For six out of my seven semesters teaching I have made a class planner. It started when Mac asked me to make him one for high school...little did I know his request would end up being one of the best things I could do to help myself be a better teacher.
In the past, I have had the covers laminated and the book spiral bound. But the last couple times it hasn't been done very well, (even though I tried more than one place to have it done) which left me wondering how to solve the problem.
Right behind the cover I usually have fun with a title page. I discovered this design from Drew Ellis and loved the humor that in a year where my dream of a full-time position was a bust, it's time to re-focus on creating coursework for my students.
I print out my syllabus for each course with a few extra pages to keep track of participation assignments and office hour meetings. Then each week of the semester has two pages...one to brainstorm class plans and the other to write all the things I need to get done.
The index tabs take me to the course schedule for each class.
And of course there had to be a patterned paper bookmark too. I also bought the clear Arc planner pockets to store my notes and worksheets for class. Before I always had a file folder for each course, now it's all together in one item in my school bag. I just put in what I need for the day.
I always print note pages for each power point lecture where I add all the extra bits I want to tell my students...you can see a pink and blue lecture on gender tucked away.
In the past I was at the office supply store the night before the semester started begging to have this spiral bound with no time to spare. Now I can put in whatever extra things I can think of (or don't want to forget) and I can take out whatever I am not using.
So not to be overly dramatic or anything, but this class planner switch has been life changing.