Planning Methods, Part II

If you missed the first part of my planning system, here's the link. Once I get my lesson plans written onto my six-week planner sheets, I put them into our V Planner, which is an elaborate Excel spreadsheet. We will be using V Planner V3 this year. It's different from the one we used last year, and I'm still trying to decide if I like it better or not. It does give you the option to record a semester class, but all of our classes run throughout the entire year, so that isn't something I necessarily need. However, it's not so different that it's going to turn me off from using it. I'm just used to the look of the version I'm using now.

Below is a screen shot of what part of a subject page, or S Sheet, looks like. The planner allows you to use either a date system or a number system. I prefer the number system, so I just put all the assignments in without regard to the dates. For example, if I were putting in history assignments, which are only done two days per week, I would just list the assignments out with no blank rows in the planner, just like I did for math. 

V Planner V3 S Sheet

As you can see from the example above, I use the same worksheet for both my planning and my record keeping. I love this feature! I don't do grades for all the subjects, but my girls love getting their grammar and math graded, so I grade all their daily work and tests and record them in my V Planner. I can also print out a report card at the end of a term.

After all of my lesson plans for the six-weeks are planned out, I take the assignments and transfer them from the subject file folders where I was keeping them organized to the assignment box. The assignment box is a plastic file folder box that holds legal-sized folders. 

Assignment Box

I have 30 hanging file folders that are labeled with the numbers 1-30. These represent the 30 school days within our six-week term. Each hanging file folder currently has two legal file folders in it. The one with the left tab is for K and the one with the middle tab is for H. (Once J gets to school age, if I'm still using this same system, he'll have the right tab.) When I'm putting the assignments into the folders, I make sure that I put them into the folder with the number that corresponds to the number on the planning sheet. For example, if I have #4 X'd out because it's a co-op day, I don't put any assignments into the #4 folder in the assignment box. 

Each day, I take all of the assignments from the daily folder and put them into the girls drawers. These are actually different from the workboxes that I used to use. I had an opportunity to purchase rainbow drawers at Sam's Club, and since the drawers were a bit bigger than what I was using, I switched. 

There is no rhyme or reason to which assignments go in which drawers. I like to loosely follow a routine for our school day, but my students don't always want math at math time, so as long as they are working on one of their assignments, I give them some leeway on their individual subjects. 

After the six-week session, I take any unfinished assignments and assign them again at the beginning of the six-week session. I also use this time to reassess what is working and what is not working. I can plan to spend more time or less time per topic for the next six weeks, or I can plan to double up assignments or skip lessons that I think are already mastered. 

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