Four ways to get the most out of lesson planning time


Teachers can often feel like their planning time isn’t as efficient as it could be. They’re spending time creating materials or searching the internet for resources to supplement their district’s provided curriculum, and can’t spend the amount of time that they’d like addressing specific student needs. How can districts ensure that their teachers are supported in making the most out of their planning time?

Accessing materials that support lessons

Teachers spend a lot of time sifting through materials, building lessons from those materials, and teaching themselves the content during planning time. But if they can access baked-in teaching guidance that support those lessons, teachers don’t need to spend as much time interpreting the resources they’re working with.

Jennifer Rising is a high school math teacher who has managed to save planning time by using these kinds of materials to teach Geometry standards.

“[LearnZillion is] where I find the resources that teach me how to teach the material. It helps me understand the standards, and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year,” said Rising.

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Working with content that’s already curated

Planning doesn’t have to be a Sunday night spent shooting in the dark. Instead of sifting through mountains of materials to find exactly what will work for their students, teachers can rely on high-quality digital instructional materials that their district has already curated, through a tool like LearnZillion’s enterprise platform.

Helen Papodoupoulos spent countless hours creating materials from scratch until she found resources she could trust.

“I decided I was just wasting my time and began using LearnZillion lessons as the foundation of my teaching. They’re fully aligned, they’re meaningful, and my kids love them,” said Papodoupoulos.

Ensuring materials are high-quality

When teachers are left to fill in the content gaps their provided curriculum leaves, the Pinterest Problem is an easy trap to fall into. The resources teachers find online may not be standards-aligned, or may not be rigorous enough to properly meet those standards. During their planning time, teachers don’t need to gamble on activities from unverified websites when materials from sites like LearnZillion are already vetted for quality.

“Once you find something that is high quality, you’re going to continue to use it because you trust it. I think LearnZillion has established that feeling of trust and you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get something that’s of good quality,” said Papodoupoulos.

“It can be Sunday night and I think, ‘Oh my gosh I haven’t had time to lesson plan. Oh wait, I’ve got my LearnZillion lessons, I’m good.’”

Taking advantage of extra time

By starting out with high-quality resources, teacher save time on lesson planning and can focus on their students rather than on material prep. They can use that extra time to analyze classroom assessments and strategically plan what they need to emphasize in their follow-up.

“I spend less time bogged down [creating materials] ... I have the stuff and I can concentrate on what’s important, which is my kids and how they learn. And I can spend more time concentrating on how I’m going to deliver that content,” said Papodoupoulos.

If your teachers are getting the most out of their planning time, then your students are getting the most out of their lessons. LearnZillion’s curricular resources help to make their planning time as effective as possible.


Emily Priborkin is the Marketing Communications Associate at LearnZillion. A musical theatre nerd at heart, she'll gladly recite and perform all of the music from Les Misérables on command.

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