Saturday, June 2, 2012

Work Smarter! Not Harder! Post #1

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

My motto for many, many years has been WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER!  Now, you may be asking yourself, “How is this possible?”  Yes, as teachers, we are some of the hardest working bunch of people I know of.  It seems we are always redoing, revising, reinventing, etc., etc., etc.  There are several ways that I try to stick to my mantra to make life easier.  I plan on doing a series this summer here on my blog to give tips and encouragement to make your life more simple, enjoyable and easier.  I hope you will visit often to see my latest post and add comments and questions to help us all.

Today is post #1:  Are You Working Hard at Planning or Hardly Planning?

I like to use the beginning of the summer to map out my next school year.  Other teachers always ask me why I’m not spending hours on lesson plans during the school year.  My reasoning is simple…I did it in the summer at my own pace when I was relaxed and WANTED to do it.   First, on my computer I make a folder titled for the next school year.  (2012-2013).  Inside this folder I make a folder for each month. 
Inside each of those folders, I make a math, language arts, reading, writing, science, social studies etc. folder.

Next, inside each of those folders, I make…hahaha…you got it…MORE folders.  (Make August first, then copy, paste and simply change the month name…remember SMARTER…).  These I label for the things I use to teach the unit such as, Power Points, Hands on Activities, Worksheets, etc. 

Then as I come across ideas on Pinterest, blogs, TPT, Teacher's Notebook, etc. I just drop them into the correct month, subject and teaching style folder.  During the school year as it is time to plan for the unit, everything I need is at my fingertips and it makes planning a breeze!  Of course, I've been doing this for several years, so now I just change the year and add or delete to make it jive with the current school year.  (This year I'll be doing a LOT of adding and deleting with the new standards!  :-)

*EXTRA, EXTRA* - I have opened a store in Teacher's Notebook called, "Cynthia's Pad."  I am having a 50% off sale to welcome you all to my store.  Don't miss it!

What do you do to make lesson planning easier during the school year?

Next post:  Year at a Glance


  1. My files are an absolute disgrace right now! Thanks for inspiring me to become more organized!! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. I create folders by subject then topic. I handwrite my lesson plans :( I have never been able to save them since every year I reinvent the wheel.
    Looking forward to reading your posts.
    My Second Sense

  3. Yay! You just guided me in getting things organized. I am following your plan but saving things on Class It's an awesome tool. Check it out!

  4. I love this- great idea. I will be back to continue reading about working Smarter not Harder!!!

  5. Hey there!

    I am SO with you about working smarter and not harder. I find that I have my hand in some many different "pots" that I have a hard time staying focused on the task at hand. Maybe it's just that time of year...My GOAL before my last day of school (JUNE 15TH!!) is to have all my filing cabinet organized. I'm trying to "weed out" all the extra paper that is taking up so much space in my files, whether it's duplicates or things in the wrong files or just even things I will never use.

    I look forward to reading more! I'm a new follower!

    Sweeties In Second

  6. Wow! Love your folder system! I have had theme folders, but think this system will work better moving into third grade. I dread weeding through my first grade folders because they are just out of control. I think your system will be a great way to start a new!

    Christine - soo to be

  7. Love this system. I'm excited to read more.

  8. This is great. I'm excited to read your series. New follower and would love for you to check out my blog!

    Success in Second Grade