Monday, August 15, 2011


For the past couple months I have been putting together a year outline of projects for each month of the school year. I've been doing this in order to clean out the clutter of all the possibilities of projects I could do. First I put together a grid that lists each grade and each month (each month having a theme). I then assigned a project to correspond with the months theme. Its very brief, so much in some cases my project ideas and objectives may be only clear to myself.
My next step was to take each grade and break the lessons down day by day. I see my students on a three day rotating schedule so I can estimate I will see them 5-7 times per month depending on breaks, school delays, and assemblies. So far I have created a basic document that allows for a simple lesson break down that can be an easy reference point throughout the month. I start with a cover page detailing month and theme, and then each grade gets a detailed page that explains the lesson (objectives, activity, materials, and references). I'm planning on keeping all documents, past in present, in one binder through out the year which I can hopefully use as a reference point for next years planning. I've attached the kindergarten sample for September below. 
I realize that as an art teacher you need to remain flexible and always willing to shift course when needed. I would love to do some cross curricular planning with the music teacher hopefully later in the year. I have not seen my classroom (school went under construction this summer and art room is different than what I saw in my interview), I don't know what the status of my supplies are, and i don't know who my co-workers are... This excessive organizing is my answer to the crazy bouncy ball that is constantly in rhythm inside my head! As a first year teacher this was my solution for organizing the year, I would love to hear other strategies that you all use when approaching a new year!


  1. Hi! I have a similar system that involves a yearly planning matrix that looks lot like yours. It's sure a time-saver to have everything planned out. I like your "by day" idea as well. My district changed our time allotments a few years back, so I am kind of glad I didn't plan by day because I would have needed to change it all!
    Check out my matrixes and lessons (you can download) right here:
    Jessica Balsley

  2. Katie, I am working on something very similar and it's really helped my head stop (literally) spinning. It's helpful to visualize something concrete when other elements (people, space, materials) are not so. Good luck, looks great & let's connect sometime this year through our classrooms! Also, Elmer the Elephant-so cute!