Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tried It Tuesday

Brrr! It's another freezing morning here in central Iowa!  I cannot remember a winter that has been this cold for such a stretch of time.  I can quite honestly say I have already started praying for Spring or that someone will hand me a ticket to a warm tropical getaway!

In the spirit of sticking to my New Year blogging resolution,  I thought I'd try to link up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for
One of the new things I have tried out this year is Planbook.com and I have to say I love it!  In the past I have always created my own planning sheets using  Excel.  Last year I kept all my plans in one excel workbook with a tab for each month.  It worked nicely, but I still had to do a lot of copy and pasting each week.  We run on a 6 day cycle so everyday is a little different.  Needless to say I am always looking for a way to make my lesson planning more efficient and less painful. :)

I read a post this summer from someone else who was thinking about trying Planbook.com so I headed over to the site to check it out myself.  At first I was a bit skeptical about how easy it would be to use and if in reality I would use it.  I have experimented with online planners before without a lot of success and they can be pretty costly, so I held off on doing the trial until school actually started so I could see if this one would be any different.  Let me just say- this one is a keeper!

 Here are some of the reasons I particularly like this planner:

1. It's not as costly as many- it only costs $12 a year!  I know money isn't everything, but I spend a lot of my own money on school things.  I try to make sure I get the most bang for my buck wherever I can.
2.  It is super user friendly. The site offers several video tutorials to help you get started.
3. I like that I can set up my lesson blocks in the template then just add the specifics when I do  my weekly planning- no more typing it over and over or copying and pasting.
4. I can code the day's lesson with the standard code for the Common Core- at the end of the year, I can print a report that shows all the skill codes I taught which will make filling out my ICAT so much easier plus it's provides an artifact for my principal.
5. I can quickly adjust my plans either to extend a lesson or bump it to the next day.  Snow days or other events no longer make my plans look like a toddler scribbled on them LOL.
6. Another nice feature that I don't use a lot but does come in handy is that you can print your lessons out either for the day or by the week.  An emergency came up this fall that had me running out the door  with no time to lay out my usual sub sheets- all I did was print the day's plan and they were able to move on without me.
7.  You can also share your plans with other teachers.  Right now, I am the only one in my team using this so, I don't use this feature but think it would be great when team teaching.
8.  Lastly, I love that my planner is with me all time and it isn't an extra something in my bag.

Well that's my Tried it Tuesday.  If you are looking for an online planner, you'll want to check this one out yourself.  Have a great week!


  1. I also use planbook and love it!! It is so easy and really makes my planning quicker!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  2. I am excited to have found another fourth grade blogger (through the linky). I started following you, and I'm looking forward to reading your future posts. I am going to check out this plan book. It sounds great.

    Thank you!
    Fit to be Fourth

  3. Hi Kay! Yay!! Another 4th grade blogger. :) I keep hearing great things about planbook.com and need to check it out. I love the pictures you included and your detailed post. Thanks for linking up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. Hi Kay! Found your blog though Bloglovin' and I am so glad I came to this post! I saw planbook.com over the summer and considered it but then never followed through. I just might give it a go based on your review! Where in IA are you? We live in Minneapolis, but my husband is from Winterset and we have many friends in Des Moines! I am your newest follower!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees