Free Your Time Blog Hop!

Hello blogging friends!
I'm teaming up with a fabulous group of 5th grade teachers
for a fun blog hop!

We collaborate over at Fifth Grade Freebies - check it out!

If you're new to my page, here's a little bit about me:
And here's some "food for thought" to help FREE YOUR TIME!

As teachers, we are constant jugglers. Just finished a smash-hit lesson plan that was fun, engaging, and provided valuable assessment? Great! Pat yourself on the back and then move on, because you need to do it all again tomorrow :)

The key to staying on top of the work, keeping your lessons engaging, and leaving school before 8pm each night is: organization.

I wanted to share how I stay organized
and get prepared for each week:
1. I lesson plan a month ahead.
Yes, you read that correctly. One whole month. The third week of the month, I sit down with my books, my binders (chocked full of TPT resources!), and a calendar and I plan out the next month. Do things change? Sure. Is it easy to shift things over? Definitely. Do I spend each weekend lesson planning? NO! It usually takes me about 2 hours to plan it all out. Now, I just do block planning, so it isn't super detailed. I am pretty good on my feet (and have been teaching the same curriculum for 4 years), so if you need detailed, spelled-out plans, this may take you longer.

2. Each Thursday, I prepare the copies for the following week.

Because I have planned a month ahead, I print out the plans for the upcoming week and then highlight the things I need to have copied. I sort them into my daily hanging files, so each morning, I just pull out the materials that I need for the day and bring them to the front of the room for easy access. If you use a lot of copies, you could double the number of hanging files and label them each day morning and afternoon (i.e. Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon, etc.)

3. Use a calendar

After I plan out my lesson plans for the month, I create a monthly calendar of quizzes, tests, and projects that goes home with my students (the last Friday of the previous month). It helps me stay on track and holds the students responsible for knowing what is coming up. Each afternoon, before dismissal, I pull out the calendar and we discuss what they might need to get a jump-start on studying for.

On the back of the calendar, I print the volunteer schedule: 
Click here to check out how I organize the work
for my classroom helpers:

And now, a freebie to help you save some time...
I've created a quick and easy To-Do List template that I print, copy, and put in my master binder. I am a natural list-maker (I love crossing things off!) and this really helps me stay organized.
The FREE download also includes a blank template for you to customize, if you'd like.

Next stop on the Blog Hop:
Visit Stephanie from "Forever in Fifth Grade"
Grab button for Forever in Fifth Grade

And make sure to stop by "Fifth Grade Freebies" to become a follower and to enter the Rafflecopter - you could win a $25 TpT giftcard! :)
Fifth Grade Freebies
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