How I Organized My $3 Target Lesson Planner

This year, I chose to save myself some money and create my Lesson Planner Fixer Upper style. So, I took a really cheap lesson planner ($3) and put a lot of work into it to make it my own. 

It took some time, but I will say that it is now EXACTLY what I want for the school year! 

I recently shared why I’m choosing to use a cheap Target lesson planner over the Erin Condren Lesson Planner this year. You can read about that here. 

Today, I’m going to share just how I’m using this Target planner and how I’ve been able to make it work for me!

If you’re a fan of Target’s Dollar Spot, office supplies, and color-coding, this post is for you!

Overall Size:
First of all, I LOVE the size of this planner. I don’t feel like it’s too bulky or heavy. It’s easy to carry around in my bag and I could easily stick it in the pocket of a binder (which I sometimes do). 

The size and simplicity are the main reasons I chose to use this planner this year! 

Class Roster Pages:
This is one thing I find essential to a teacher lesson planner! When a kid is throwing up in my classroom, or there’s a fire drill, I don’t want to have to go to a separate resource for my parent contact info. 

I want it all right there in the book I use for everything else so I can grab it and go!

Classroom Map & Seating Chart:
Before I ever even got my classroom roster for this year, I went ahead and drew my seating charts for the carpet and tables. I very gently wrote in student numbers in pencil so that I can change them throughout the year… as I know I’ll do several times! 

Monthly View:
First of all, I really enjoyed putting in my own monthly tabs! I placed them to where I can see all of the months for my first semester, and all of the months of my second semester. Seeing all of the months at once means I can flip to the page I need quickly! 

I used the long Post-It tabs from Office Max and a Sharpie Extreme to make the tabs.

Weekly Tabs:
To make planning even more efficient, I numbered the weeks using Post-It flags. I color coded the flags to match the tabs from the monthly view, so that I could easily find the correct week when planning. 

I love how I’m able to flip back and forth between weeks/months during meetings!

Weekly Layout:
One reason the ECLP didn’t work well for me was because the weekly view was already so laid out. I really wanted to customize and color code according to subject instead of days. Here, I used Sharpie Highlighters to color code each subject. 

Then I simply crossed out the days we wouldn’t teach certain subjects. 

Weekly Planning:
The key word our school tells its teachers to be is “flexible”. We do a lot of fun things throughout the school year that can sometime disrupt our best laid lesson plans. In order to plan flexibly, I use Post-It tabs that can easily be moved from week to week. 

These peel off easily and stay sticky even after being moved several times!

Writing Utensils:
Even though the paper is thin (which makes it super light to carry around!), I’ve been able to find tons of writing utensils that won’t bleed through the paper! Here’s what I use…

-Monthly Numbers + Non-Changing Dates: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pen (turquoise)
-Weekly Subjects + Rows: Sharpie Highlighters (6 color pack)
-Lesson Plan Boxes + Activities: Bic Mechanical Pencil (#2)

Post It’s
-Monthly + Weekly Tabs: Sharpie Extreme (black)
-Moveable Lesson Plans: Tombow ABT (black)

Have you decided to create/customize a planner this year? If so, what did you do? What products helped? How did it turn out? Share your ideas below! 🙂 

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