What is Batch Lesson Planning?
There is so much on teachers’ plates these days! With all of the expectations teachers must meet, there has to be an easier way to plan quality instruction. Thankfully, there is! It’s called batch lesson planning. Batch lesson planning is what it sounds like. It is, essentially, planning large amounts of lesson plans at one time, creating more time during the school day for teachers to focus on other tasks. It is a more efficient way to plan several weeks or even months in advance. Teachers who batch lesson plan are able to spend more of their free time with family or doing fun things and take less work home. Think: food prep, but in the form of lessons!
What are the Benefits of Batch Planning?
The benefits of batch lesson planning are great! First of all, batch planning creates less work for teachers during the week. By front loading all the work, teachers can cut down on their daily to-do list and leave when they are supposed to and enjoy family time and free time.
Additionally, lesson plans tend to be stronger when planned in advance and altogether. Plans tend to flow and connect more when they are created at the same time with a greater goal/objective in mind. Sometimes last minute planning can be rushed and lose quality. By batch planning, teachers can avoid leaving out key pieces of instruction that students need.
When batch lesson planning is done correctly, teachers are able to plan a large amount of lessons that can be implemented over time. This allows them to be well prepared and utilize their regular planning periods for other tasks such as grading, reviewing data, and other clerical things that they would normally have to do after school. Batch lesson planning can be a great benefit to teachers!
How to Get Started
If batch planning is something you’re interested in, it’s easy to get started. The following steps will help you get a jump start on planning and begin your first attempt at batch lesson planning!
Set A Date
First, set a date on your calendar that you will sit down and batch plan. Stick to that date and find a place that is free of distractions so you can devote a large amount of time to planning.
Set A Main Focus
Decide what subject(s) you will plan and how much time you will spend planning lessons. Make sure you have all the resources you need so that you aren’t spending your time trying to scramble around gathering resources. Some resources you may need are your school calendar, pens/pencils, teaching materials (both online and hardcopy), your computer, and student data. Be sure to consider school dates and events such as field trips and assemblies.
Start Small At First
When you think of batch lesson planning, don’t feel that you have to plan the whole year in one sitting. Try starting off by planning a few weeks. The next time you sit down to batch plan, you may be ready to try an entire semester!
Do Your Research
Before you begin, take time to explore some resources regarding batch lesson planning. There are many online resources available to help you get started.
Team planning is important. Ask other team members to join you in planning. Make sure you have a planning area free of distractions and gather all the resources you need.
Tips for Planning
Additional tips for batch planning include: focusing on units, mapping out standards, and setting a deadline for yourself. By focusing on units, you are giving yourself a big picture to go back to and making the overall organization of batch lesson planning clear. Some find that laying out the standards they need to teach for the year helps them to plan large amounts of lessons. By laying out standards, teachers can feel good about getting in what they need to in short amounts of time. Once standards are mapped, it’s important to set a deadline for yourself. If you would like to see a specific number of units or standards covered in the first six weeks of school, stick to this deadline and be ready to plan another set of lessons.
Remember to reflect on how your lessons go throughout the time you have planned for. This will be important to reference as you continue to sit down and plan large amounts of lessons. Keeping a journal each day or each week can help you look back at your plans and make changes as needed.
Lastly, remember to reach out to others that have more experience with batch planning. Nothing goes perfectly the first time around, so keep in mind that you may make mistakes, and if you do, it’s okay. If you’re looking for a way to lighten your daily load and increase the quality of your plans, give batch lesson planning a try!