’s a lot! Check out the organization tools to help you have all of these on hand so your lesson planning sessions are productive and streamlined.

This blog post will…

  • Offer solutions for managing, storing and organizing the papers and materials you use when you sit down to write your plans.

Before we begin:


Organization Tools

  • Go Digital: The most efficient way to lesson plan is to go digital. Since I use my computer to type up my plans it made sense to make that my number one tool for lesson planning. In place of the paper pacing guide and Common Core Standards book, I have a copy saved to my computer. Because I write my daily plans on the computer I can quickly review my plans from the previous years. I’ve also spent a lot of time over the years converting all of those binders of ideas into thematic packets that are stored on my computer. Most needed updating anyhow. As I plan new units I do so completely electronically.
  • Small Tote: In addition to the resources that live in my computer, I have a small tote that I use for lesson planning purposes. I keep the current teacher manual for math and language arts inside as well as Post-Its, markers, my planning templates (I first write them down when planning with my partner before typing them up), a to do list for items that need to be prepped and gathered, and a folder for copies that need to be made.
  • Baskets on Shelf: While I use a basket for my teacher resources that go with my current units and learning concept, it is also important to develop a storage system for the manuals you are not currently using. Some teachers find it best to designate a shelf to each subject. Others like to stand the books on end in a filing cabinet with like subjects clustered together.
  • Copy Paper Boxes: I have a copy paper boxes that I covered with paper to match my classroom. There is a box for math, science/social studies, word study, and reading. I keep all of the district-issued manuals and materials in these boxes along with my personal resources. I like this system because everything is organized and easy to find. Also, if I moved grade levels or schools it would be quite simple to remove my personal items and have everything ready for the teacher who would be taking over my classroom. 
  • Large Plastic Drawers: In the past I used large plastic drawers. I dedicated a drawer to each subject area. I didn’t care for this system for a few reasons. The drawers took up too much of a footprint in the classroom. The size and shape of the drawers required me to stack the books on top of each other which made it harder to access what I needed. My new system using boxes allows me to stand the books on their side so I can read the titles on the side and add and remove books quickly.




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