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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Hello, educators. This week on Teacher Tips, we're exploring the online lesson planning tool betterlesson.com. This website allows you to quickly create online lessons, organize your teaching calendar, and even share lessons with colleagues. In addition to planning your own lessons, betterlesson.com now gives you access to over 3,000 Common Core line lesson plans created by master teachers. In this video, we're going to explore how to create an instructional calendar and in the next movie, we will dive into finding and using common core lesson plans in our classroom.
Here in my web browser, I've already navigated to betterlesson.com and logged into my account. Creating an account is free and takes just a few minutes. I'll get started by clicking on Schedule Course. From the Curriculum Planner, laying out instructional calendar is a 3 step process. We first need to schedule the course itself, which is going to create a start and end date for our students. The next step is to add units inside of the course and then finally, lessons into each unit. I'll start this process by clicking on Schedule Course and then selecting Create New Course. I'm going to give this course the title of Sound. Now for the Grade field, there's 2 ways I can add grades.
I can either click in the field and then select a grade from the drop down menu or I can simply start typing the number for a particular grade. For example if I type 8, I can now select Eighth Grade from the drop down menu. Both the Grade and Subject fields allow for multiple entries. If this particular course was for both eighth and seventh grade, I can now type a 7 and then select Seventh grade and I have 2 grades added in. I'll do the same thing for subjects. Clicking in the box, I'll select Science from the drop down menu and then I'll click a second time and go ahead and select Math, since this particular course has objectives from both the math and science objectives.
The last step is to choose the course start and end dates. Clicking in the box will automatically open up the date picker. I'm going to have a course that starts on April 14th, and ends on May 30th. With everything filled out, let's go and click Create Course. Now that our course is created, the next step is to go ahead and schedule units. To do this, I'll simply click on Schedule a Unit inside of the course and then from the menu, choose Create New Unit. The first unit title is going to be on measuring sound. If I'd like to, I can add a unit description, but I have to go ahead and choose a start and end date for this particular unit.
Maybe this unit's going to start on the first day of the course, and it's going to run for 3 weeks. We'll then select May 2nd as the ending date for this unit, and now I'll click Create Unit. The last step is to go ahead and add lesson plans inside of our units. Again, I'll find the box in which I'm working in which is now the unit box, and I'll go and click Schedule. This time, I'll select Create New Lesson, and I'll have this lesson title be about the decibel. Again, I could add an objective for this lesson, and it's going to by default, choose the first day available inside the unit, which happens to be the first day of school.
Maybe the first day of school we need some time to go over policies, procedures and textbooks. So I'm going to go and select the second day of school and then click Create Lesson. Now the lesson's really hard to see. It's this purple line right here. To help us see what's happening inside the curriculum planner, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in to a monthly view. Then I'm going to scroll over so I can see the course a little better. I can see that the green area represents the whole length of the course. Inside of the course, I now have my measuring sounds unit. And then inside of this, I have this purple bar which represents April 15th and a lesson on the decibel.
In order to edit this lesson, I'm going to go and click on it to zoom in a little further. I'm going to hover on the lesson, and then using the drop-down menu, I'm going to choose Edit. After I've laid out my entire instructional calendar, I can then come back to each lesson individually when I'm ready, select edit and go ahead and fill out the rest of the lesson plan. Here I can go ahead and add objectives. I can write out the entire lesson plan, I can also select word tagging so I can search for this lesson as well as add permissions of whether or not I want this lesson to be visible to my students to the school or to the general public.
Using this process you outline your entire course and when you are ready go ahead and update those lesson plans. In the next video, we'll take a look at how to find Common Core lesson plans directly inside betterlesson.com.
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