Common Sense

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Lesson Planning Apps and Websites

Looking to ditch your paper planners and go digital? With these apps and websites, you can bring lesson planning -- and design -- into the 21st century. Not only can you digitize your lessons -- which will save you time in years to come -- but you can also easily share and edit in ways that paper prevents. Short on time (like most educators)? Dive into one of the sites that have tons of ready-made lesson content. And though schools and districts often dictate which learning management system teachers use, you can check out the assortment on this list to see what's out there. Ultimately, you can create custom calendars for each class, track standards across the curriculum, develop differentiated lesson templates, share schedules with parents, and find the best online resources with these top-notch tools.

 

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Digital Planners

Common Curriculum

Sleek lesson planner replaces bulky binders, promotes collaboration

Bottom line: Flexible and collaborative lesson planning, calendar design, and classroom site creator save teachers precious time.

Planboard

Handy -- and free -- one-stop digital lesson planner saves time

Bottom line: This platform simplifies lesson planning with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

Teachers.io

Organizational tool helps teachers plan, communicate with students

Bottom line: Scheduling solution for teachers is at its best when used alongside student homework app.

Lesson-Creation Tools

LessonUp

Flexible interactive presentation tool engages kids at school and home

Bottom line: It's great for creating unique interactive lessons customized for every learner, but it might not be accessible for every student.

Common Sense Selection

Nearpod

Engage and assess students with media, videos, and interactive slides

Bottom line: This is a great tool with a vast content library, and the teacher- or student-paced learning can unlock the potential of 1-to-1 environments.

Wizer

Digital worksheet builder lets students show learning in multiple ways

Bottom line: Students will appreciate this 21st-century take on worksheets, and teachers will love all the different options for creation and assessment.

Blendspace

Create multimedia lessons with engaging but not-so-interactive style

Bottom line: Allows you to incorporate lots of multimedia resources, but be discerning with content and assessments to avoid lazy teaching or learning.

Edpuzzle

Crop, customize, and remix online video content with interactive tool

Bottom line: This is a valuable tool that teachers can use to flip classrooms or support student-led creation.

ClassFlow

Robust lesson creation and delivery tool helps with assessment

Bottom line: In the hands of a determined teacher, this platform's useful suite of tools can support learning experiences that move from instruction to assessment and back.

Ready-Made Resources

BetterLesson

Exemplary lessons, strategies, and coaching from master teachers

Bottom line: Take advantage of the offerings of this professional community to improve the quality of your classroom instruction.

PowerMyLearning Connect

Create playlists and differentiate with quality third-party content

Bottom line: A curation of some of the best educational content on the web made easily accessible, both for students and teachers.

OER Commons

Free, easy access to a wealth of resources

Bottom line: Impressive resource opens access to quality materials for all educators.

ReadWriteThink

Free hub for literacy lessons aims to deepen learning, engagement

Bottom line: This is a trustworthy site that teachers of all grades/subjects could find a way to use weekly for lessons or professional development.

Tailor-ED

Create differentiated math lessons and assessments in minutes

Bottom line: Easy differentiation and unique insights that can improve math instruction.

LearnZillion

Quality Common Core-aligned lessons with great modeling for teachers

Bottom line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.

Gooru

Track progress, differentiate instruction with vast content library

Bottom line: Though it's not perfect, it's a great portal for supplementing classroom instruction and supporting personalized learning.

Standards and Goals

Goalbook Toolkit

Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies

Bottom line: You pay for quality with Goalbook Toolkit, including access to clear, well-crafted learning goals and strategies that allow for far easier differentiation.

Common Core Standards

Complete Common Core State Standards in convenient, searchable, free resource

Bottom line: Love 'em or hate 'em, this resource puts them at your fingertips.

Next Generation Science Standards

Free resource puts Next Generation Science Standards at your fingertips

Bottom line: Super-handy resource makes science standards easy to access anytime, anywhere.

Learning Management Systems

Additio

Flexible, feature-filled LMS facilitates focus on whole child

Bottom line: Being able to access lots of customizable data, group students beyond classes, and communicate easily with families gives teachers a clear picture of each student that they can share.

Kiddom

LMS offers tangible options to differentiate learning

Bottom line: An excellent option for monitoring individual progress toward goals, but teachers will need to be deliberate when selecting and assigning content.

Otus

Free LMS feels rich in offering data-driven differentiated instruction

Bottom line: This teacher-created site solves more problems than it causes, but it will take some up-front professional development to take full advantage.

Common Sense Selection

Google Classroom

Exceptional, simple communication, collaboration, and document sharing

Bottom line: Though it doesn't have it all, it's an incredible tool for managing and organizing learning.

Common Sense Selection

Schoology

Free LMS for digital classrooms packed with possibilities

Bottom line: This is an LMS that offers rich learning and collaboration experiences when matched with creative tasks and assessments.

PowerSchool

Full-featured LMS great for instructional design

Bottom line: With planning for content and design, and some restraint, teachers can create and manage relevant pages ideal for extending and transferring learning.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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