Over the last couple of years, I have been dabbling with doing my planning electronically. Year ago, I experimented with MS Word tables and Excel spreadsheets but to no avail. Later, I used iCal and Google Calendar but still found that I had to copy and paste individual classes because neither allowed for a rotating schedule (6 days). I found it cumbersome and difficult to keep my planning up to date from what was happening in my classroom and what I have planned. I also found it challenging when I was on different computers and didn’t have that particular file with me.
This year, I have tried out a new teacher planning software called Planbook and have been pleasantly surprised with the results (Full Disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with this site or getting any monetary compensation for this post). Let me tell you why…
- Very easy to add details and simply copying and pasting works well
- Allows for a rotating schedule: This was a must for me!
- Syncs with iCal and planbook connect (online version)
- Easily print out monthly or weekly schedules
- Ability to add standards/benchmarks or homework assignments to each day
- Can easily bump lessons to the next day
- You need to invest a little time in the beginning learning the software (watch the help video for this)
- Moving away from a hard copy is difficult for many teacher
- Sometimes difficulty to find formatting options as they are not so “instinctive” compare to other programs
For those of you that are still partial to having a hard copy in front of you to add notes or changes, you can print out nice weekly schedules in paper format, make changes and then amend those to the digital copy later.
I think this program is more suited for High School/Secondary teachers where you would have a number of different classes but it can still be adapted for elementary teachers as well. Just remember that “courses” are really subjects.
Here’s a screen shot of my planning this week: