Sunday, November 8, 2015

Using Google Calendar for Lesson Planning = The BEST

I realize that - as part of teaching - teachers must complete lesson plans. We have a professional responsibility to document what we are teaching, how we are teaching it, what activities we're using, and how we're accommodating the special needs of many of our students.

Having said this, for 3.5 years I have HATED lesson planning. Don't get me wrong, I always had a fairly developed lesson plan in my head, but I hated taking excessive amounts of time to write it down in someone else's format.  I also hated that it wasn't really helping anyone. Who looks at those things? No one. Taking that amount of time away from what I should be thinking about - improving and teaching concepts - was not right for kids or for me personally or professionally.

I realized there was no getting around completing lesson plans, so I began seeking out ways to make lesson planning useful. Enter Google Calendar. My lesson plans are finally useful and beneficial for my kids and their guardians.

I just make an event for each lesson. If I have multiple preps of that course, I just do one plan (the first time slot I teach it). I have a separate calendar for each prep.

No. My lesson plans aren't intense. I don't have that kind of time, but the plan is solid enough that I could repeat it or quickly recall everything we did that day, and that's really the purpose of a lesson plan, in my opinion. Here's what I love - you can attach all of your lesson documents to the daily plan, and they are stored in your Drive (mine are already in Drive).

I can then share this calendar (and thus all my files, if I want) with collaborating teachers, other teachers in the school/district that teach the same prep, and administrators.

Another plus is that Google Calendar syncs with my school website. Parents and students (especially if they are absent) can navigate to my teacher page and see what they missed on the given day.

If you dread lesson planning (not the actual planning - the documentation of the planning), please try Google Calendar. I can't recommend it enough. My lesson plans are always completed in advance, well-developed, and easy to access. If a student comes in and needs "the stuff from last Thursday"... I can actually find it quickly or at least immediately direct them to its location. It's a beautiful thing.


  1. Do you know how to print off a weekly calendar with the description? I really want to use this idea this year but I need to send a paper copy of the lesson plan to the school's office.

  2. I don't know how to print out a paper copy. We submit our lesson plans electronically, so I can just send a link. Sorry! Maybe Google it?