Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Best Laid Plans #MTBoSBlaugust

Every person remotely connected to the upcoming school year knows that plans are fluid. My district is set to have teachers return this Friday (3 days from now) and students in 13 days.

And I'm not sure I'll actually believe it's happening until we're in the building.

A good portion of summer is usually spent planning lessons. This summer, however, I haven't known how to plan. For a while, we didn't know if our start date would be adjusted (it was) or if we would decide to begin classes completely online (we're not).

But SOMEthing needs to be planned. I need to have SOME idea of how I'm approaching my classes this year.

I knew early on that I wanted a plan for lessons that would work whether we are face-to-face or virtual. In the spring, it took a lot of effort to "train" students (and parents) on how to "have school" in the virtual world. Yes, we did digital activities in face-to-face school, but not to the extent that had to occur once we transitioned (quickly) to distance learning.

I knew I wanted to "train" students from the beginning.

I also had the thought that some form of self-pacing would be good for the coming year. I have tried small chunks of self-pacing - individual days, a unit - but my class has not been widely self-paced.

I had a few ideas rolling around in my head but nothing I felt able to solidify.

Then @roxygirlteacher (Rockstar Math Teacher) shared her plan for her classroom, and things begin to click.

I want each week to follow the same format, whether we are in school or at home. I'm thinking (and hoping) the routine will mean we can transition back and forth (if it happens) with few hiccups.

I found a Google Slides template on SlidesMania that I decided to use.

Each calendar day links to activities for that day. Each activity has instructions and can link to an assignment in Google Classroom or a video or an online practice site.

My plan is to also have a "Weekly Handout Packet" with things that require paper and pencil. My reasoning for the packet is to reduce the number of times papers are being passed out and turned in.

In a perfect world (::grin::), I will have each week's activities posted on Monday morning and give students their Weekly Handout Packet.

Each day will have a specific lesson and objective and some whole-class activities, but if there are assignments posted ahead of time in the weekly planner - like videos or practice - students are free to work ahead whenever they have time, whether that is when they finish early in class, in a study hall, or at home, if they like.

I would not post things like quizzes or "Quick Checks" (mini-quizzes) ahead of time.

I'm considering have one "due date" a week: all online assignments are due and the weekly packet will be turned in each Tuesday. That will give students further flexibility in completing assignments.

I'm going to (attempt to) share a Week 1 Template here and would love feedback.

It is not linked to anything in Google Classroom, yet, and I haven't made the videos that I will link to video activities. You can test out the navigation through the slides by clicking "Present." From any slide, there is a "home" in the upper right corner that will take you back to the first slide.

If you choose to look at the Slides and share any ideas, thank you! I would also love to hear how you are formating classes this year.


  1. This is so fancy! I like the way you laid it out. I believe you will find good success with this.
    I think we are all thinking along the same lines. It has to transfer from campus and off campus learning seamlessly. I don't think anyone wants ever again to be in the unprepared position we were in last Spring. I am anxious to see how this works. Then, we can all copy you! :)

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I will definitely update with how it goes!

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    3. I had typos, so let me try again! :) I had forgotten all about SlidesMania, and you inspired me to check it out again. Bingo! You made a difference in my efforts for Monday, so thanks!

  2. WOW! This is so well done - easy to follow (kids and parents), setting kids up for success, engaging, friendly. Thanks for sharing. OK if I 'borrow'... well... EVERYTHING?

  3. None of it is original to me! SlidesMania has several "Weekly Plan" templates to choose from.

  4. I love how organized and neat that looks! Thank you for sharing!