I need a little help...pretty please!

I feel like I am drowning....and it is WAY to early for that! One thing about me, if you haven't picked up on yet, is I am extremely organized and I carefully plan out everything I teach and do in my classroom! But right now, I am seeing that as a downfall:( I can't figure out how to manage my time and get my lesson plans done before Friday!

Here I sit, yet again on another Sunday afternoon at 4pm trying to plan. I start to stress and worry! I would LOVE to know how you manage your time for lesson plans? It seems like all week long I have meetings during specials, during before and after school. I go to the gym before and after school too. My only day off is Sunday! And I spend it lesson planning and cooking. I can't keep up! I want to blog more and create more too but I just don't have time. I need HELP!

Any and all suggestions would be awesome! And just for saying thank you, I would love to give you one of my poke games for free! Just leave a suggestion and your email! 

Also...my computers in the classroom have not been working:( Ugh! So I dug out my listening center. I HATE cords! How would you make this more clean???

One last thing...Jennifer from Rowdy in First is having a Tell me something good linky!

Something good about school:
I got a new laptop! Almost all the teachers got new ones! Our school is getting a technology makeover! Now, I know it isn't a Mac...but I am loving the new computer! It is better than the one I own!
Something good about home:
Well, my hubby is back to work. Yes it is 3rd shift, but it is temporary! Also, I have been cooking a ton more and trying to eat as clean as possible! Here are my cooking creations for today! These are all on my Pinterest Healthy Eating board!

Then, I am making this for dinner tomorrow and later this week!

I am looking forward in reading responses from my bloggy friends! Everyone enjoy your Sunday Evening...I will be sitting here for awhile:(


  1. Hi Tonya!
    I don't know if I can help with your planning woes...it helps me to think about things thematically...usually based around science or social studies..
    The listening center wire drama drove me crazy a few years ago..so I used Donorschoose.org to get myself some awesome wireless headphones for my listening center. CHANGED MY LIFE! They are from Lakeshore...check them out here.http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo/ca|searchResults~~p|2534374302175331~~.jsp

    Hope that helps.

    A BLT adventure

  2. Time management is a big one. I haven't dealt with that yet so I will leave it up to the professionals. For the blogging, maybe you could do scheduled posts so that you don't have to worry about making time each day but you could write one day and then schedule them over the course of the week. To fix your tangled head phones, try getting one of the cord wrappers so that they retract right up into a coil after each use. Hope that helps!


    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

  3. I lesson plan 2 weeks in advance - and I have everything written down on a pacing guide (it's by week and it includes the lessons for math, reading story/focus lessons, spelling pattern, science or social studies lesson, writing activity) so I know exactly what story, etc is coming up so it's just a matter of plugging things into the specific time slots. Are you doing the same grade as last year? The first couple of weeks when it's not the regular schedule yet, I use my plan book from last year and take those same ideas. So yeah - my book is filled out 2 weeks in advance - this next week more than the week after, and I have a couple of holes to add different activities if I find something that I would rather do to spice up a lesson. Don't stress, we are all there too.

    As for blogging - when things got stressful at the end of the summer I did the schedule feature, but these days I'm not worrying about it so much. When I get time then I will write, but I'm not going to stress anymore if I can't get a post out every day.

    Take a deep breath and just relax!

  4. I feel your pain! I wish I was organized. I try to be super planner, but by Wednesday everything I PENCILED in (yes, never pen) is ruined. I think of teaching in pictures. Sounds weird let me explain, its kind of like backward design. I start with the end goal in mind, i.e. book report, and think about the steps to get there, and what each looks like. I plan to give time on the task each day, and jot when the day is done, how far we got, knowing the ending date I have in mind too. It saves me time. I would also consider myself to be a very organic teacher. I adjust based on the kids needs, which I can't always anticipate, and always the same needs as years past. I don't know how you pre-plan for that. :) Hope that helped.
    As far as headphones. I store all mine in plastic ziploc bags. The kids each grab a baggie, whether they are at a listen station or on a computer. That way, chaotic cords disappear when the student is done with the station.


  5. When I know I'm going to be busy, I use the schedule feature on blogger and that helps out so much! You just schedule when the post will come out.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher
    Endless Pinabilities!

  6. Yum, your cooking recipe pictures look yummy!
    I know what you mean about Sunday work days - double yuck! Last Sunday I had a little tizzy fit and told my husband - I just don't want to be working on Sundays! I'm going to try a couple things - repeats - yup, from last year, what did I do and can I do it again. And my daughter is in HS but has things on Monday and Thursday evenings, so I'm going to try to use that time to do school stuff and not the weekend.
    Also, at the end of last school year, I heard something that might sound terrible, but it sorta makes sense - be happy with 80%. So what I took that to mean is don't aim for perfection, but good enough. Like I made these calling cards to go with a bingo game, and I messed up a word. To fix it, I would have had to cut more cards, etc. so I just crossed out the word and wrote it correctly - quick and easy.
    I do hope things get better for you.

