Monday, August 10, 2015

Erin Condren Teacher Planner review & $50 GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

Have you heard about the Erin Condren planners? They are all over the blogging world, and I knew I had to get my paws on one of them! In the past, I only heard about their Life Planner. Many of my friends would post about it on Instagram and exclaim how "life-changing" it was. Obviously, I had to give it a try! A life-changing agenda?! Sign me up! When I saw that Erin Condren had a Teacher Planner, I knew that I needed to give it a shot.

As a teacher and organizational fanatic, I have a passion for agendas and planners. I previously used a Lilly Pullitzer agenda because I am a Lilly fanatic, but found it way too heavy. It also had a lot of unnecessary features (like the monthly calendar view was printed twice? Maybe there was just an error with mine). The Erin Condren ones are much lighter, and in my opinion, much better organized. These teacher planners are perfect for both short-term and long-term lesson planning. Erin Condren has more than just teacher planners for school, they also have notebooks, notepads, file folders, clipboards, boxes, stickers, pens... the list goes on and on! They have a gorgeous lookbook if you want to check it out for some goodies to make your classroom organized and beautiful this September.

If you're new to Erin Condren and would like $10 off your first order, sign up through my affiliate link! 

THE RAFFLE


TO ENTER
Want to win a $50 Erin Condren gift card? You can enter the raffle up to five times! That is five times more chances to win! Feel free to email me at Glitterinthird@gmail.com if you have any questions concerning how to enter :-)


THE RULES
Enter using Rafflecopter below. You can enter up to five times by either:

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  • Put in one, two, three, four, or five entries to increase your odds!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Erin Condren provided me with the gift card for the raffle.
Now onto the Teacher Planner!

The Review


PACKAGING

First of all, receiving the gorgeously packed box was a gift in itself! The outside of the box was dark blue with a pretty flowery design, along with the foreshadowing "Enjoy!". Open it up, and there are some nice free gifts included! I received a motivational sticker, as well as some gift tags. The gift tags would look darling on a gift-wrapped present, and the motivational sticker will look fab on one of my cabinets in school. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Underneath the stickers and treats is luxurious golden colored tissue paper with another "Enjoy!" sticker to seal it. 


Enjoy?! You bet I will! Isn't it funny how beautiful packaging makes everything inside a box ten times better?! It's like opening up a Christmas gift. I opened it up carefully, even though I knew I wasn't actually saving the tissue paper!




OUTSIDE THE PLANNER

EEEEEEEEEEEEEE IT IS SO DARLING! The white box on the bottom of the planner is where my name and school is listed... I blocked it for personal reasons. HOWEVER it is in a beautiful font and looks quite regal. You can customize it with your own name and school, or your name and no school, or your school and no name, or a quote, or... anything! It is totally up to you! The site is super customizable so you get your planner exactly how you want it.You can also see on the picture above that it comes with a ruler to be used as a place marker so you can quickly open up to whatever lesson plan page that you are on.

The picture below is how the back of the cover looks. What I really like about the cover is that it will be durable throughout the year. It is hard, laminated, and it will be easy clean if something is dropped on it or a kiddo gets too close with sticky fingers. This happens to me a lot! I feel like every single day there is a birthday in my classroom and a boatload of donuts or cupcakes. Somehow all my stuff gets touched in the process. Well, at least if anyone touches my planner it will be just fine!

I chose the Scales pattern for $59. I went with the same coloring that is in the template on the website, because I LOVED the colors they chose. My Pattern color is white, and my background is Lagoon. It reminds me of a mermaid tail or a friendly dragon :-)

There are so many color options on the website. If you have a custom one like I did (with your name), it takes a week or two to be made and ship, so keep that in mind if you need one ASAP. Erin Condren offers a planner that is already made and ready to mail if you need it super soon.

The covers can also be changed and personalized. You can swap out planner covers for your mood or seasons! Definitely helps keep your beautiful planer new and fresh!



INSIDE THE PLANNER

Now on to the fun part... what is inside?? To make it easy, I broke everything down into 14 sections and included pictures/discussions on each one. Erin Condren definitely thought this baby through! The colors, fonts, and quotes used throughout the planner add a feeling of fun and enthusiasm. 

SECTION 1: ALL ABOUT ME
Here is the beginning of your planner. You put down your basics in case your planner gets lost or left at a staff meeting. There's also a fantastic place to jot down access codes/usernames and web resources. I am terrible at remembering my passwords for sites like BrainPop, Study Island, Discovery Education, or IXL, so this is a way to jot them down so you can easily log on to those favorite sites of yours! I am not sure yet what I will put in the Web Resources section. I am thinking this would be a good place to put down my favorite apps, websites, or lessons that I learn about on Pinterest. Sometimes I will find a pin for a great app on fractions, but quickly forget about it if it is not the math unit we are currently studying. I see me using this as a way to jog my memory for future small group and lessons!



SECTION 2: CLASSROOM EVENTS & VOLUNTEERS
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS SECTION! I have a chronic issue of writing down field trip dates on post-it notes and then promptly losing them (whoops). This will be perfect! I will also put down my most dependable volunteers or ones that I utilize the most (like room parents, a copy mom, Wednesday Folder mom, etc.) here. What a nice, easy, and central spot for all the volunteer information! I am loving the color combo here too, the green is beautiful.



SECTION 3: HINTS FOR SUBSTITUTES
This section is good for an emergency. I leave super detailed sub plans for my substitutes when I am sick, doing professional development, or traveling, but this is good for those emergency situations. On the bottom part for "students with special needs" I may go over it with Washi Tape and change it to "Morning Meeting." Then I can put down a generic greeting, share, activity, and closing that can be done in my absence. Since my school does Responsive Classroom, Morning Meeting is a key part of every morning. I know the kids would be a bit on the wild side if Morning Meeting goes missing from their routine! "Class Rules" or "Dismissal procedure" could also be put there if you are not comfortable with putting down the confidential special needs information either. Oh, and how stinking cute is that owl?!



SECTION 4: HOLIDAYS & DATES TO REMEMBER
Lots of great dates for the year are here! It's so easy to forget those holidays like Earth Day or April Fools, but here is a handy list to ensure that you always know what day they fall in. As soon as I got my planner, I wrote down all the dates on my monthly calendar view so that I wouldn't have to flip back to this page. Isn't this page cute? It's like a big rainbow or bag of Skittles.



SECTION 5: BIRTHDAYS
I am terrible with remembering birthdays. I have a huge bday chart on my wall and still manage to forget! I tend to realize it is a student's birthday when I see them walking down the hall in the morning of their birthday holding a big box of Krispy Kreme donuts or brownies. The second I see this, I make a mad dash to my birthday box to grab their card and special seat decoration. I know, I am the worst. Thankfully it is a long hallway to get to my room, so I have a decent amount of time to get their stuff together! I feel totally guilty admitting to this. Anyway, this is another place to check every morning. I also will put all the birthdays on my monthly calendar, since this is the part that I will use most often! You could probably use Washi Tape and change this to something else if you don't picture you using it much. But I personally love it!


SECTION 6: ABSENTEE LOG
My school utilizes an online attendance check, so unfortunately I would be unable to use this. Some ways that I may redo this page with Washi Tape include:

  • Students' home phone numbers
  • Parents' email addresses
  • Read alouds read in class
  • Literature circle/book club group books


SECTION 7: GRAPHS
This will be PERFECT for creating seating charts and getting those chatty students away from one another. One day I hope there is an app that could do seating charts.... you could type in the behavior students and the quiet students, click a button, and suddenly have your seating chart done! I am positive this app would make millions of dollars... I would certainly buy it! If only I could create apps. Until that is created, this graph paper works out great :-)
SECTION 8: YEAR PLAN
This may be my favorite part of the planner. I adore having simplified information in one spot. What a terrific way for year-long planning and truly looking at the "big picture." These two pages are genius. I usually have a bunch of post-it notes falling out of a binder for my "year at a glance," this one clearly wins. The font on the "year" is so pretty. 



