Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner 2019-2020: An In-Depth Review
Updated: May 22, 2019
As this school year comes to an end, most teachers are already thinking ahead to the coming year. I like to use the end of the year as a time of reflection to look at what worked, what didn't, and what I want to change for the upcoming year. The 2018-2019 school year was my third year as a full-time educator. Currently, I teach English as a second language at two elementary schools in the Chicago suburbs. Teaching between two schools can get busy and hectic, so having a solid planning tools is key to a successful year. Keep reading for an in-depth look at the 2019-2020 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner: a beautiful, versatile tool that makes lesson planning actually fun!
The Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner launches on May 22, 2019! Click here to start designing your own!
This year, $1 of the purchase price from the sale of each 2019-2020 Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold in the continental United States will be contributed to DonorsChoose.org classroom projects. Donors Choose is a website where teachers can post classroom project requests, and donors who are looking to help a classroom in need can choose to donate any amount to a project that inspires them! How awesome is that?!
The team at EC generously gifted all of these items to me for this review, but all of these products are ones I actually use and thoughts are all my own. There is a lot to cover in this review, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in!
LOGISTICS: The Erin Condren Teacher Planner (ECTP from now on, because we're besties) is a 12- month 8.5x11 inch spiral coil-bound book. It features an interchangeable 10ml laminated cover that you can collect and swap out to match your mood, the current season, or a holiday. The final price of the ECTP depends completely upon the options you choose, so let's take a look at the price breakdown before we jump into all of the goodies inside!
The base price for the Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner is $55. This includes:
Non-metallic interchangeable 8.5x11 inch cover, front and back
Resource pages: about me, events and volunteers, communication log
2019-2020 year at a glance
Year plan spread
2 graph paper spreads (4 pages total)
13 monthly spreads (July 2019-July 2020)
2 lined notes pages before and after each monthly spread (4 total per month)
52 weeks of dated lesson planning pages
7 checklist spreads (14 total checklist pages)
4 coiled sticker pages
2-sided 8.5x11 coiled pocket
Vinyl page protector
Erin Condren planners allow for a variety of customizations from the coil color, metallic covers, and extra goodies that are coiled in the back. The prices for this year's add ons and upgrades are:
Rose gold, gold, or black coil: +$10
Metallic cover: +$5
Extra sheet protectors: + $1.50 (maximum of 2 extras)
Extra checklist pages:
$5 for 7 extra checklist pages
$7.50 for 14 extra checklist pages
$10 for 21 extra checklist pages
With every launch comes new interchangeable covers, and this launch doesn't disappoint! Interchangeable covers are a quick way to change out the style of your planner with the season, holiday, or your mood for the day! The holes each have a tiny slit so you can pull each cover off and snap a new one on in a matter of seconds. There are always the educational covers, but I like to get to a cover that matches the style I'm into at the time. This year I picked the metallic kaleidoscope cover. I am in love with the burst of color and the rose gold detailing. When choosing additional covers make sure to choose the 8.5 by 11 inch size!
Let's open up this cover, shall we?
The inside of each interchangeable cover is lined and functions as a dry erase or wet erase board. Wet erase is recommended so the marker won't rub off on your cover page.
Next we have the "All About Me" and "Events and Volunteers" spread. I appreciate that the substitute and special needs areas were removed since I would never leave this book with a stranger, let alone let a stranger be privy to my students' private information. I also appreciate that the two boxes on the right are left blank. The websites and passwords section is very handy to have at the front of the book. I'm always having to change my password and then scrambling to find where I wrote it down or going through the dreaded "forgot my password" process. Noooo thank you!
The next spread is tabbed as "Contacts" but is actually a communication log. Personally, I find this spread extremely useful. As a specialist I do not need to contact parents often. When I do, it is helpful to have a quick record of the date and the reason. The titles on these pages can easily be covered with a sticker or washi to repurpose the page. A spreadsheet of student log ins for one on one devices would fit wonderfully on these pages!
