When you build within Plans, topic/unit folders are automatically created in the resources tab. Then, if you align lessons with standards, the resources and activities that are added from Plans will automatically be tagged with those standards and built into the unit/topic folder.
To customize Plans, first open Plans and then open your settings by clicking on the three dots in the upper right hand corner and choosing Plans settings.
Within the settings, you will customize the fields within Plans. These elements (columns) can be customized so that they are visible for everyone, teacher, nobody.
Plans can be set up to include topics and plans. Think of the topic as a unit or module. Within each unit or module you will build lessons.
There is an option to create a folder for each new topic. This automatically creates a folder in the resources tab and organizes materials added to plans within that topic.
Activation relates to when plans and the associated resources are available and visible to students and parents. If you decide to automate the activation of plans, you will want to use appropriate dates and choose the option to activate connected elements when the plan is activated. Otherwise, a plan may be activated, but the activities will remain inactive. Plans that are inactive are visible only to the teacher. There are five options when automatically activating plans:
- Manually - if this option is selected, you must set a default status for plans (active or inactive)
- When the plan starts
- 2 days in advance
- 1 week in advance
- 2 weeks in advance
Once activation settings have been established, it is important to check the box that will also activate connected elements. Otherwise, a plan may be activated, but the activities will remain inactive.
In addition, you can select options for anonymous access. This is beneficial for administrators or advisors who are required to approve lesson plans.
Next, you have the ability to change the title of your topic field. This title can be changed to unit, theme, etc. You are then able to add sub-elements, such as unit resources or standards. To add a column, choose "add column." Then, type in the title and decide if you want this section to include text or learning objectives. (If you choose learning objectives, you have the ability to attach standards at the unit level.) Finally, set the visibility to all users (everyone) or just the teacher.
The plan columns allow you to create detailed lesson plans than can be used year after year. These plans may be traditional lesson plans or nontraditional self-paced modules for students. Within the settings, plans can be set up so that they are automatically activated according to the dates in Plans. When plans are active, students and parents have the ability to view the plans.
The default columns for plans are as listed. Each column can be renamed as seen in the image. The visibility settings can also be altered so that they are shown to everyone, only the teacher, or no one. Additional columns may also be added as needed.
- Plan: This is the title of a lesson, module, skill, or sub-topic.
- Date: Dates may range from one hour to one year… any date can be included here. Dates allow the lesson information to be displayed in the plans block on the course dashboard and they correlate with the activation settings as indicated in the planner settings.
- Description: This section contains a brief description of the lesson, module, skill, etc. Text, video, images, or a lesson outline may be included here.
- Standards: This field will include standards that will be aligned to the lesson (Resources that are added from Plans will be automatically tagged with these standards.)
- Resources and activities: This field will contain course materials such as files, links, assignments, tests, etc.