SECTION 9: CALENDAR & NOTES
The EC Teacher Planner has monthly calendars for September through June. My favorite planning tool are monthly calendars, so this is my favorite part of the planner. On the righthand side of the monthly views are a section for notes, as well as mini calendars for 2015 and 2016.

The monthly calendar views do NOT have the calendar dates already on them. However, EC sends these little date stickers. You can see how the stickers look on the before and after calendar views. Many people like to fill the blank dates in by themselves... by my handwriting looks like a small child's. So I happily filled up the calendar with the date dots. Putting the date dots down only took a couple of minutes for each month, but I love how it looks after the dots are put on. They coordinate with the colors for each month. I put them on my calendars while catching up on some Devious Maids on my DVR.

Before date stickers


Date stickers


After date stickers
How beautiful are these colors? The May color scheme is my absolute fave.... yay pink and blue!


On the back of each monthly calendar is a big section for Notes. This is a fabulous place to put perhaps staff meeting notes for the month, lesson plan ideas, professional development training notes, etc.


SECTION 10: LESSON PLANS
I usually use PlanBook Edu (which I will continue to use to upload detailed lesson plans), but this format is brilliant for a quick glance lesson plan book. I like this as an overview. Although we have to write up lesson plans, I really don't utilize those complex lesson plans during my teaching. I wrote them once... I definitely don't need to reread them before each lesson! I like having something quick to look at, since I already planned out my lesson. This works out super well for that!

There are 40 weeks worth of planning.

I do wish that the dates were printed in the book along with subjects, however EC offers labels on their website that you can get made for this. You could also easily make your own with some labels from the store. I tend to rush through things, and I know I will somehow manage to screw up the dates/subjects if I wrote everything out in pen by myself. Plus I have hideous handwriting....


SECTION 11: STICKERS
Do you like stickers and decorating things? Let's be real, of course you do! I would decorate my face in stickers everyday if it was socially acceptable. These stickers say things like "report cards due," "REMINDER!", "conferences," "field trip," "library," "testing," "IEP," and "assembly." There's also one for "furlough." To be honest I didn't know that teachers could be furloughed! I guess you really do learn something new everyday.



SECTION 12: STUDENT CHECKLIST
There's a nice section with a checklist. This is a great way to keep track of project requirements, homework, permission slips, etc. I am very excited for this page, I love the colors used and it is really handy. You also do not have to rewrite everyone's name again when the page is all filled up... just fold on the dotted line!



SECTION 13: FOLDER
Erin Condren included a nice plastic folder pocket to keep important documents in. I think I would keep a class roster and maybe field trip forms here. 


SECTION 14: POUCH
The pouch comes with some extra little goodies, like calling cards and stickers. In the future, I am going to store grading stickers in this pouch! I am always losing my stickers, and this will be an easy place to grab everything that I need. 

Some fun extras also came in the pouch. I received do-it-all dots (these are a fun way to embellish your planner with symbols for things like cleaning, doctor, nails, hair, money, etc.), as well as some inspirational cards. I can see me taping the cards to my bathroom mirror when my fiancĂ© had a bad night. 





I highly recommend this planner! It is a little bit costly, but at least for me, I it is 100% worth it. The planner is so much fun to use and makes organization beautiful. All the possibilities for stickers and decorating is endless, it is perfect for those who are creative or scrapbooking junkies. I highly recommend to give it a try! 


Would you like $10 off your first order? For a coupon, you can sign up through my affiliate link!

44 comments:

  1. I would love to have this planner!!

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  2. I love my EC planner! This is my second year with one. I love the lesson plan pages -- I type mine into a template and print on sticker paper. I do the same thing for my checklist pages with my class list. I make my own stickers for subject areas and extras -- super easy!!!

