Managing Assignments with the Schoology Calendar


Previously, I have shared with you my love for Schoology and how it is helping me improve my communications structure with both my parents and my students. Since that first post, I have had many questions asked about "how"...

  • How do I schedule assignments? 
  • How do I manage paperwork? 
  • How do I set deadlines? 
  • How does does the parent/student receive this information? 
  • How can I plan ahead? 

Today, I want to help you better understand by going back to the picture I showed you in a previous post and taking you deeper. Look at the picture above, that is my Schoology calendar for Math 5 As you can see there are a few thing I put onto the calendar just as an example. It looks much different now as I have actual assignments but this is how it appears to both my students and parents. 

Creating Assignments

When adding an item to the calendar I can hide it until the date I want it visible I can also set a date that it is no longer visible. The date closing is visible to the a parents. When I set up events for the school year, I set up notices that all late assignments are due 10 days to the close of the grading period. 

Why 10 days? My grades are usually due 5 days prior. I ask for an extra five days to ensure everything is graded in and on time. 

Added bonus, putting in assignments and hiding them from the students DOES NOT hide them from me. This works as a long range planning tool for me as well. I will share in a different post my planning secrets. 

Creating Folders


The first folder I make is an introduction to the course. In this folder, I keep all of the rules, expectations, contracts, and other back to school paperwork. I can add an attachment to each assignment I create. This allows me to refer new students throughout the school year to get them caught up AND I never have to remember what it was that I gave to them way back in August. 

Then I make a folder for each chapter we are going to cover. I take my time when creating these folders and I write in the description of the folder exactly what we are going to cover. In Chapter 1, there are 11 lessons. As you can see it is hidden until 8/25/16 as this will be the first date of the new chapter. 

This description tells both parents and students what we will be covering and what will be on their end of the chapter test. No more excuses for I don't know what is going to be taught!

Inside the Folder


Are more folders! This is how I manage RTI, Differentiation, and lesson planning. The folders I use for review information. If you notice the hidden date, I do not allow my students to access this until AFTER the first few lessons. 

At the beginning of each chapter, I give my students a pre-assessment. We grade them, graph them, create SMART goals for the unit, and then we begin our student. My students know in advance what they need to work on in order to succeed. 

At the end of the chapter, I will give them a similar test. I replace five of the questions with different ones and I change the order. For the most part, it is the same test. This allows me to determine if they really did learn and grow. 

The actual lessons will appear below the folders. I title them the same as their book and all of their assignments for that lesson are attached. I again carefully create each description outlining what we will do during that lesson and what they must turn into me. 

Review Folders



This is my Place Value review folder. This is how I differentiate and how I manage my RTI. I assign specific things from this folder to specific students. I then write this down in my journal to keep track of my interventions. 

Things I include are Khan Academy lessons and videos, songs, and lots of games! My students can request for an item to be added by writing their link on an index card with an explanation of what it is and where it should be added.

Managing it all


For Students: If a student finishes early, I ask them to go to the review folder and play a game. If a student is struggling, I assign them a Khan Academy Lesson from the review folder after we have worked for a few minutes together in small groups. If a student is involved with RTI, I can assign them alternate assignments from the review folder. 

For Absent Students: The can see what we are working at from home. If a student goes on vacation, they know where the work they are missing is and so do their parents. No more rushing around to get stuff together for a sick kid. No excuses of it never made it home. No more I lost it. No more you didn't tell me. No more did we do anything while I was gone. 

For the Student who always has missing assignments: No more excuses. It is here. You can see it. You can print another copy of it. Your parents can ask the office to print you a copy. No more irate parent conferences about bad grades because of missing assignments. 

For Parents: If a child is struggling with a specific task and parents are asking how they can help. I direct them to the review folder with the specific topic and ask them to have their child spend 10-15 minutes a night working with them on these skills.

For Support Staff:  I give the course code to our special education teachers who then can join our classes. This allows them to have access to what we are doing in the classroom. No more guessing. No more miscommunication. We can work as a team because everyone knows what it is we are focusing on now.

For Administration: Just like my support staff, I can give my admin the course code and they can see what we are doing. This is better than looking at my lesson plans! They can get a student view of what is happening and when! Without even leaving their office. 

For Tutors: If a child has a tutor and they want to know what materials they should cover with the student, I ask the parents to give them permission to be added on as an additional parent to the child's account. This will allow them access to our review folders and can work with the child on these materials. When the child is no longer in tutoring, I can remove them. Adding them as a parent, protects the privacy of the other students in my classroom. 

For Before School/After School Programs:   At the beginning of the year, I meet with their director and set her up as a parent for a fictitious student. Adding them as a parent allows me to protect the confidentiality of all the students in my classroom. This allows him/her access to our review folders. They can then use this information to help practice the skills we are working on.

As you can see, by taking my time to put all of this into Schoology I am actually saving myself a TON of time!

My favorite part besides Schoology being free... I can reuse these plans year after year. After the initial set up, I just reflect on what worked and didn't work. Make a few alterations and wa-la! I am all set for the next year.

What more information on Schoology? Check out these other great posts (if I do say so myself!). 

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