Auto-Updating Agenda and Assignment Board

photo credit: ssl.schoolaids.comMy first year of teaching, I tried to use the paper plan book that I was given at the start of the year. I recently went back and looked at that to see that it lasted for a mere five weeks. For the remainder of the year, I used a SMART Notebook file to create a weekly slide that showed our agenda and plans for in-class lessons and assignments.

Initially, that was how I started planning, last year. However, SMART Notebook files take awhile to open. I didn’t like having to wait for this (in hindsight, I should have saved them as PDF’s for easy viewing). It was at this same time last year that our staff was asked to make Google Sites for our classes. Loving technology, I immediately jumped on this task. My first project was to create an announcement page that updated every week with the new agenda. I used this to lesson plan and thought it was pretty cool, because I would then be able to easily go back the following year and see what we did each week.

But, do lesson plans always stay the same, for the week? Ha! I soon found myself so busy that I wasn’t updating the website during the week, if a change occurred. I already posted a daily report with homework details, and figured that was suitable.

This summer, before my third year of teaching, I increased my PLN by jumping into conversations with many math teachers on twitter. It was through reading this blog post, by I Speak Math, that I established a whole new method for lesson planning, summed up here:

“Now, I’m all electronic when I plan. I made a Google Spreadsheet that lists the date, lesson, homework, and any important links the students will need. I love this way of giving homework, because then students can easily find the links I want them to access.” – Julie Reulbach

The best part, all changes I make during the week automatically update on our class website/blog! Plus, students can click on the ‘All Assignments’ tab and find information on work that they may still be missing.

It was great to see students, the first week of school, already going to the website and using the electronic links to complete their textbook assignment early. A few came into class on Thursday, having already completed the assignment that was going to be given. I do not mind this at all. What are your thoughts? Do you allow students to work ahead? I did caution them to regularly check, because plans do change.

Do you use an electronic system for lesson planning, one that has lasted for more than one year? This may be the answer for me, but then again, I seem to have the knack for continual change.

32 thoughts on “Auto-Updating Agenda and Assignment Board

  1. Would you be willing to share your lesson plan spreadsheet with me so I can make a copy for use with my local districts/teachers?

      • I would love a copy of this too. I am famliar with Google docs but so so busy with the beginning of school and already feeling behind. I can type so much faster than writing. I absolutely love this idea. I have a website but the ability to link it to my website within the homework tab would be awesome. I wouldn’t have to be doing things twice.

        • I know what you mean. It seemed liked I was doing so many things twice (for me to see and then for the students). The spreadsheet is now linked in a comment below.

    • I am new to this but I teach a course called advanced mathematical decision making. It’s a new senior course developed by the Dana Center. Would it be possible to receive an email with this as well. I am so excited. I teach 4 preps and desperately need this.

  2. This is my 15th year teaching math and I seem to have the knack for continual change also. :-) I have considered electronic plans on google forms but with so much to do with planning flipped lessons I have not had the time. Please share because I would love to try it. I have searched online for something like this but have only found fancy gradebook products. My school uses iPass so I have no desire to purchase a gradebook. I love that your students have access and are working ahead. Stuents find out what they need to learn or already know by working ahead is taking ownership of learning. What more could we want for our students to be successful?

    • I agree. Students who take learning into their own hands and find ways to work ahead are setting themselves on a path for success. The spreadsheet has been linked in a comment below.

      Thanks for asking!

  3. Instead of emailing, it will work better to simply provide the link here, to share the Google spreadsheet.

    Click here to access the Lesson Plan Template.

    If you are signed into Google, click File > Make a copy… > Enter a Name > Click Okay. You now have your own spreadsheet to edit.

    Once you are ready to embed it on your website / blog, click File > Publish to the web.

    • Hi, Dan,
      I tried to access your LPT to no avail. I am sure I am merely doing something wrong.
      1. Signed into Google Docs.
      2. Opened another tab.
      3. Click onto your link.
      4. I am directed to the template, and asked to sign in again.
      5. I am not given the open to copy, only to download.
      6. When I click the Sign In link, I have an error page.

      Maybe you could share the doc with me if it is not too much trouble?

      Thanks in advance.

  4. Great ideas. I would love a copy of your lesson plan sheet and can you explain how to create an assignment sheet that automatically updates in google spreadsheet or provide a link. I would love to do this too. Your site is fantastic and so helpful to students and parents. Thanks for sharing!

    • A copy of the spreadsheet has been placed in a comment above.

      As for the automatic updating. This will work once you embed the spreadsheet into your website or blog. Then, when you type on the spreadsheet, that is reflected on your site. Let me know if you have further questions. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Embedding Google Docs « Wild Math

  6. Thanks for the spreadsheet! I posted an online planner in my blog yesterday, but yours is better. I am constantly gathering ideas for a STEM internship class I will be piloting next semester and your blog has lots of useful things. I like your class blog and your class site, right now I am planning on creating something very similar for my new class.

    • Hi Emily,

      You can see how I have implemented the Ninja Rubric here.

      Additionally, here are my SBG posts. Looks like I need to blog about this again, as the information on those posts has changed slightly to how our math department has decided to implement SBG, in our first year of this.

      Thanks for asking!

  7. Looks like you have hit a common cord with this one! I’m glad to see others responding so positively to what you’ve created.

    • Thanks Lisa. Having used it for two weeks now, I am loving it more and more. It will be so easy for students/parents to go back and check on something that may be missing from their math notebook.

      Also, thanks for posting new blogger initiatives!

  8. Pingback: Final week of new bloggers! « A Brand New Line

  9. Pingback: Technology Integration for Math Engagement » Auto-Updating Agenda and Assignment Board | Home-School Connections |

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