The next tab takes us to the year-at-a-glance. There's something about this page that is just so ... satisfying. I know you know what I'm talking about! This year's ECTP year-at-a-glance shows us July 2019 through December 2020. The Erin Condren clear dots are excellent on this page to mark days off, holidays, and more.
Next up is the year plan. The year plan spread show 12 total lined boxes with six on each page. The first page has January through June and the second page has July through December. While this spread is one of the most vital spreads in the book, I feel that it is executed improperly. In my opinion, the months should be ordered to match the flow of the academic year: starting in July or August and ending in July of the following year.
Following the year plan we have two two-page spreads of graph paper and one two-page spread of lined notes pages. You can do whatever your heart desires with these pages. I plan to list out each of my students' current English language proficiency so I can pull the information at a glance without having to log into my computer. There's so much room for activities!
Now, onto the meat of the planner - starting with the monthly spreads. Before each monthly spread you will find two lined notes pages that match the color of the upcoming month. There are fresh inspirational quotes in a minimalistic font at the top of the left page, and a space for important dates on the bottom of the right page. This spread is perfect for setting goals for the upcoming month or taking notes at meetings for that month.
When you flip the page to the monthly spread, you will notice the first tiny but exciting detail: the monthly tabs flip directly to the monthly spread! This is different from this year's Life Planner, where the monthly tabs take us to a notes page for the month.
Take a closer look at the monthly spread now. Wiiiiiide open spaces with no writing at all! The holidays have been removed from the monthly spread! How will you know what days the holidays fall on, you ask?
The EC team has come up with a brilliant solution that will make each planner even more unique: each Lesson Planner comes with three sticker sheets separated into months from July 2019 to December 2020. Each month has a color-coordinating, foiled sticker with major holidays as well as some of the more "teacher-y" days. Next to the actual sticker, the day in which you should place the sticker is printed onto the sheet, but not on the actual sticker itself. There are also extras in each month for you to add in special dates of your own!
After each monthly spread comes the weekly planning pages for the month. They are already dated and ready to use, which saves so much time! A change that was made last year that has carried over to this year's planner are the blank column headers. They are blank aside from the signature Erin Condren asterisk on the right side for you to label your classes or subjects as you see fit.
There are six vertical columns for your different subjects, classes, or children as well as a vertical list column to the far right. I plan to use this column as a running to-do list for copies, grading, and notes that need my immediate attention. If you need an extra column for another class or subject, this are can easily be used for that as well!
The days in the ECTP are horizontal and cover the teacher work week, Monday through Friday. I hope that EC will eventually come out with a vertical day teacher lesson planner. It has been highly requested in the ECTP community and would be received very well!
After the month's lesson planning pages come another two notes pages. These notes pages would be perfect for monthly reflections, meeting notes, and any other important information you would like to keep! The same pages repeat throughout the remainder of the book:
Two notes pages
Month on two page spread
Dated lesson planning pages, Monday through Friday
Two notes pages
July 2020 is the exception. There are only the two notes pages, the monthly spread, and the first few days of July 2020. The 2020-2021 (did I really just type that?!) ECTP will pick up where this book leaves off!
Following all of the monthly and weekly spreads is the checklist section. I have a bone to pick with the tab that leads to the checklists. It sits directly behind the July 2020 tab and you cannot see it! As I mentioned, the July 2020 section is only a few pages long, so the tabs really do sit flush on top of one another. You may want to stick an extra tab on the top of the page to make accessing this section more efficient.
The checklists themselves are the same we have come to love over all of the years. They are rainbow, beautiful, and plentiful The $55 base price includes 7 spreads (14 pages total), but you can add more if you would like! Adding extra checklist pages are available in the following increments:
$5 for 7 checklists
$7.50 for 14 checklists
$10 for 21 checklists
The sticker sheets are so exciting this year! My favorite sheet are the clear dots with the metallic outline. They are fabulous on the year-view to color code and highlight special dates.
