A lesson plan is an instructional guide that maps out teaching/learning objectives, teaching strategies, assessment criteria, and timeframe. Lesson plans are therefore central to the success of our teaching. In fact, regardless of your teaching experience lesson planning remains a key pedagogical practice that helps you meet out your instructional goals.
With the advance of technology, lesson planning is increasingly becoming digital. While its pedagogical essence remains unaltered, its structural format has radically changed. Teachers no longer draw solely on paper planners to plan their lessons, they now have access to a wide variety of online lesson planners that make it super easy to create and share lesson plans.
The purpose of this post is to share with you a collection of some good online lesson planners to help you easily create, collaborate, and share lesson plans. I invite you to check them out and use our social media channels to share with us your feedback.
Benefits of online lesson planners
Online lesson planners are valuable tools that can greatly assist teachers in their daily tasks. Here are some of the benefits these planners offer:
- Organization and Efficiency: Online lesson planners provide a central location for all of a teacher’s plans, materials, and schedules. This helps streamline the process of planning, saving teachers valuable time and reducing the chance of losing or forgetting important information.
- Accessibility: Being online, these planners can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. This allows teachers to work on their plans whenever and wherever is most convenient for them, whether that’s at school, at home, or on the go.
- Collaboration: Many online lesson planners offer features that make it easy to collaborate with other teachers. This can be especially useful for teams teaching the same grade or subject, as they can share resources, ideas, and feedback.
- Standard Alignment: Many of these planners include features that help teachers align their lessons with state or national standards. This ensures that the material being taught is relevant and meets the necessary educational requirements.
- Customizability: Online lesson planners often allow for high levels of customization, enabling teachers to tailor their plans to suit their teaching style and their students’ unique needs.
- Reusability: Plans created in an online planner can easily be saved and reused or adapted in the future. This can save a great deal of time and effort in the long term.
- Parental Engagement: Some online lesson planners have features that allow teachers to share lesson summaries or homework assignments directly with parents, increasing communication and engagement.
- Evaluation and Reflection: These tools often include features that enable teachers to reflect on their lessons after they’ve been delivered, evaluating what worked well and what might need to be improved. This can be invaluable for continuous professional development.
Overall, online lesson planners can significantly enhance a teacher’s effectiveness and efficiency, leaving them with more time to focus on their most important task: teaching their students.
Best online lesson planners
Here are our picks for best online lesson planners
PlanbookEdu offers an intuitive platform that helps you create, share, and print lesson plans. Your lesson plans are accessible anywhere with Internet connection. PlanbookEdu also integrates Common Core Standards allowing you to instantly tag standards to lessons.
Other interesting features provided by PlanbookEdu include the ability to attach various materials to your lessons including files, collaborate with colleagues, export lesson plans to Microsoft Word and PDF, embed your Planbook on your site, built-in spell check, and many more.
2. Common Curriculum
Common Curriculum is another good lesson planner for teachers. It offers a gamut of interesting features including: the ability to add various elements to your lessons (e.g., links and files from Google Classroom, Google Drive, or OneDrive).
You can also search for standards to add to your lessons or add yours and Common Core automatically tracks which standards you have used and which are not yet covered. You can also copy your planbook to re-use with other classes if you teach the same content, or you can recycle activities or sections in your plan the way you want.
Common Curriculum allows you to customize your planbook so it fits your teaching goals. You can plan all your class in one place, use rotating schedule, write notes on lessons for important reminders, drag activities between lessons, add instructional notes for substitute teachers, and many more. Teachers can share their planbooks with collaborators or with admins using generated links.
ClassFlow provides you access to a collection of powerful tools to help you create and deliver interactive lessons and assessments. You can register for a ClassFlow teaching account, create a class and invite students to join.
No accounts required. Using ClassFlow tools you will be able to create various types of interactive learning activities and exercises. For instance, you can create polls and share them with students to gather feedback in real-time.
You can also select among 10 different activities to include in your lessons such as crossword puzzles, word searches, memory games, flash cards, labeling, and matching. You can also create quizzes and assessments using different question types including multiple choice, short answer, math, true or false, essay, and creative response. Teachers can use annotations, images, grouping, and color-coding to interact with students responses.
Planbook offers a host of useful tools to help teachers develop, plan, schedule, and collaborate on lessons. Teachers can select from different lesson layouts and attach videos, images, links, assignments, and assessments to their lessons. They can also use the site’s repository to add learning standards and differentiate teaching strategies.
Other important features provided by Planbook include the ability to create ‘team lesson banks for full curriculum management’, control who can view lesson sections, allow substitutes to view lesson details and add instructional details for them, create seating layouts and charts for students, track students attendance, integrate your plans with Google Classroom and Google Drive, and many more.
LessonUp is another good lesson planner for teachers. It offers access to a huge collection of ready-made templates teachers can use to design their interactive online lessons. Teachers can easily integrate several interactive elements into their lessons including quizzes, mind maps, open questions, drag and drop questions, polls, and many more.
To capture students attention and enhance their engagement during lessons LessonUp provides the following features: Hotspots (enable you to add clickable elements to your lessons), Spinner wheel (helps you generate random students names), and Traffic Light (use it to manage students class participation and noise level).
LessonUp embeds a library of pre-made lessons created by other teachers and educators. Browse through the collection for inspiration and ideas to include in your own lessons. You can filter your lesson search by subject, school type, and country.
Besides creating and sharing lessons, LessonUp provides you with the tools to track student progress and monitor their learning growth. “LessonUp automatically generates student reports, and saves them in your LessonUp account. They are safe, exportable and always consultable. Engage your students also with the chat function, and by giving them real-time feedback in the classroom, during hybrid lessons, or remotely.”
6. Lesson Plan Templates
There are several sites that offer a wide range of professionally designed lesson plan templates that teachers can personalize and use the way they want. Simply browse through the collections, select the lesson template you want, click to open and start customizing it to fit your own lesson planning purposes.
Yo can add/delete sections, upload and add images and videos, insert symbols and share, and many more. Once your lesson template is ready you can publish and share it anywhere online, print it, or download it in different formats (e.g., as PDF and image file).
7. Teacher Planners
There are numerous web tools that allows you to create your own customized teacher planners but if you rather avoid the hassle of doing the task yourself you may want to check the this collection of best teacher planners.
These teacher planners offer a wide variety of planning and organizational features that will help you set up your school year for success. Features include: monthly and weekly planning pages, a yearly overview, sections for recording notes and important events, special dates sections, inspirational teacher-themed quotes, and many more.