I’m so happy to finally get this post up as so many of you have requested this and I must say this is a pretty lengthy post. I’ve spent the last month trying to fine tune what would go inside my teacher bujo and believe me when I tell you that this is STILL a work in progress. I found that there wasn’t much out there catered specifically to teacher bullet journaling, so a lot of what I’ve come up with are spreads that I believe will serve their purpose with functionality being at the forefront. There are still a lot of unknowns, many of which I won’t find out until I start work next week. For example, I don’t know how many class sections I will be teaching, I don’t know what the daily schedule will look like as I’m teaching at the elementary school level for the first time, and so I plan to do a one month update on this post once I’ve settled into a groove. However, today I will show you what I’ve come up with, in the hopes that they will help inspire and help out my fellow teachers. So let us begin!
First, let’s begin with the notebook I’ve chosen for my teacher bujo. I chose a Leuchtturm1917 B5 size dot-grid journal in Azure blue. It is softcover and is 121 pages, as opposed to a standard A5 that is 249 pages. I wanted something thin and portable but still gave me more room to design spreads than an A5 size. This notebook measures 6.9 x 9.8 inches and I’ve found it to be perfect for my teacher bujo.
Next up is the index. There are 3 designated pages in the B5 size and these are some of the pages I’ve started out with in my index. I wanted my teacher bujo to be my “home base” if you will — a place where I had important dates, resources and plans at a glance without having to shift through folders and binders. Other gradebooks that I’ve used in the past just served as a log for attendance and grades, but with the flexibility of the bullet journal system, I can fit so much more in here that will better suit my needs.
When it came down to my key, I kept the same symbols as I do in my personal bujo to avoid any confusion. Once I figure out what specific classes I’m teaching, I will color code my bujo by class. I’ve already designated blue, purple, and green, and again this is still a work in progress so I still have to add a few more sections once I figure out my yearly schedule. The color coding will help in my attendance log, my week at a glance using coordinated post it notes, and any tasks I need to accomplish.
This is my future log if you will, also known as the district calendar, lol. I copied it from my district’s website with important dates and so I always have this at my disposal. If you don’t want to spend the time physically writing everything out, just print out the calendar on a shipping label and stick it right in. I found that writing it out however, helped me commit it to memory. In addition, I also used my Zebra Mildliner highlighters for color coding all throughout my teacher bujo. To say I’m obsessed with these highlighters is an understatement.
Being that I’ve never taught 5th and 6th grade social studies before, it was vital that I included a pacing guide with the corresponding units. I then made a modified Calendex which is color coded based on the unit I should be teaching. The column on the left hand side if for 5th grade, while the column on the right is for 6th grade. Being that I still have so much room left over, I’m thinking of including a space for social studies resources and differentiation ideas in the classroom.
Next I have a log for professional development hours and a home contact log for getting in touch with parents. You’ll notice unlike my personal bujo, my teacher bujo is strictly for function, so you really won’t see any doodles or artsy stuff. I don’t however, skimp out on color which bring me to..
My Bloom’s Taxonomy page! This page is one of my favorites because this will be so helpful in writing out and modifying lesson plans. I do not plan on using my teacher bujo for lesson plans since all my plans are saved on a USB drive. This will be so helpful though when tweaking my already existing lesson plans and will give me instant ideas on activities to promote higher order thinking.
Ahhh.. my teacher dashboard! This feature is going to be super helpful to me, I just know it. There have been so many times in my 9 years of teaching that I couldn’t remember what to do, and if I did write it down somewhere it was impossible for me to remember where I wrote it down. Problem solved with this spread! This spread will be recyclable as I just have to swap out the post it note once I’m done with it. I plan on putting new post it notes weekly, but we’ll see how it goes. I talk more about this spread in bullet journal hack video featuring post-it notes.
This is another recyclable spread using post-it notes and this will serve as my weekly overview. This is also where color coordinating by class will serve it’s purpose. All class sections will go at the top and this will serve as a general overview of what will happen in my classes at any given week. Class #1 will be in blue, class #2 in pink, etc. This spread will save me so much time as I don’t have to write out weeklies constantly.
These pages are pretty much self-explanatory. The first is for any meeting notes, while the second half are for anecdotes and silly things my students say.
Once I get the daily schedule I will fill that into the first half. I’m also considering using that second half of that page for any important office extensions I need, like the main office, nurse, etc. The second half is a place where I can keep all my usernames and passwords to various websites I use throughout the year.
I’m going to warn you right now and tell you that this spread was time consuming to make the first go around but once I figure out the measurements, it took me about 30 minutes to make it the second time. I figure if it takes me half an hour to create something that will be so convenient for me to have for the next 10 months, than it is worth it. This is where my color coding system continues. This will be the absence log for class #1 or the blue class. The spacing allowed me to fit 30 students on a spread and I divided it out by the 10 months school is in session. Although I log attendance online, I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to have everything down on paper. There have been times where attendance records have been wiped out and grades have been changed. I wish I was kidding, but unfortunately it has happened.
In any case, this will be my key for attendance: for example if a student is absent on September 20th, I will simply write down the number 20 in the September box by their name. If a student is tardy, I will write in T20, and so on. This also allows me to have their attendance with me at all times if a parent comes and I don’t have access to a computer.
I then used a vertical dutch door to record their marking period grades and their final grade for the year. Their regular class assignments will be kept online and in their student folders. However on the other side of the dutch door, I will have a running log of all the assignments I’ve given out, sectioned out by marking period. That way, if a student was absent I know what assignment to give them.
The last section of the dutch door I have yet to figure out, but it could include notes about students who have IEPs, some sort of class data, the possibilities are endless. In my one month update, I’ll let you know what I ultimately decided to do with it.
Lastly, in the back of my teacher bujo I have an absence log for my own absences. I always found it important to log in my own absences for my own piece of mind.
So that’s pretty much what I have done in my teacher bujo for now. There are still so many other things I need to include like a monthly setup, but until I figure out exactly what my schedule looks like this is where I’ll have to stop for now. Below is my YouTube video dedicated to this very topic.
I would love to know, if you do use a bullet journal for teaching what pages do you include? Have you found any of these pages helpful? I’d love to hear your feedback!