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Planning without Microsoft Word

Discussion in 'Primary' started by moleylong, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. moleylong

    moleylong New commenter


    I'm looking to find out if anyone plans without lesson plans. By which I mean, does anyone plan their lessons through making their Smart Notebook or Flipchart?

    At the moment I spend my PPA time writing my lesson plans in our schools planning format in Word. Then, on a Sunday, I spend a few more hours converting those lesson plans into the Smart Notebook slides for the week.

    I have been given permission to do some action research into planning only by making my Smart Notebook. Hopefully this will reduce my workload a little. My deputy head asked me to do some personal reading around the idea but I am having trouble finding any information so thought I'd ask on here.

    If you do do this could you please let me know: what you do; has it saved time?; How does it work if you are off and someone else is covering? and anything else that could be handy for my research.

    Thanks :)
  2. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I plan in my head and deliver my lessons using me as the main resource.

    I write my lesson plans in whatever format I'm ordered to by management.

    'Planning' and 'writing a lesson plan' are entirely different concepts, in my opinion.

    As an aside, I hate Smart notebook. :D
    guinnesspuss and Msz like this.
  3. PicInAttic

    PicInAttic New commenter

    Some of us have recently started trialling this for maths (introducing a mastery approach) as we found our traditional planning format wasn' t useful/usable and that we were copying big chunks from the smart files to the word document.
    I'm finding it really helpful but don't think, for me, it would work for English because of how I store things on my laptop.
  4. moleylong

    moleylong New commenter

    Thanks for your reply :)
  5. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I plan on word. It's usually very very brief and we don't have a set format at school. I only write enough to lay out an outline for my TA. Sometimes I just tell her in the morning what we'll be doing.

    I haven't made many notebook files for the last couple of years. Just do it as I go.
  6. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

  7. PicInAttic

    PicInAttic New commenter

    Yep but a shorthand language that I, possibly wrongly, assumed everyone working in education would understand and my way of quickly explaining why we were trying something different.

    Apologies if my edubabble caused offence!
  8. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    The main problem with producing lengthy Smartboard files is that when the lesson inevitably deviates, it all turns out to have been a waste of time.

    I only ever prepare the odd page or two. With a question or piece of text or a picture. A mental maths or sentence/SPaG starter, perhaps. I spend mere minutes on the day of the lesson doing this. I don't know why anyone would want to spend hours on the weekend doing this for the whole coming week.

    Of course, that's on the assumption that you do deviate from the planned lesson when you need to and don't just plough on regardless...
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    So you are saying you are no longer going to write lesson plans, but prepare a notebook file? What about the lessons which don't have notebook files?
    I've no objection at all to teaching lessons without written plans, often do it myself, but cannot for the life of me see how a notebook file, ie a resource, could be a genuine alternative to a plan.
  10. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    I much prefer to use my slides as planning. We worked this way in my first school and it was great. All our efforts went into the slides (whether this be notebook/smart/powerpoint) which benefited the students. No-one asked to see planning because we were trusted. We never typed up lesson plans. Then I moved to a school which required pages of typed planning in Word, and then of course on top we had to usually make slides as a resource.So all my efforts had to go into typing reams of word docs that no-one read except me. Guess what - my slides then became minimal and boring because I had no time to make them as engaging as in my last school.

    I have moved back to my first school and planning is no longer onerous once again. I enjoy making slides for students that a) serve as my planning and b) are used by students as a resource in lessons. If I need to send in cover, a quick email to explain the slides is perfectly sufficient because (as with all teachers) we are experienced and educated individuals who simply don't need reams of Word to follow.

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