Updated: Jan 5, 2021
If you dread lesson planning each week- this list is for you! I am a planner and a list maker. I am all about finding ways to do things as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I started lesson planning on Google Slides and let me tell you- GAME CHANGER. I have been able to lesson plan faster than ever and I feel so organized. I am going to share my top 5 tips for planning on Google so that you can work smarter, not harder:
I use Google Sheets to create a large scale outline for the school year. If you have taught your grade before, you are already at an advantage! I fill in topics/standards by both so that I have a rough idea of what I teach when. This is super helpful as I plan weekly throughout the year. If this is your first time in a grade, fill in this spreadsheet throughout the year so that you can use it as a guide in the future. It may not stay exactly the same from year to year, but it can be a handy tool if you ever find yourself asking, “What comes next?”
2. Easy to Edit & Collaborate
Google Slides as a planning tool makes editing and adding to your lesson plans so easy. I love that I can add to my plans anywhere- no need to lug around a binder or bulky planner. I can also work with my peers on the same document to save time. In addition, you can also add links within the document to resources in your Google Drive so that you can easily print or view the materials for the week with one click.
If you would like to share your plans with a team but not collaborate, you can also share a copy of your plans with ease. Click here to see how I share copies of my lesson plans with teammates.
Maybe the very best part of Google Slides for lesson plans is that they are reusable! What a time saver. I keep all of my lesson plans in one folder on my Google Drive. When I am ready to plan for my next week, I copy the document, save with a new name, and then plan! Some items in my plans are the same or very similar from week to week. I type directly over my old plans so that I can change out chapter titles and items as needed instead of retyping everything as I go. If I had a paper planner I would have to handwrite everything from week to week. That would take forever.
4. Short and Sweet
Google Slides allows me to adjust my plans as I go. Some weeks I have more in depth plans, other weeks they are a lot more simple. As I plan, I try my best to keep a clear goal (learning intention) in mind and make sure my plans reflect that. I make notes for myself about the materials needed and add links where it makes sense.
5. Make Google Work for YOU!
BEST OF ALL, Google Slides as lesson plan templates are fully editable! I love this because I know that each slide is one page if I print my plans. I aim to have morning as one page, afternoon as a page, and small group as a page. From there, I edit the templates to match my schedule and then plan away.
This makes more sense to me than planning in traditional vertical or horizontal planner grids. I like being able to make spaces that match my school day. I also include spaces for my morning, specials, and afternoon planning time so that I can remember meetings or other tasks that I need to complete.
Lesson planning can be fast and manageable!
Lesson planning can be a fast and manageable part of your week! Click here to learn more about my Google Slides template and try it out for free.