Lesson Plan

Back to School Teacher Survivor Kit

A set of apps and sites to make going back to school a breeze.
Catherine B.
Classroom teacher
Copper Mesa Elementary (Highlands Ranch, CO)
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Teachers will be able to use these tools to manage student grades, set up classroom seating charts, reward desired classroom expectations, share classroom happenings and communicate with parents.

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades Pre-K - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Organzing the classroom

Teachers can either use the app Teacher Kit or the app Smart Seat to create class lists, student contact info and design seating charts.  Both apps also take attendance.  Particularly helpful is the ability to add student photos.  Exporting information to a pdf is also a helpful feature and importing information into both apps is relatively easy  Smart Seat has the option to choose random students (useful for quick understanding checks or to see if the student is on task).

2 Set Expectations and Reward Behavior

Using Class Dojo, teachers can set up both desired classroom behavior, as well as undesirable behavior (and/or use the behaviors that come as defaults. 

Teachers input their student names (for added anonymity, you could also also use student initials or student numbers).  Each student has a little monster avatar.  When good behavior is noted (individually, multiple students or a whole class) the teacher gives a point.  If undesirable behavior is noted, a point is taken away. 

Teachers have the ability to view reports for individual students, as well as the whole class.  Individual student reports can be shared with parents. 

Class Dojo also has an attendance feature as well as a simple timer.

3 Planning and Grading

Teachers can use Engrade, a user-friendly, standards-based online gradebook to keep track of assignments, quizzes and projects.  A basic account is free, and allows you to use not only the gradebook feature, but a quiz builder, flash card builder, a classroom wiki and the ability to upload files.

Though not as robust as some of the other attendance and seating chart apps/sites out there, Engrade also allows you to create seating charts, keep attendance, track behavior and enter standards to tag assignments with. 

4 Communicate with Parents

Teachers can use Remind 101 to send out and schedule texts to be sent to students and parents.  Teachers send a link for individuals to join the group (this also includes support materials on how to do this). Parents and student can subscribe and will receive texts that the teacher sends out. Note: Using the app is free, but standard text message fees apply.

5 Share Class Happenings

Free, Paid

Smore is a great way to design and digitally publish professional looking class newletters, advertise class events, even provide students the ability to design and publish their own newletters and reports.  They are fully sharable and embeddable.