Review by Sandy Wisneski, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2019

Planboard

Handy one-stop digital lesson planner saves time

Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
K–12
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Pros: Track classroom schedules, lessons, and standards while easily embedding PDFs, links, and videos.

Cons: Lacks pre-made templates, so initial setup takes time.

Bottom Line: Simplifies lesson planning with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

Teachers can use Planboard to share lessons with substitute teachers or colleagues who teach the same subjects -- as well as with families -- for stronger communication. For ease of monitoring, the Standards Progression tool shows curriculum progress for each class as well as which standards have been covered. Lessons can also be viewed by days, weeks, or months as an overview when planning.

Once a lesson is created, PDFs can be printed or content shared digitally by using a direct link or by embedding a link into an outside website. This link allows you to share the lesson plan with anyone -- they don't have to create a Planboard account. Be sure to use the Android or iOS mobile app for on-the-go access.

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Planboard is an organizational tool (website and app) for lesson planning and for tracking standards coverage. Start by creating a free account with Chalk.com. Next, create color-coded subjects -- which can be further organized into sections if the subject is taught to more than one group, or class, of students. Then, add subjects to a schedule using a built-in calendar. Creating and organizing lessons is the final step; templates are available and editing tools allow teachers to embed videos/visuals and attach documents (including links to Google documents). A handy spot to list personal reminders and a calendar is an added bonus.

Additional features are well worth exploring after the basic setup is complete. Curriculum sets can be added to subjects; lessons can be copied, shifted, and exported for collaboration with other educators; and standards can be added to lessons. Teachers can sync Planboard with other apps from Chalk.com, including Markboard, Attendance, and Collaborate. Markboard helps teachers manage assessment, Attendance tracks student absences, and Collaborate is a comprehensive sharing tool.

Planboard is a powerful tool for staying organized throughout the school year, allowing educators to focus on delivering content with ease. Schedules are highly customizable, which is great for teachers who are on a rotating schedule or a schedule that changes often. Viewing lessons from home can help students focus and prepare for the coming weeks, and sharing with families can strengthen parent-teacher communication.  

Setup initially takes time, but the Help Center offers videos and step-by-step guides. Planboard saves time in the long run and reduces the stress of managing class schedules and trying to keep lesson resources organized. Taking the hassle out of planning for teachers and the guesswork out of what content to expect for students is a win-win. Plus, the following year teachers can easily copy a previous semester to the new school year, make adjustments, and get lessons ready for their new classes.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Teachers can connect with students and parents while organizing lesson plans. The ability to embed videos and link to outside sources makes it easy to incorporate many different features into a single lesson.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Teachers can customize schedules and lessons while tracking standards coverage. Lessons can be shared as well, and saved year to year.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Well-organized tutorial videos do an excellent job of walking teachers through the features and how to use them.


Common Sense Reviewer
Sandy Wisneski Classroom teacher

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