I think one of my first purchases for my classroom, when I found out I was going to be a third-grade teacher, was two sets of plastic drawers. I don’t know if I had a plan when I bought them. But they are seriously what my classroom revolved around all six years. Those six little drawers are exactly how you can organize lesson plan materials for each week.
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When I walk into a teacher’s classroom, one of the things I often notice that is missing is a routine to organize lesson plan materials for the upcoming week.
I have met many teachers who don’t even have lesson plans ready for the upcoming week, they plan day by day. And that is astounding to me!
If you are looking for steps to actually write out your lesson plans, then head here where I break down the must-have lesson planning workflow.
I think this list of eight guiding questions to think through while lesson planning, especially the question about the rationale behind the post, is a great thing to keep near you while planning.
How to Organize Lesson Plan Materials
Teacher Friend, the thing I want most for you is freedom!
Freedom to leave your classroom on Friday afternoon feeling prepared for Monday and the new week.
But when it comes to organizing your lesson plan materials, you need some routines for that.
Lesson Plan Drawers
Remember those drawers I just told you about? The ones I didn’t have a plan for?
Here they are in all their beauty. Seriously, they were one of my most favorite organization tools in my classroom.
You can buy these drawers for a decent price off Amazon…and I highly recommend you get yourself a couple of sets because you won’t be disappointed!
I added bulletin board border + a label for each day of the week and included an “extra” drawer to keep up with extra materials, hardcopies, leftovers, etc.
Within each drawer, include folders for each of the subjects you teach.
You can see the four I used here- one for morning work, reading, writing, and math (because those are the subjects I taught).
I also used a green take-home folder that rotated to whatever day it is.
***Pssst! This is a great routine to establish…when a paper comes in from the office, immediately put it in the “take-home folder” and then pass it out at the end of the day.***
You can see a complete break down of everything in my Lesson Plan Material Drawers in my first ever Facebook Live (bahhh!)
There are so many different ways to organize your lesson plan materials. My favorite was the drawers I just shared about. But you can organize your materials in any way that works for you.
- Try using magazine files as a way to store your prepped materials
- Folders inside a milk-crate broken down by each day of the week
- Here are some ideas for organizing lesson plan materials by month
Getting Lesson Plan Materials Organized
Friday was my prep day in my lesson planning workflow.
Once all my materials were prepped, it was time to organize them.
Of course, not everything always fit. Sometimes I would have a lesson that involved Math manipulatives or Science materials (when I taught Science).
Baskets and bins are super important to have in your organization arsenal because they can be used for so much- like this!
On Friday when I prepped all my materials, I would also assemble team bins with all of the materials for the Math or Science lesson that next week. I kept them stored in the area of the room where that subject’s materials were kept.
You can also outline anchor charts ahead of time. I did this and stored them, with a magnet, in between my filing cabinet and cabinet, as pictured below.
If I can give you one piece of advice as a teacher, it’s to never leave Friday afternoon without your lesson plans prepped and materials ready for the upcoming week.
At the very least, I’d suggest having everything ready to go on Monday.
Once your materials are prepped, use drawers (or hanging file folders, baskets, or bins) to organize lesson plan materials by day and subject.
Here’s a quick recap of all the links I share above! Happy Organizing 🙂
- The Must-Have Lesson Planning Workflow
- Lesson Planning drawers from Amazon
- Time Management Routines for Teachers
- 10 Productivity Tips for Teachers free download
- Tips to Organize Anchor Charts
Until next time,