How to Lesson Plan in the New Normal

How I Plan My Lessons Digitally with Planboard

How to Lesson Plan in the New NormalIt’s no surprise that the pandemic has caused a lot of headaches for educators. I bet you’re having your share as well, from adapting to hybrid learning, to planning curriculum and lessons, to keeping sane throughout all of this. It’s not been easy, but some good has come out of these difficult times.

This post is sponsored by Chalk and Planboard.

Our school, our teachers, and principals started diving deeper into what we were teaching, how we were teaching, and why we were teaching it. What exactly was the purpose of some things we taught in our school? What did students learn and gain from our lessons? As a school, we started reflecting on these questions to better adapt to this changing environment while acting on an opportunity to improve the learning process. 

Our reflection led us to focus on a core piece of our teaching: curriculum mapping and lesson planning. We want to be an aligned school–from teacher to teacher and from grade level to grade level. We met often to discuss our plans for the students, the parents, and ourselves. We came up with a few solutions and ideas to better prepare for the upcoming challenges and focus on delivering quality education to our students.

I know, curriculum and unit planning can be a challenge. It's a tedious process with all the standards, plans, assessments, pacing guides, but having a streamlined system (especially as we focus on blended and distance learning) sets the foundation for our school today. This past spring, as we reconsidered our curriculum process, we started looking at technological solutions that could help us get aligned. 

As we investigated, tested, and demoed with several products, we were looking at a few things.

It finally came down to one clear choice for us: Chalk. This platform offers an incredible, user-friendly curriculum and lesson planning solution for educators. Chalk helps our school to stay aligned and go from a written curriculum to a taught curriculum with ease, enabling transparency at all levels.

Before reaching out to Chalk, I tried their free version of Planboard, which is a free digital plan book. I could easily attach standards and write my lesson plans anywhere. I’m always on the go, so I really loved the fact that I can use Planboard on my phone, making it easy to teach and edit my lessons. 

It’s so easy to have a digital app that gives me instant access to my schedule. It’s easy to set up, plus it looks really pretty! I highly recommend that teachers check out Planboard by Chalk, as it’s a free app. We are a Google school and I was pleased to see that I could share lessons with my students in Google Classroom, so at that point, Chalk became an easy choice. We knew it would help us with our goals for hybrid learning, and make it easy for our school to be organized, aligned, and connected.

When it came to implementation, we had to migrate our curriculum from another system. Chalk has an implementation team that was able to help us with this. All of our teachers also received training–and we were up and running within one week. 

I could easily view our pacing guides, track how many standards I was completing, and see how I was planning. I could easily work with my colleagues on unit plans, and we helped each other create goals for our new normal. From sharing lessons to Google classroom to sharing lessons with other teachers, it became much easier to communicate and collaborate on our curriculum and lessons.

For me, Chalk has made my life easier. Instead of writing plans for hours, editing, and carrying around dozens of paper copies, my new system is paperless–and I’m loving it! From instant updates on any lesson, to shifting lesson plans, to reusing content from previous year, there is so much that can be done! 

If your school is looking for a one-stop solution for curriculum and lesson planning, I highly recommend checking out Chalk. If you’re a teacher trying to better organize your classroom, Planboard can help you and your students stay on the same page in so many ways.



This blog is sponsored by Chalk. Get your free Planboard account by signing up here.  Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”<div?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Joshua Levine October 22, 2020 - 8:48 am

I had never heard of Chalk and Planboard before, but they both sound like wonderful programs for making curriculum planning easier. Does it seem like this is a program that you and your school will continue to use once schools go back to in-person learning?

Vicki Davis October 25, 2020 - 8:02 pm

We have been in person for 11 weeks so we are in person now. But we have it in place so if we have to go online that we’re ready. We’ve had 11 straight weeks of in-person learning and only 2 cases before labor day with no spread. We’re fortunate but have many protocols in place. Chalk and Planboard have helped us greatly.


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