Pace Out Your Year Like a Boss {Free Pacing Guide Template Included}

You guys know I LOVE me some planning. I get soooo excited at the end of every year for the prospect of planning for a new year. This coming year was extra exciting because I got to plan and pace for a whole new grade level and content area. I relished EVERY minute of it.

I spent a lot of time working on this pacing guide for the upcoming year, but there are a few key things you need to keep in mind when you start to pace out your year.


This is the first thing you will need when pacing and planning out your year. This will help you create a template for your year so that you know what days and weeks to block off of your pacing guide. I always like to note the short weeks with asterisks and use the weeks for review if they are only two or three days.


The second thing you need is a copy of your state standards on hand. These are important for a few reasons. First, they give you an idea of how long you need to spend on each topic. Second and probably more importantly, they give you your specific content to plug into your pacing guide.


Following your district's suggested pacing is a good idea because they may already have a suggested amount of time for you to spend on each topic. It is also helpful in that students who move to another school within the district may be able to keep on track with the pacing guide and pick up relatively where they left off.


If you have taught the content before, you also may want to use your previous lesson plans to help you get an idea of how long you need to spend on each standard. My content is new to me this year, so I am relying heavily on my district's suggested pacing guide. I will have a better idea next year of how much time I will need to spend on each topic.


I am providing a free pacing guide template for you to use to plug in your material. Feel free to use the one I am offering or one that you already like using. There are so many great ones out there.

Now you are ready to get started pacing your year!

1. Start by plugging your school year dates  and holidays into your pacing guide template based off of your district calendar.

2. Using your district's suggested pacing or previous year's lesson plans, determine how long you are going to spend on each unit. I like to do it by unit first and then break it down by standard. For example, our science units are Science Inquiry, Astronomy, Earth's Structures and Processes, Earth's History and Diversity of Life, Waves, and Force and Motion. Here is an example...You get a good idea of the number of weeks to spend on each unit. This is not from my district because I cannot locate ours ANYWHERE on the internet, but you get the idea.

3. Once you have figured out the number of weeks you are going to spend on each unit, block it off on your calendar or other template.

4. Next, you want to break each unit down into smaller chunks by looking over your standards and deciding how much time you want to spend on each. Some weeks you may want to spend on multiple standards. See my example below. You will want to add the standard focus for each week and plug it into your template.  

5. This step is not necessary, but on the quarterly pacing, I like to color code it so that I know when each unit is moving to a new topic. You may also like to add your assessments into your pacing guide. I haven't done that this year because this is a new content. Maybe I'll get there next year. 😜

**It's important to remember that this is just a guide! Give yourself a couple of days here or there for things that may unexpectedly come up like assemblies, field trips, sick days, etc...** 

Here is an overview of the pacing guide templates.

They are EDITABLE and you can add your content for ANY subject, not just science. The adorable calendar guide idea was not my own! That idea was from True Tales of a Teacher! If you don't follow her on IG (@truetalesofateacher), you should. It's Instagram gold!  

Download this free template by clicking the image below. 

If you teach Science in South Carolina and are interested in the pacing guide I am using (which is already done for you), you can download it HERE