Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lesson Planning Made Easy!

Several years ago, I decided I had had enough of lesson plan books that did not fit my needs as a music teacher. I spent one year with a template that I created in Microsoft Word, but even that was not flexible enough for the crazy schedule I had. So during the fall of 2011, I searched and searched and searched the internet for an online tool that would help streamline lesson planning.

Enter -

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with other than being a loyal user and fan. I receive no compensation of any kind for this post.

There are so many things to love about this platform. First, it is web-based, which makes it easy to plan anywhere. The home screen comes up with a weekly view that you can customize to meet your exact needs.

Second, they have pretty much EVERY standard set possible available for every type of teacher. It is as easy as clicking to add the appropriate standards to your lesson plan (ah-ma-zing!). And if they don't have what you need, the customer service is second-to-none! They will add whatever you need if you just point them in the right direction!

Third, iPad app!! And the best part is, you can work offline on the iPad and sync when you get wireless access again!

So now that I've got your attention with the first awesome parts, here's a rundown of some more:
  • Add attachments - I use this for my .ppt, .notebook files, etc. Some teachers use it to post the homework for their class (and then share the "student link" with their classes)
  • Bump/Extend/Delete lessons - have a fire drill you didn't know about? Right click, bump to move the entire lesson to the next day and delete it from the current. Just didn't get through everything? Extend the lesson from 1-10 days!
  • One class for the day cancelled for an assembly? Click no class in the editor and the class vanishes from the day!
  • Snow Day/School Holiday/Conference/PDH? Insert a no school day with your event name when you set up your planner and all your lessons will skip that day and move to the next available day!
  • STAAR/SmarterBalance/PARCC testing on specific days? Lock lessons to the day and make sure that no matter what happens before, the testing will be on the right day!
  • Import lessons from one year to the next - Gone are the days of rewriting every lesson from scratch! Did you like your Kindergarten sequence last year? Import it and you are ready to go (of course we don't teach 100% the same way each year, but the skeleton will probably be very similar!). Make changes as necessary and additions (extensions/interventions) as needed.
Do you co-teach? Planbook has you covered there too! You can share lessons with other teachers and import between planbooks!

The best part - it's super-easy to set up and use! This is by far the best $12 I spend each year.


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  2. I am thinking about using Planbook, are you still using it?

  3. In your article you said Planbook has the ability to share with a co-teacher, does it have the ability to share share with others? Would you be able to share or show how you utilize Planbook, Do you use the same lessons every year? do you rotate? I am very curious if you are willing to share your scope and sequence by grade level using planbook.

    1. I share with my admin using the student link. Unfortunately I can't share my scope and sequence because it is proprietary to my district, but we follow a Kodaly-inspired sequence, aligned to the TEKS.

  4. I am thinking about using Planbook, are you still using it?

  5. Yes! And the new updates for 2016-17 make it even better.