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  3. I love everything about Erin Condren!!!

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  4. Great way to keep organized! I'd love to have an Erin Condren planner!

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  5. I know I'm going to love the pouch in the back.

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  6. Thank you for the giveaway, I love Erin Condren.

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  7. I can't wait to get my tp. I am homeschooling my son this year and can't wait to use this to plan out our lessons every week!

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  8. Thanks for your great in forth review!! The price is the only thing stopping me from ordering now!!! The gift card would be awesome!!

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  9. I love everything about my planner and I cannot wait to use it! I have already customized some pages to best meet my needs and I love getting to use my washi and stamps in a new obsession. Love your cover, I have that one on order (in different colors) as a second one. I am obsessed, thank you!!

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  10. I just recently got my first ECTP on Saturday. So far I love it. I have enjoyed decorating it with washi tape and stickers from etsy. My favorite part is staying organized and my personalized cover.

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  11. This is my first school year with my ECTP. I am obsessed! I've customized pages and headers.
    I am waiting for the school year to really get started on using it fully and effectively.

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  12. This would be the perfect gift for my favorite high school teacher! She helped get through senior year. She's a calculus statistics and pre-cal teacher, student motivator, sponsor of a great math club, and has acted like a second mother to all her students. She wrote a letter of reccomendation for my college and it really set me apart in the pool of applicants! It's her last year and I would love for her to receive this planner. She has so much going on that a planner would keep her organized. The volunteer pages are perfect because she does monthy volunteer activities with her classes and club. The checklists would help her keep track of her UIL math competitors which she's also a sponsor of! The goals section would keep her motivated for AP season! It's just perfect! Thank you for this chance!

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  13. I love the colors and the stickers :-)

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  14. I love that you can make it so personalized!

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  15. The best thing about Erin condensed is how pretty they are but also how functional.

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  16. I think I would love the way that this is organized, but like you, I also love the colors!

    Mrs O Knows

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  17. I love the colors, but I also love that beauty and organization are working together. This has been on my wish list for a long time. :)

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  18. What an awesome giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter :)
    I would LOVE an EC planner to organize my life - as a new mom, my brain isn't always functioning at 100% and this cute and colorful book would help me to keep everything in order.
    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

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  19. I would love to have one! I think my fav part is the stickers! stickers for adults!

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  20. I love that it's an all-in-one planner! It has everything you need to stay organized!! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  21. I like the fact that I can use it for my teaching job and keeping track of my Etsy shop weekly needs.

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  22. I love my life planner, I'm wanting a teacher planner!

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  23. I think I would love how organized it would help me be. I have a Life Planner, so I know I would love the Teacher Planner too!

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  24. I would love to haves this EC planner! I love the colors and the layout! It is so cute! Thank you for the detailed feedback on the planner! love reading your blog. I am also a third grade teacher that uses Responsive Classroom. I hope to join the blogging world soon. Teacher blogs really inspire and encourage me. I love reading yours!

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  25. Would love to try an EC planner!! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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  26. I ordered my first one and I am so excited about it. I have been reading reviews and unboxings all weekend. Great review!

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  27. I like that it will keep me organized!
    chief9937@Yahoo.com

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  28. I love your review! Very thorough and detailed look at a wonderful planner. I've really wanted one of these but I haven't been able to get one yet. I would love to win and become organized in style!

    Sandy from Adventures of a Techy Teacher

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  29. I love how colorful these planners are!!!
    -Laura, Tales From Third Grade

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  30. I love all of the colors and the interchangeable covers. Also would love to stay organized this school year. :) Thank you!

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  31. I love the Substitute page. I think it is a great resource and it makes it readily available.

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  32. What a beautiful way to stay organized! Very impressed!

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  33. This is so pretty! I would use this to stay better organized throughout the school year. I love the colors!!

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  34. I love how much you can personalize them!

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  35. I love the cover!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  36. This is such a blessing! I would definitely love this planner! I will be following your blog :).

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