April 5, 2014

Make a Digital Plan (with Planbook.com)

Hello dear friends! 

I have to tell you, every time I look at my blog I get this horrible-pit-of-sadness-feeling over my lack of blogging this year. 

I miss it terribly. I miss YOU all even more!

But you know how it goes I'm sure, more than anyone else does. New standards to implement, lesson planning around the clock, falling asleep in an armchair before 9:00 PM.

I know I'm not alone in this!

Anyhow...about that planning part I mentioned.

One thing has made my teaching life so much easier this year:
Oh, how I planbook.com!

There are so many thing you can do with this site, starting with one of my favorite past-times...color-coding:
(as you can see, ahem, I've yet to fill out my plans for next week. But I am blogging!!!)

Each class you create has an option to choose a color:

I set mine to correlate with my students' color-coded subjects and I gray out the non-academic times like lunch and recess:

Classes can be set up to run once a week (which is ideal for our specials) or daily:

Now for the fun part (ok, the color-coding is a fun part too but THIS is my true favorite).

There are drop down menus to copy and paste lesson formats!

For instance, I have worked really hard this year to include an essential question in each lesson I teach. I also have all of my classes set up in a workshop format. Planbook.com makes it really easy to copy and paste this format. All you have to do is click on the little arrow on the right side of the lesson box:

Choose copy from the menu:

Then go to the next lesson and select paste to place the same formatting in this next area:

You can also select "extend" to continue a lesson into the next day:

This will make a copy of your exact plan which you can place in the next day's box, so you can continue on!

I type up all of my plans on planbook.com on my laptop and access them with the app on my iPad at school. THIS is really cool because I can view my plans without lugging my computer in my bag:

It's just perfect!

I'm not blogging about this on behalf of planbook.com, just out of love of the site on my own. For $12.00 a year, it is a dream of a bargain considering how much easier it has made my planning life!

I hope this was of help if you did not know about this site yet!

How do you like to set up your lesson plans?

43 comments:

  1. I love Planbook, too! I began using it at the beginning of this year and it has made life so much easier! I can type much faster than I can write. I've also started using the template feature for our Guided Reading Groups. I have the same group of students in the same groups for awhile. I just create a template for that subject and it's in there each week.

    What I Have Learned

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    1. Hi Jessica! I didn't realize you could set up templates in that way as well, thank you so much! And thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. Wow! This looks awesome!!! I'm totally going to try it out!!!!

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    1. I think you will like it a lot Haley :)

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  3. Kristen, I am so glad you posted this. I dabbled with planbook last year and I use it off and on this year. But mainly, I got frustrated. I felt like my admin wanted so much in the plans and so when I would do them on planbook and then go to print them out that I would have pages and pages of plans. I've had quite the year too - don't feel ashamed about the falling asleep by 9. I've fallen asleep with my laptop on top of me too many times to count lately. We're almost there. Thanks for always inspiring me to do better. I'm gonna give it a shot again this week while on spring break!
    - Sydney ;)
    Lessons Learned

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    1. Hey Sydney, thanks for the kind words, as always! I don't have to print mine out, that would be challenging for sure as they get lengthy really quickly. I hope the rest of your year goes smoothly!!! :)

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  4. I love planbook.com! I had no idea they have an app too!
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

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  5. I've been slacking too :( #upperelementaryproblems

    This looks awesome! Does planbook.com have an option to save the plan book for next year (as a reference to what we did the previous year)?

    Leanna

    lilismilee.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Leanna, yes I think you can keep your old plans on file when you create a new year. Which is really great to refer back to, isn't it? Your hashtag made me laugh!! :)

      Thanks for visiting!

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  6. I love planbook.com! It has been such a time saver for me this year. I tell every teacher I know about this site! Thank you for sharing!

    Elaine
    http://whatshappeninginsecond.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting for visiting Elaine :) :)

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  7. Does each subject have to be at the same time each day?

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    1. Hey Erika!

      No, you can set up the times you would like. There's a copy and paste feature to set the class at the same time each day, or you can manually enter the different times in.

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  8. I'm a planbook groupie too! Oh my goodness how it has made my life WAY easier. I use the templates as well...I've typed my plans up in a very "guest-teacher" friendly way, so they look very detailed on a daily basis {like filled with info that I wouldn't need - but a guest teacher would}. So when I *do* have a guest teacher, I only have to type in what lesson they'll be teaching - all the procedural stuff is already there. The site creates a PDF of my day, and I print it out {or email it to my team}...SOOOOOOO easy!

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    1. Hahaha Holly...planbook groupie!! I LOVE this idea, it would be so much easier than making a separate sub plan. I will definitely be working on this in the near future. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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  9. Kristen,
    I started using planbook.com this year too and I LOVE IT! It makes things so much easier for me. I use my iPad at school to refer to lessons while I'm teaching. I know I can attach a pdf file to refer to and there is a way to include a video that I'm using, but I can't always get that to work... so if you figure that out, email me :) LOL
    Glad to see you squeezed in a post. I know things have been crazy busy, and I was beginning to wonder about you. ;)
    Michele
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

    Michele

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    1. Hi Michele!!

