Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New School Year, New Planner!

Disclaimer:  This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com for your convenience.

A little while ago on the blog's Facebook page, I mentioned that I was in the market for a new plan book and asked your suggestions.  I was a little amazed at how different we all are in our wants/needs with respect to a planner!  A few of you told me that you make your own planners.  Hmmm....Since I've never found a planner that I love, and since I'm fairly comfortable with creating things...I decided to go ahead and make one!


I started by figuring out which aspects of a standard planner I use and thinking about how I modified my planner.  When all was said and done, I ended up with a 55 page file!  I shared with a couple of friends and they suggested that I put it out there on TPT for those of you who may be interested.  Here's a rundown of my final version.

I wanted to make a few different options for covers...


Inside, I started with monthly calendar pages.  There are calendar pages for August 2013 through July 2014 plus one blank month in case your school year runs differently than mine!


Next, I wanted a way to visualize my groups for the day and add notes (If you're looking for a simple way to view your weekly schedule, check out one of my posts from last year).  I ended up with 2 pages/day...one for morning, one for afternoon.  I figured I could add my groups and laminate (or use those Dry Erase Pockets) then add in my planned activity with a dry erase marker.


I also wanted to include information on my students, especially their goal and objectives!  I added these student goal and data collection sheets:


You can find out more about the data collection sheets, and download them for free, HERE. What else do I need to keep track of?  How about contact information for parents, a contact log, a to do list, and notes section!  


This part might not make a ton of sense to anyone but me.  You see, I always insisted on buying a planner that had both a month view and a week view.  In the week view section, I would ignore the dates and draw boxes for each type of group (e.g., Preschool Inclusion, Kindergarten Artic, Preschool Language Pull-Out, etc.).  Then, I would add my planned activities to those boxes.  So rather than buy a planner with month/week views, I created these boxes for my planning:


And here's an example of the completed planner pages:


This planner ended up including everything I need in one spot!  However, I started thinking I might end up with a 6-inch binder!  So, I added extra covers if you'd like to keep the data sheets separate from your planning pages.  They coordinate with the plan book covers, but say "Data Book."  



Update:  (7/30/13, 8PM EST)

You asked, I listened!  I just went and updated the planner to include 15 more pages!  It's now at a whopping 70 pages!  Here's what I added per your suggestions:

A list for screenings and evaluations:

 Monthly Sheets for IEPs and Meetings.  (I left the last two columns blank so you can add your own headings...PW completed, Parent contacted, etc.):


Student attendance sheets.  Personally, I would circle the dates the child received therapy, put an X through
holidays and vacations and days absent.  You can use the notes section on the side to more clearly document (e.g. field trip, assembly, etc.)



If you're interested in finding out more about my planner, you can find it in my TPT store!  I will be giving away three copies of the planner.  You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter below!


PS, Let me know if I missed anything!  Also, if you purchase this item now, you'll be able to download all future updates. That means that next year, when I update the calendars, you won't need to pay for the item again.  Just update, print, and go!

50 comments :

  1. I've never had everything in one place, which makes this planner great. Thanks!

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  2. I usually have a variety of folders for different things. This would be so much better!

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  3. Looks awesome! I need to start using a planner, I start out the school year using one, and then as I get busy, I forget to fill it out. The only thing I could suggest to add (because I do this for my sanity) is a list of important dates, IEP meetings, etc to add in for a quick glance instead of flipping through the whole calendar.

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    1. LOVE the idea of a SPEECH planner. I've always just used my personal planner which makes it hard to keep things confidential. I think adding the IEP/Re-eval pages is awesome because I would have to add that. THANKS.

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  4. I'm starting my CF in a few short weeks and am mildly panicking about how to be organized with the chaos that is about the be my life...this would be such a help!

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  5. hHis looks awesome!!! I agree with having a page to list IEP dates/Re-evals by month would be helpful. Selfishly, I would like a page that was not just for parent contacts, but one for other professionals, administrators, clinics, etc. with a place for phone numbers, faxes, addresses etc. It seems I always have several post-it notes with various phone and fax numbers on them on my desk and bulletin board. I always have good intentions of just making a list but never seem to get around to it!

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    1. Amy, the contact information page I have has name/address, 2 phone number spaces and email. It doesn't specify that it's for parents, so I think you could adapt it and use it for other professionals and administrators. I'm working on adding pages for Screenings & Evals and IEPs!

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  6. I am trying to use a planners as well. I have things in different folders myself...I like to have a list of evals and screenings. Loved some of your ideas! Thanks.

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  7. This looks fantastic! My personal goal for this year is to be more organized with my planning and data tracking. (Sticky notes everywhere is NOT an efficient method!) This would help tremendously.

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  8. Well - this will be my first planner, so I can't say yet!

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  9. I start my CF in a few weeks and this looks like a lifesaver! I, too, like the idea of a page for evals/screenings and IEP dates.

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  10. Looks great! Very creative. I always struggle with finding the right organization tool and feel like I'm constantly changing. Thanks for the help!

