Organizing Lesson Plans

There are so many aspects of teaching that can be completely overwhelming, so I’m always looking for new ways to simplify and organize.  I think that my lesson plan binders have been the best organizational tool I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried out a lot! Several years ago, I made the switch from writing my lesson plans in a plan book to writing them on my computer.  Those plans eventually morphed into what I call my lesson plan binders.

I organize my lesson plans into 9-week binders, and of course I have to create a fun cover page for each of the binders.  I like to buy large sturdy binders, because they go through a lot of wear and tear.

I also add spine inserts in each of the binders, because I keep them in a small bookcase in my classroom.  I have a few other binders, so it makes it easy for me to find what I need.

I organize the binders by 9-weeks, and at the front of each week, I include an overview of the week.  This overview gives a brief layout of what I am teaching in each subject, each day of the week.  I also have a section for my station activities and journal prompts.

Behind the overview, I keep a copy of everything I will need for the week.  I include lesson plans, worksheets, homework, pictures of finished products, etc.  If I use it, it’s in there.

I also use page dividers with pockets, so I can keep the week’s behavior log and anything else that I may need to save in the pockets.

This is such a tremendous help for me, because it’s so easy for me to find what I’m looking for.  It also helps me plan from year to year.  By the end of the week, my weekly layout looks horrible, but I use my notes to change the order of particular lessons, to increase or decrease the pacing of particular lessons, or to make changes to a particular lesson.

It did take awhile for me to compile my binders, but once I did, I felt so much more efficient and organized!



  1. says

    Hey Ashleigh! I love this idea. I am new to first grade so this would be perfect time to start lesson binders. Would you mind emailing me a sample? The visual learner …. Thanks!

  2. Jenny says

    I love your lesson planning sheets. Do you have them available on TPT or would you consider sharing the layout?

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