Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Paper Brain

Last post, I shared with you some of my favorite tools for keeping myself sane and organized. Now I'm going to share my favorite lesson planning tool.

Yup - it's a 3 prong folder - great isn't it? Beautiful color and it's plastic so it won't easily tear. It's kind of a bizarre choice for a lesson planning tool, but for me it works :) See, I consider myself on that line between digital immigrant and digital native. I grew up with computers (at least, if you consider the TRS-80 a computer heheh), and when I went to college, the internet was just starting to be a big thing. But there is something about writing on paper with a pen that writes really well that a computer just can't duplicate.

Now let's venture to the inside of my folder...

This is my statistics brain :) Along the side you will notice post-it tabs with tabs for Misc, BTS (Back to School), all of my chapters, and Review. The Misc tab is where I put my braindump of ideas to reflect on, to change, goals I have for myself, etc. This picture is actually last year's idea list because I'm still working on this year's :)

Now let's look at the best part of my brain :)

This is where the action happens. This is a chapter page (specifically for Sampling Designs). I write ideas from the internet, workshops, conversations, news articles, etc here. This is my "index". When I get home from a workshop, I go through and remind myself of activities we did, worksheets I liked, videos that I can use AND where they are stored on my bookcase or computer file.

Somedays I think - wow, I really should put that into a google doc or something, and believe me, I've tried! I love using google docs to copy/paste URLs or random ideas or what-have-you, but there's just something about my paper brain that I can't let go of yet.

One of the things I need to do in the last few weeks of summer is to make a paper brain for Algebra 2 - last year, I was struggling to keep my head above water, so I didn't get one made :(

Do you have a paper brain? Do you have a way to organize your ideas to help make lesson planning easier for you?

1 comment:

JamiDanielle said...

I have a folder much like yours for each of the 8-10 major units I cover in my class. Then I print out and throw all kinds of ideas into them when I encounter them throughout the year. About a week before I'm ready to start the unit, I pull out that folder and start looking through what I have. I keep my virtual files organized the same way so that I have one computer folder and one hardcopy folder full of ideas for activities and such. It isn't nearly as organized as your method but it seems to be working for me. I may steal a bit of your thoughts though. :)