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  11. Very creative! I have been using a free teacher's planner that you get at Lakeshore Learning with a $20 purchase (easy, huh?). I use the small square post it notes to write my plans so if a group cancels or has to be rescheduled, I can just move the post it to another day's square. Yours seems much more self contained and complete. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I am about to start my very first year, so this would be so helpful!

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  13. I love the page with the fun frames where you write out your theme and lessons for the week! I will have a para this year working with me so it'd be great to have something like that where I could write out the materials and books to use for the next week and have her get all that ready! Looks like a great product!

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  14. I love the page with the fun frames where you write out your theme and lessons for the week! I will have a para this year working with me so it'd be great to have something like that where I could write out the materials and books to use for the next week and have her get all that ready! Looks like a great product!

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  15. I love it! I don't usually use a weekly planner, but I do like the idea of laminating it so it can change each week. And the planning section looks amazing. Everything in one spot!

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  16. I have been in the market for a new planner...I used one from Target but by the end of the year found myself not really using it anymore. I really like To Do lists but hate having to copy the items I didn't complete one week to the next so I would add an ongoing To Do list section.

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  17. This is a great way to be organized for the new school year!

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  18. I am always looking for the perfect planner! Thanks for sharing yours! I love the section where you make a quick lesson plan for your different groups. Thanks!

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  19. Oh, to have the necessary planning items all in one spot! This looks great. I find my planning/organizing strategies changing often. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. I usually have a standard "month at a glance" academic calendar, yours looks great and convenient to have room for everything.

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  21. I always start out the year with a planner and then stop using it midway. I am determined to use it all year this year! I like having a page for IEP due dates and reeval. I also use one page for referrals/screenings. This looks great!

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  22. Love the planner! Having a theme of the week page with lessons on it is such a great idea. I agree to having a month at a glance page for IEPs and re-evals! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  23. I always make my own planners--although nothing quite as polished as this! Love the way you organized everything. I apologize if I am missing this, but I didn't notice a separate attendance form. I keep each student's attendance on a separate sheet and have a symbol/key to indicate if they missed b/c of absence, school trip, assembly, meeting, refusal to attend. I like to keep it as reference for meetings with parents and just to keep track of how many contacts I have made with student throughout the year. Thanks for this great giveaway!

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    1. I didn't add an attendance form...I usually keep attendance in an Excel spreadsheet. I'll see if I can make a year at a glance calendar small enough to fit!

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  24. I have always created my own, but I like yours much better!

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  25. I use a basic calendar. Not very handy.

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  26. This looks great. I am trying to decide how to keep organized still. I switched to my ipad recently and I am not sure if that is what fits my needs.

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  27. These look great! Since I am trying to go mostly paperless this year, I'd love to put your weekly planning boxes into clear paper protectors and use dry erase markers for a quick view of my lesson plans. Heather Marchuck
    Quart Size Communicators

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  28. These pages look adorable and motivating to use! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

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  29. Carrie. Your planner makes great sense to me. I am not an SLP but I do teach special education for 3-6 year olds. I think every single page you created would work for me. Thanks for sharing. If I don't win, I will be buying it for sure.

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  30. These look great! I use a combination of a regular teacher's plan book for keeping month to month IEP meetings listed but have a separate page that has each of my groups listed beside their time and a bit of space to jot down what I want to use with them.

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  31. The week-by-group pages are interesting. It makes sense and seems like it would help with having everything prepared. Organization is so exciting! :)

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  32. Carrie,

    I just stumbled across your blog and love it! I am looking for a great planner and I love the way you have organized yours. Looks like a great resource

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  33. I just have a regular notebook with some home made sheets

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  34. This is my first year in the schools after working in a medical setting. I am still in search of a planner that will work for me, but am an organizer for sure - this looks fantastic!

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  35. I use a binder for important papers and a school monthly planner our supervisor provides.

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  36. I love your blog and this planner. I use an online planner and a written calendar.

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    1. This would be GREAT for starting out the year! Great way to organize! Love it!

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  38. This. Is. Awesome. I'm new to public school and this will be lifesaver!

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  39. I am so unorganized and have not found a planner that works for me. THANKS!

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  40. I made my own planner last year & had it spiral bound at Kinko's but found it was missing so many things and had too much of some things. It just didn't work as planned. Last week I bought a weekly/monthly planner at target but was already wondering if I could DIY add some pages with an Exacto knife and lots of patience. This may be the solution to all my problems! I also greatly appreciate that one purchased, it'll be updated year-to-year for free. So many I've viewed require new purchases every year. Thanks!!

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  41. I use a variety of things: a desk calendar, weekly printouts that I make and store-bought calendar scheduled down to the hour.

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  42. This year I am trying a variety of pages from different planners trying to find what works for me. I having been really excited to see what you creative slps and teachers have been putting together. The colors, the forms, the planning and reminder to-do-lists... it is inspiring! I would like to have a general contact information sheet available to record #, web sites, etc of important contacts - like home office, principle, family, schools.... Thanks for asking!

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