Team Lesson Planning

 Teachers have so many tasks and responsibilities, and it seems like each year the list grows with little to nothing taken off their plates.  The only way to lesson plan, in my opinion, is to do so with your team.  Dividing up the work amongst your team members will alleviate a huge load off of you and will allow each team member to become an expert in a given subject.  In this post, I will cover how we mastered team lesson planning with lots of tips, ideas, and FREE lesson plan and PowerPoint slides templates that we used on our team.

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Divide Up the Work

First, make sure it's okay with your admin that you can lesson plan with your team.  The schools I have worked at were all for it, but I have heard of some who were not.  So, just make sure it's okay before you do all the work.  

Each team member will need to plan for a subject.  Have a discussion with your team on who you feel would be best for each subject.  I was never comfortable with planning math, but I loved to plan reading.  Tell your teammates what you feel comfortable with, and they will do the same.  Someone on your team might be a phonics expert, so they would obviously be the best to plan for phonics.  Just be open and honest with one another, and that will make for an easier time dividing up who will plan for what subjects.

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If it's a subject that requires extra planning, we might put two people on that subject.  It just really all depends on how many people are on your team.  I have been on teams of two people to teams of eight.  You can make it work with however many people you have.  It's just going to be obviously less work the more teammates you have.

You will need one person to collect the lesson plans from everyone, and then, compile them into one document.  You will also want to have a day that you expect to have them by each week, so that you can get them to everyone in time for preparing for the upcoming week.

Lesson Plan Template

Since I was the one who collected the lesson plans and then compiled them into one document, I created the lesson plan template.  Within this post, you will see a pop up box appear in which you can enter your e-mail.  You will then be directed to a free download of the lesson plan template I used in the past, as well as the document we used to assign subjects to each teammate.  I included a blank one and one that was filled in, just so you could have an idea of what we included in our plans.  

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Ask your administration what their expectations are in regards to your lesson plans if they haven't already told you.  I have had principals who wanted very basic plans and others who wanted very detailed plans.  You can then set up your template to include what is expected each week.  This just makes it easier to include all of those components each week.

I sent a blank template for the year to each teacher on my team for them to plug in their plans each week.  They then e-mailed that to me.  I copied and pasted their parts into one document, which I then saved as a PDF.  Afterwards, I sent the PDF back out to everyone.  We had to upload our plans individually at that time into a shared drive.

Using PowerPoint Slides

In Tennessee, we can have admin pop in at just about any time depending on your previous year's evaluation score, so we had to be prepared to have an observation ready lesson on hand at all times.  There are lots of indicators we have to meet in each lesson, so we made PowerPoint templates to match the state's evaluation rubric.  Now, let me just say that this is quite a bit of work up front, but it helps you feel so much more prepared for teaching each subject especially when you don't plan for all the subjects.

We basically create a lesson outline using PowerPoint slides for the subject we planned.  They help us know what standard we are teaching, how to break down that standard, what the learning expectations are, and include any links that we need to reference throughout the lesson.  Our principal used to say that no matter in which teacher's room she placed a student, she knew they were receiving the same content.  It might be delivered with a different teaching style, but she was confident that they were receiving the same rigor of instruction.

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We would upload these into a shared drive with folders for each subject.  We then would save them to our desktop, so that we could just pull them all up that morning.  

Like I said, it's extra work up front, but it gets easier the more you make them.  You can also save them from year to year and make edits for your new group as needed.

(I do already have these made in my TPT shop for first and second grade interactive read alouds and phonics.)

Team Planning Meeting

Each week, we would use one day of planning time to meet as a team to go over the next week's lesson plans.  We asked that lesson plans for the next week be turned into me by Monday night.  We would then meet on Tuesdays for a team planning meeting.  I know this sounds really early in the week, but it gave us the rest of the week to get prepared for the next week.  We had to follow the district's pacing guide, so we knew exactly what standards had to be covered each week.  Any standards not met, were addressed in small group instruction.  At the meeting, each teacher went over their plans quickly for the whole week and answered any questions that we might have.

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You were also responsible for getting together all of the resources needed for your subject.  We either made the copies for the whole team or our EA would do it for us.  We then sorted everything for everyone with the days of the week that resource was need on each copy.  This helped us sort all of the copies in our classroom for the week.  We were all about making things easy for everyone!  We even printed out anchor charts for our subject, and our amazing EAs would piece them together for us.  

lesson plan template free

lesson plan template free

I am sure I left something out about how we lesson planned as a team, but I tried to cover the most important parts.  Once we started team lesson planning, we never could go back to the old way.  There are just too many standards to cover and too many other tasks to do each day.  Plus, you have to actually teach!  I hope these ideas help, and I am happy to answer any questions you might have.  I am more than likely to see your e-mail than see a question here or on Instagram (the black hole of DMs), so feel free to e-mail me at

lesson plan template free

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