Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

6 Online Teacher Resources for Summer Planning

6 Online Teacher Resources for Summer Planning

By Jaclyn Ruby

reading too much? Whooos ReadingAs you celebrate a successful school year, take time to pat yourself on the back and start preparing for next year—yes, I know, you just finished!

While your summer is already filled with professional development conferences, administrative meetings, curriculum design, lesson planning and classroom preparation—despite what others believe your summer “break” is—making time to work on these skills can make teaching less stressful during the school year.

Take a well-deserved vacation, go to the beach, sleep (a lot!) and then check out these six technology resources that will help you plan for next year.

More: 10 Books for Your Students’ Summer Reading List

Find Inspiration

During the school year, the day-to-day grind can sap your time, energy and creativity, making summer the perfect time to get re-inspired. Summer conferences, resource stores and fellow teachers provide great ideas for lesson plans, units and activities, but you don’t have to leave your house to find inspiration.

These two websites spark your creativity from the comfort of your own home—or a beach chair.

Teachers Pay Teachers: This website is an open marketplace where teachers can buy, sell, and share original lesson plans and other teaching resources. Some of my favorite educators are on TPT, and I bet most of yours are too.

Education World: This website offers free resources for teachers, administrators and school staff. They update their content daily, so there’s always something new to find.

Prep for Lesson Planning

While using programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs is your go-to for creating lesson plans, there are programs specially designed for lesson planning. These programs make this process faster and more efficient. Test these two options over the summer.

Common Curriculum: Common Curriculum is a website that helps teachers organize their lesson plans and align them to common core standards. The creators of this site are teachers, so they understand teachers’ needs. The user interface is bright and inviting and you can choose from pre-existing templates, ranging from simple and minimal to feature-rich and highly customizable. With PlanbookEdu, teachers can create lesson plans and attach worksheets, assessments and other files that accompany the lesson. This helps teachers stay organized and saves them from having to search for files from multiple places.

More: 10 Online Lesson-Planning Resources 

Don’t Forget Parent Participation

It’s difficult to keep parents informed and engaged, whether through emails, phone calls, texts, flyers, hand-written notes or in-person conversations. Rather than trying to track down every parent individually, consider using a group management tool during the school year.

These resources have automated features so you don’t have to continually remind parents about field trips or answer the same questions over and over again. Get a head-start by organizing your calendar and creating volunteer sign-up sheets during the summer. When the classroom field trip or activity comes up, all you have to do is press send.

SimplyCircle: SimplyCircle is a group communication tool that makes it easy for teachers to communicate with parents. You can create tasks and events, send announcements, and manage volunteer signups all in one place. Automated morning reminders, daily digests, and week at a glance emails reminds parents for you, saving necessary time in your day. The best part: it’s totally free.

Jooners:  Jooners is a quick and easy way to create sign up sheets online. You can list jobs, items and time slots for activities. Jooners also has automated reminders and personalized thank you notes that you can send after events.

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