      I love attaching pdfs too...I try to make sure I attach ones that went really well this year so I know to use them again next year. I haven't tried the video option, but I know what I'll be doing next now, thank you! ;)

      Thanks so much for visiting and for the nice message. I hope all is going great with you!!! :)

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  10. Kristen, thanks for sharing! I am a new follower and super glad I saw this post, I have been searching for something like this, I will definitely try it out. Thanks again!

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    1. Hi Beth, I'm so glad you can use this info! Thanks for following my blog :)

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  11. I love this too! I don't know if you have tried the template feature for your classes... it will make your 'outline' pop up for each subject so all you have to do is type in the current day's objective/essential question...
    Also~ We have to show what standards are being taught with each lesson and this allows you to quickly click and there they are! I use the "Notes" section to show what my objectives (we have to post these in our room) will be for that lesson. This allows me to scan through and write up the objectives for the day quickly -
    I also LOVE how you can do a scan and see what standards you have taught from one point to the next - this helps in reviewing what has already been taught and if there are any areas that might need more attention.
    SO MUCH for $1 a month! Thanks for posting ~ I always feel a bit silly when I start talking about how Planbook.com has SAVED me this year! But you and your followers have helped make me see that it is true for many teachers!
    Happy Sunday Planning! I am off to do mine also~

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    1. Hi! I haven't tried it yet but will definitely in the future! I do know about the standards and like the feature a lot, but just not how it copies in the entire standard (takes up a lot of space). Unless it's changed, I haven't check recently.

      I'm with you on being saved by this site!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing...happy planning to you too! :) :)

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    2. Kristen - you can make it so it only says the standard number - not the entire standard - in items just uncheck the box next to 'standards description'

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    3. Thank you Sydney!!! That's perfect!!

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  12. Thanks for sharing! I just signed up over at Planbook.com and can't wait to get started!
    -Monique
    More Than Math by Mo

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    1. I hope you love it like I do Monique! Thanks for visiting :)

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  13. I'm so excited to try this! I do worry though with the printing after reading the comments. We are expected to have our plans out daily with the correct date at the top or we get in trouble :( I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of using this though! I'm going to try to month trial :)

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    1. Could you have it out on an iPad or your computer? I know that when I have to share my plans with my principal, there's a password she can enter to view them. I would worry about the printing as well, so I don't blame you! Best of luck :)

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  14. I would love to see how you set up your plans. I teach 3 sections of 4the grade science and social studies. I'm always interested in how people format their plans.

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    1. Hi Kaci,

      My daily schedule is the same each day, you can see it in the pictures above.

      As for the format, I use the following for each subject area:

      Essential Question:
      Opening:
      Work Period:
      Closing:

      I hope this helps, thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I use planbook too and absolutely love it! I like how after I add a standard to the lesson, later on in the year I can check to see what standards I've taught and which ones I need to still touch on! It has awesome features!

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  16. This year I've been using my own template in Evernote, but this looks really intriguing. Thanks, Kristen!

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  17. Since I've been using it the last three years, here are some thing I really love:

    1. Importing lesson plans from last year. This literally saved me this year. If you are teaching the same grade and curriculum as last year, you can import plans for the entire year! I always end up revising these plans, but the biggest part of planning is done.

    2. Lists! My district decided they wanted us to include the common core standard number and a student-friendly 'I Can' message. So I set up a list with this information. Now all I have to do is click on the ones I want and they appear in my plans.

    3. School Lists! This is something you have to contact planbook.com about, but they are super helpful. Another thing the district wants us to include in our plans is the type of assessment and instructional strategy we are using. I typed these up in a list and had planbook.com set them up as a school list. All the teachers at my school who had planbook.com were given a school code, and now that list is accessible to everyone. Way less typing!

    4. Templates! Not having to type in the same thing every day is awesome!

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    1. SG,

      Would you be willing to share a screenshot of how your planbook is set up or some examples of how you input assessment and instructional strategies? I'm trying to decide is planbook is going to cover all the features I need.

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    2. I can't figure out how to do a screenshot here, but I'd be happy to e-mail some to you. If you need to input the kind of assessment or instructional strategy, I'd suggest setting up "My List" with the information you need. Then it's just clicking what you want to include on the lesson plan.

      My e-mail is sgarcia@maywood89.org if you want to e-mail me for screenshots of how my planbook is set up.

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  19. Have you ever had an Internet issue at work and not been able to access your plans? This seems like a phenomenal tool, but our wifi goes down quite frequently and I would fear being without plans! Does this tool give you the option to download your plans to your tablet?

    Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Shannon--you can always save your plans as a .pdf. It's saved me many times when our wifi was down.

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  20. Thanks for sharing this info. I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments

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  22. Any idea on how Planbook.com compares to PlanbookEdu.com? I used PlanbookEdu all last year and loved it. I had cancer and was in and out of school. This made it so easy to prepare plans and email them to the sub, plus they were able to open them on my desk since I made a link to them. For those that need to give plans to principals you can send them to an administrator. I know there is a ton more for me to learn about using this but WOW it was a huge help.

    Let me know if you can compare the two platforms. THANKS!

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