  7. I plan about two to three days at a time...so my plans are never fully 'complete'. I find it more manageable and not as overwhelming as planning a full week. And, if something happens and I don't get to something, it's easy to add it in, since more than likely, I haven't planned that far ahead. I hope this helps!


    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

    1. I prefer to do this, but my admin doesn't like it. I do my plans through Wed and then put filler in until I can go back and work on it.

    2. I do the same. I find it works better for me because something always comes up that requires a change in plans.

  8. I am with Kaitlyn, and only have about four to five days of plans at any given time which works for me since we don't have to turn in our lesson plans in advance. I try to fill in one subject at a time, though, as it is easier to keep the flow. I do the 'non-thinking' things (like spelling: pretest, p.1-2, p. 3-4, p. 5-6, test) when time is short or I am too tired to think much!

    Part of it is telling yourself you WON'T take it home to do. And stick with it. You can do it!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  9. I know you mentioned you have meetings after school and various other activities, but what my co-teacher and I have been doing is staying after just a half hour or so and planning each day, then on Fridays we stay for about an hour. Last week we managed to get all the plans finished for next week and today I am just wrapping up some last minute things. Also for those cords, you could wrap them up and add a twist tie so they only stay as long as you want them to be. :)


  10. I hear ya! I feel the same way OVERWHELMED! It was nice to read the other posts. It gave me some ideas too. It was so nice to have the summer. Don't you feel like we never had one. I feel like all I do is eat, breath, sleep school. Good Luck! I hope you find a happy medium.
    The Hive

  11. I am with ya too Tonya. I feel like I'm drowning and I don't like the feeling. I think that if you put yourself on a schedule (which I'm trying to do) and set certain days aside to do certain tasks, it would be helpful. What I've been doing is on Mon/Tues I will plan for Lang.Arts, Weds. I plan for writing and art, and Thurs/Fri I plan for math. It's helpful though because in third grade we do rotations so the other third grade teachers take care of science, social studies and health.
    You could have your students bring in their own headphones and keep it in their book boxes. When they choose to listen to reading they could just plug their on headphones in. Then you won't have that problem :0
    Hang in there..

  12. You aren't alone girl! I feel like I can't keep my head above water this year! As far as lesson planning goes I'm still doing barest bones for the week- Reading, lesson 4, Math-chapter 2, etc. We've had so many schedule changes that I just can't keep up. I'm going to start working out again this week so I'm hoping that will clear my brain. Hopefully in the next week or so I can actually write real lesson plans! So happy you linked up! Hang in there!
    Rowdy in First Grade

  13. I also plan on weekends. But, some weekends I have other pressing matters. When this happens I set aside 30 - 45 minutes a night during the week to plan. Baby steps toward the bigger picture :)

    Good luck and I am sure you will figure it out :)

    One Class, One Sound

  14. Tonya, I hope you've found some time this evening to relax and refresh before a new week begins!! That's SUPER important for us all :) I, too, have found myself struggling to get ahead this year with my lesson planning, which drives me crazy! In the past, I've been planned 2 weeks out, with plenty of time at home for creating and relaxing and fun. This year, I am lucky if I have all of the next 2 DAYS planned out. But, as someone above said, just tell yourself you're NOT bringing work home over the weekend. I have a new baby, and that is so much more important to me - as I'm sure time with your hubby is, too!! Do you have a good team to plan with? We set aside time every Wednesday to get the next week's plans filled in somewhat... what our math topic is, our phonics focus, maybe an art project, etc. If you have someone you trust to be as awesome as you are at planning, divvy it up and share the load! You take math, have your partner take ELA. Then swap and share!

    As for blogging... I am the WORST! Once I got preggo last year, I think I blogged maybe 5 times the remainder of the year (ummm... from Sept. to May...). I'm honestly thinking of using the schedule feature this year and maybe enjoying a relaxing Saturday morning typing up a few (3?) posts to publish throughout the week. Then, at night while perusing everyone else's, if I see a linky I want to join, I can quickly type something up and jump in the fun!

    Good luck... take time for YOU... and know that it'll all work out, just give it time :-)

    First Grade FUNdamentals

  15. Words cannot express how meaningful each and every one of your comments mean to me! I will take some time over the next few days to reply. I am still trying to feel better about school and managing my time. I will take each one of your ideas into consideration!

  16. I feel your pain! I have always planned on the weekend, but this year I have an intern, so we have to get the plans done before then. We break it up into parts. Monday/Tuesday we will plan for reading/lang. arts, Wednesday is math, and Thursday is Science/social studies. Then, on Friday we finish up and run copies. It's actually worked out pretty well and it's really nice to not have to plan on the weekend.
    Teachin' First