Friday, June 3, 2016

My Teacher's Notebook

It has been a long painstaking process getting ready to homeschool Kiera.  After I finally picked out the subjects, curriculum, and books (post to come soon) that I wanted to use, I had such a mental block about how to proceed.  How should I organize everything?  Should I spend money on a teacher's lesson planner?  What should I keep track of?  How do I even do a lesson plan?  

It got so bad that I thought about saying forget the whole thing.

Then I was desperately searching the internet for a cheap homeschool lesson planner when I came upon a review online and followed the links to a website that had a preview of the important pages in the planner that was for sale.  (I would link to the website... but I didn't write it down and now I don't remember what it was)  I copied the pages down on paper and then modified them to meet the needs of my one student and myself.  

I bought this Mead Five Star 5-subject notebook at Walmart.  I really liked this notebook because of several features.  The covers are plastic so they won't start to come apart like a composition notebook would or bend and tear like a regular spiral notebook.  The outside of the spiral is covered with a nylon protector to keep the wires from snagging.  The page dividers are moveable!  You can just pop them right out of the spiral and move them anywhere you need them so you don't have to have to rip out and waste the paper if you don't need it in that section.  It even has a handy pen holder for my red teacher's pen.

I am only using four sections currently.  

The very first page (which isn't pictured) is simply the student's name, grade, first day of school, and last day of school.

The second section is my teacher's section.  It includes a curriculum tracker where I have written down the name of  the book we are using for each subject and how much I paid for it.  I also have a list of any extra supplements that I have purchased (in this case all from Dollar Tree) and Additional Resources.  I found some websites that we are using and I am keeping track of the user names and passwords in the Additional Resources section.

The next page is her class schedule.  I have color coded each class to make it easier to track and because it just looks pretty.  

Next is the Attendance tracker.  I printed out each month and taped them in.  I have two semesters and each semester has it's own attendance tracker.

I also have a grading chart that isn't pictured to easily figure out her grade percentage.  It might be cheating, but I don't care.  I left extra pages in my teacher section in case I find something else to add later.

The third section is progress reports and report card information.  The progress reports are done by week for each class and will be an average of the weeks grades.  The report card will then be an average of each week per semester.  All color coded, of course.

The final section is the lesson plan.  This was a lot of work.  I made a rough draft on a computer printout version of my final design of my lesson plan book.  I quickly realized that it would have been so much more simple to just make the spreadsheets on the computer, print them out, three hole punch them, and fill them in.  But alas, I had already committed to the notebook.  Next year, I will know better.  

The worst part of this section was actually drawing the grids for the planner.  Each week is a two page spread and is color coded to match the rest of the book.  There is a printed calendar with the current week highlighted.  There is a planner to make sure we don't miss any extracurricular activities during the week and a place to write in upcoming events.  

I am tracking the grades that she gets on each assignment right in the lesson plan.  At the end of the week, these are the grades that will be averaged out and carried to the progress reports.

Now that I have it all together, it is working out pretty well.  Feel free to copy any of the pages that I have made for your own purposes.  Good luck if you are undertaking this type of project and if I have caught you in time... do it on the computer!

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