How I use Trello as a Lesson Plan Book (2018)

Anyone who chats with me about computer things realizes quickly that I LOVE Trello. Every time I discover some new way to involve it in my life one of my family members remarks, “You know you really should work for Trello or at least get paid as an ambassador!”

I used to use Google Drive exclusively for tutoring, but then I’d find it challenging to keep things in order. Trello was helpful with its cards, but it wasn’t until after using Trello for a full year tutoring students that I realized that the calendar feature was the lynchpin for using it very successfully. I tutored my son through Algebra 1 and we needed to keep a daily log to show his school that we were actually doing work. I wanted something that we could just share with them virtually, so I went looking at the power up opportunities. Fortunately for me, a calendar was an option. The calendar allows you to put due dates in all your items, and they appear on the date they are due on the calendar view. 

How does that translate to a plan book?

Well, I find it really useful to store things on the day that I actually did them. This feature for Trello allows me to store things exactly where I used them BUT it also is so easy to move and copy things when plans change – like when you don’t get to something or when an unexpected snow day happens!! In the list view you can still store things by unit, topic etc.

What about lesson plans?

I have a Lesson Plan Template that I use for each lesson. I printed out a bunch of them at the start of the year and then each day I write in them; fairly typical teacher planning. However, I find that I get annoyed because I have all my things digitally stored in Trello/Google Drive and then I have a hard copy of each day and the lesson plan in a notebook by Module. I really don’t need to view those hard copies very frequently, but the digital version is not standalone because it is lacking the actual lesson plan. Yesterday morning I was looking over my plans for the week and I had a brainstorm. Every day I use the app ForScore with my iPad in the classroom. It pairs nicely with Apple TV, air play and the Smart Board to display for the kids and it plays nicely with Google Classroom. The long and short of it is that I can do our classroom notes on the Smart Board with this app (in FULL COLOR) and then quickly upload to Google Classroom for the kids to access at any time. What if I just filled out my lesson plan on the iPad and posted it to Trello?

Posting lesson plans to Trello

I grabbed the iPad and opened up Google Drive only to find that they’d upgraded their abilities since the day prior. It used to be that you had to open a Print Preview of your document in Drive and then make a copy for forScore. As of that morning, you now have the option to just open directly into forScore. Yay for one less step! I opened my lesson plan template and promptly started marking up the plans for one of the upcoming days. When I was done I emailed it to myself and then posted it to Trello. Now, along with the documents I’m using, and the summary for the class I now have the lesson plan. I created a new list in Trello called Lesson plans so that I could store them all together. See the images for this to help you understand exactly how cool this is. Or you can view this public board directly. You can toggle back and forth between the calendar view and the list view to see exactly what I’m talking about in this post. One thing to note is that in mobile (and that includes iPads and other tablets) the calendar view is slightly different than on a desk top. I don’t find it as user friendly on the tablet.


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What does this mean for teachers, parents and students?

I feel like this is just one more step toward full transparency for parents and kids. When I tutor students I find that the more transparent a teacher is with what is happening in class, the more help I’m able to provide. We spin our wheels less diving right into the proper material more quickly. I also love that it keeps me honest. I can’t slack because I know anyone could read my plan at any time. Of course there’s always room for improvement, but I am always certain that I’m posting the best work I’m capable of at that time.

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