Behind the sticker sheets you'll find the double-sided pocket and sheet protector. The triangle design will be carried over to the accessories we will be talking about in a little bit (that you won't want to miss!).
A major change in the pocket folder that will have all teachers cheering is the back pocket, which now matches the front and holds 8.5 by 11 inch paper! Thank heavens!
All we have left is the back cover, which also features a dry-erase board and the design you chose printed beautifully on the back. And there we have it: the complete 2019-2020 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner! EC really listens to teachers and wants to make our jobs easier, and it shows through the consistent improvements of the ECTP. Thank you, Erin and team! With every new launch comes brand new accessories! I don't know what I'm more excited about with this launch - the Planny Pack, Petite Planner, or the goodies inside this year's edition of the educational sticker book!
Let's start with the Planny Pack ($20). First of all, whoever thought of the name "Planny Pack" needs a raise. It is hilarious! It's a fanny pack, but for your planner. Genius! Just like the other Planny Packs that have come out in the past, this year's triangle overlay pattern features a spacious metallic gold zippered pocket to hold pens, paperclips, highlighters, and other must have accessories to get you through the school day. On the reverse side there is a more shallow pocket for additional accessories, such as your favorite pens or highlighters that you use most often. The golden elastic band fits snug around your book to keep your pages closed and protected and your essentials at reach. I love that they fit both the Life Planner and the ECTP!
One of my favorite products that EC offers is her sticker books. This year's book doesn't disappoint!
The Stylized Sticky Notes ($10.50) are another staple of each Erin Condren release. These sticky notes are one of the most versatile products on the EC website, in my opinion. They feature 12 different notes with 20 of each note. Gone are the days of the Target dollar spot sticky notes that don't stick. The EC notes have a line of adhesive along the top that offers a medium hold - just enough to stay on the page, yet still be removable. Some of them fit perfectly in the boxes, and I especially love the rounded notes that fit in the headers! The dashboard securely snaps into your coil and a built in tab makes it easy to find in your book.
Speaking of being easy to find in your book, make sure you pick up the new mini snap-in bookmarks ($4.50) that feature a watercolor apples pattern. They are small, so they won't get in the way of your planning, which can sometimes be a problem with the larger snap-in bookmark that comes with the ECLP.
New this year is the teacher snap-in full-sized dashboard ($7.50). This dashboards features a functional front and back that allows you extra room to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly to-dos at a glance.
With the Life Planner launch this month EC unveiled their new washi tape material. In the past, all rolls of washi was actually "paper tape," which has more of a slick feeling. The two new rolls of washi with this launch are in the metallic and watercolor apples pattern. While on the roll, you can see through the washi to the pattern behind it. The pattern really pops when on paper! I'm excited for this change since it means less bulk!
You may have noticed earlier that I mentioned a new PetitePlanner that came out with this launch! If you aren't familiar with the PetitePlanner system, they are 5.7" x 8.25" books that you can mix, match, and bring together in a stylish new Folio for personalized on-the-go planning. Each petite planner has a built-in pocket in the back and comes with a metallic sticker sheet that matches the theme of the PetitePlanner you have chosen. At only $12 each they are fun, easy, and affordable to swap out as needed! The newest member of the PetitePlanner family is the checklist book! These checklists are the same as the ones found in the back of the ECTP, only more portable! There is room for 20 names and vertical columns to track 7 different items or assignments.
While the concept of this PetitePlanner is attractive and practical, the mark was missed by putting space for student names on both sides of the spread. Instead of using the space on the right for names, a more practical layout would be to carry over the names written on the left side to the right without having to rewrite them.
And there you have it! I am so incredibly excited to set up this planner for the new school year. I plan to take my time doing so over summer break, playing with the new accessories and really setting myself up for success in 2019-2020. Stay tuned for a series on how I set up my ECTP! If you would like to save $10 on your first purchase, click here to make an account and you will receive a coupon code in your inbox!
Let me know in the comment box below: What are your thoughts on the 2019-2020 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner? What is your favorite item from the release? As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can!