When I first started my student teaching, my cooperating teacher had me writing lesson plans. I’m talking about lesson plans that were actual weighty tomes with every imaginable detail of what I was going to teach: all the objectives I would be teaching, materials, time frame, adaptations, opening, conclusion, assessment and more. I would spend most of my night writing up my lessons, not including the time needed to actually prepare all the materials. It made for some very long nights, to say the least.
Of course, when I started actually teaching my own classes, I quickly discovered that nobody wrote out these extremely detailed plans for every single lesson/class. For myself, I started out with fairly detailed plans but have gradually reduced my plans over the years to a daily printout of the days lessons and that’s more than a lot of teachers do! If I am teaching a big lesson, I might make that section more detailed but for the most part, my lesson plans for the day fit on one or two pieces of paper. It still takes up a chunk of time to write up though and I have always wished, particularly at the beginning of my teaching career, that I had had a tool that could cut that time down and get rid of the repetitive parts of writing out my day plans.
And that’s why this new online tool I discovered the other day is so awesome!
Planboard is the ultimate timesaver for creating, saving and sharing lesson plans. It’s a fantastical organization tool that allows you to plan out your day, week and classes quickly and easily leaving you with lots of time to do all the other things you need to do. Setup is super easy and intuitive with a nicely designed interface throughout the whole site for simple navigation and lesson creation. One of my favorite parts is the ability to embed, not only the files or videos you are going to need for that particular lesson but also the curriculum objectives you are covering. While it doesn’t have the curriculum objectives from every single state or province, it does have the major ones built in and includes the ability to add your own. Once you have your plans completed, you can save them as pdf’s or print them out in a nicely formatted version. Once your plans are in the system, you can easily access them or move them around from day to day or year to year.
Other features include (these are from the site):
- allows you to integrate and track standards. Choose from a selection of Common Core State Standards, Ontario Curriculums, TEKS, more official standards or create your own custom standards.
- easily align with your school and classroom schedule. You can select the number of periods and which days of the week you will be teaching. Planboard also supports day rotation, from A/B days to alternating weeks or anything up to an 8 day rotation.
- save even more time by removing repetition from your lesson planning process. Do your lessons follow the same layout? Create a template that follows your day rotation. Using the same lessons from year to year? Planboard can automatically replicate your plans from the previous year.
- share your schedule with other teacher or students to enable them to see what they missed or what they need to do.
- attach all of your notes, handouts, photos, and files directly to your lesson plans. Attach it at home, access it anywhere.
- track the standards you have completed and see the standards you still need to cover
- easily find public lesson plans by searching for keywords or the exact standard codes that they need to meet
I’ve typically used a word template to do my daily plans but Planboard is definitely something I will be using in the fall to help streamline my lesson planning and track the objectives I am covering. The nice thing is that in the following years, planning my days should be very simple and less time consuming leaving me time to find more things to plan!
Check out Planboard!