If you know me in real life, and not just in the alternate reality of the #teachergram and blogging world, then you know that I am way too Type B for my own good. My life philosophy is “an organized mess.” I currently have 3,875 unread emails, and usually only one area of my life is clean at a time (my classroom, house, or my car). Things may look messy, but I can always find what I need, and I almost never lose-lose anything, so that counts, right? If you’re Type A, you’re probably audibly gasping in horror and 2 seconds away from exiting out of your neatly organized tabs. But if you’re a fellow Type B teacher (or a Type A brave enough to stay), allow me to introduce you to the one foolproof organizational system that saves my teacher life every day: Google Slides Daily Agendas.
Keeping a running, auto-updating slideshow of all of my lessons for the entire semester is one thing I can commit to because Google Slides makes it easy to get organized. With the way I set up my slides, I only have to post them ONCE at the beginning of the year, so it’s impossible for me to sabotage my system. 🙂 While my agenda slides help me out, they’re also best practice for students: These slides provide structure, communicate clear learning goals, and reinforce procedures so you can start class smoothly.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to the “What are we doing in class today?” questions and get your lesson-planning life organized, then here are my top 10 reasons for using daily agendas in Google Slides. You can also scroll down to read about how I organize and post my agendas or check out my growing collection of classroom-ready templates here.
WHY I USE DAILY AGENDAS IN GOOGLE SLIDES
1. Daily agendas provide structure and reinforce procedures.
No more “What are we doing today?” questions! If a student comes in the classroom trying to ~act~ like they don’t know what they’re doing, I simply point to the agenda. My students know that every day, when they walk in my door (or when they log on to Google Classroom), they’ll find an organized outline of our entire day’s lesson on the screen.
2. Agenda slides communicate clear learning goals to students.
Whether you use learning targets, power standards, essential questions, SWBAT objectives, I can statements, or just plain standards, your agenda slide is the perfect place to clearly communicate your goals for each class. I’m that teacher who used to HATE (and forget) to write objectives on the board back in the day, so I love the simplicity of copying and pasting my learning goals to my agenda slides. I have a Google doc with all of our learning goals and standards listed, and I pull from there when I’m creating my slides for the week.
3. In addition to helping students, agenda slides help me stay organized and on track during class.
I’ve taught up to 4 classes at one time, so my agenda slides are a life-saver, especially on those days when I can’t seem to remember what I have planned. (Hey, it happens). A visual reminder is all I need to quickly get my mind ready for a new class and stay on track during my lesson. I always project the agenda slide at the start of class, and then I keep it in an open tab during class. This way, I can easily edit it if we don’t get through with something and need to push it to the next day.
4. Agenda slides give me just the right dose of accountability.
Thankfully, I’ve never worked in a school that required me to submit lesson plans. Between my curriculum map, unit plans, and these agenda slides, I’m able to keep myself accountable with my lesson planning. Outlining my lessons on the agenda slides is totally doable, and at this point in my career, it’s really all I need (and all that is asked of me). Creating my agenda slides also helps me make sure that my learning goals are clear, my lessons are sequenced well, and my instruction is aligned to my assessment. Once again, it’s just the right level of accountability to help me be a better teacher without overwhelming me.
5. My lesson plans are easily accessible in ONE convenient location.
There’s just something soothing and magical about having all of your plans in one spot, rather than them existing in a collection of folders, subfolders, docs, sheets, and paper planners. My daily agenda slides are my one-stop-shop, my trusty system that I can never forget to update…because I have to project them at the start of class. I’ve been known to forget to update my Google doc calendars or skip a busy week in my paper planner, but my slides are ALWAYS up to date and accessible.
6. Posting my daily agendas is efficient with Google Slides.
Because Google Slides update automatically, I can post the slideshow ONCE and my students will have access to automatically updates for the REST OF THE YEAR. I’m all about a one-and-done system that I can’t mess up. More on that in the next section: How I use Daily Agendas in Google Slides.
7. My Google Slides agendas streamline my lessons for my in-person and online learners.
I’m teaching in person, but I have a few online only students, so these daily agendas are crucial for keeping us all on the same page…or should I say slide? These slides help all of my learners stay organized. You can make your daily slides even more functional by linking up all necessary materials so that students don’t have to toggle between too many tabs during a lesson. You can even add audio or video instructions to assist virtual learners. The possibilities are endless!
8. A daily agenda slide deck creates a helpful hub for absent students.
At the beginning of the year, I train my students to find the daily agenda slides and check them when they are absent. If they come to class and ask what we did yesterday, I’ll direct them to the slides before answering any questions. My slides on Google Classroom even say, in all caps: “CHECK HERE WHEN ABSENT!” There’s no missing them!
9. The slideshow of daily agendas becomes a great resource when I’m planning for the following year.
Before committing to a consistent daily agenda slide system, my plans were scattered throughout my Google drive. This made it difficult when I wanted to reflect on previous years’ plans while planning for a new year. Now, all I have to do is pull up one slideshow! If I want to use the same lesson in my new year of plans, it’s as simple as copying and pasting one slide. It couldn’t be easier! Another way you can help your future self is by leaving notes or comments about how well the lesson went. You can do this in the slideshow notes section or via Google comments (upper right-hand corner).
10. Administrators love them!
Seriously, a simple agenda slide will check multiple boxes on that evaluation rubric! Clear learning goals? Check. Established routines and procedures? You got it! Evidence of purposeful planning? Yep. You get the idea. All I know is that every administrator that’s ever stepped in my room has loved the agenda slides…so I will continue to project them for some free points on those unannounced observations. 🙂
HOW I CREATE & USE DAILY AGENDAS IN GOOGLE SLIDES
1. First, I create a new master slideshow that will house all of my daily agendas for the semester/year.
Then, I share this to Google Classroom as a “material,” meaning the slideshow will be “view-only” for students. I have a “topic” titled RESOURCES that I keep pinned to the top of Google Classroom, and students will find my daily agenda slides here. I actually have a title that reminds students to “CLICK HERE IF ABSENT.”
2. Then, I use my templates to create an agenda slide for the day.
With a template, this is as simple as copying and pasting OR right-clicking and selecting “Duplicate Slide.” Each slide features our daily agenda, learning goals, and any other reminders or information. If we are completing a bell-ringer, sometimes I will include that on the agenda slide.
3. Each day, I create a new slide by duplicating the previous one.
To do this, right click on the slide you want to copy and select “Duplicate” from the menu that pops up. You can even select a whole week of slides and duplicate them as a group to save time. I like to do this even if I don’t have the whole week perfectly planned. I keep placeholder text like “1. Bell-Ringer 2. Minilesson 3. Activity 4. Exit Ticket” so I can quickly plug in my lessons when I’m ready.
4. Once I have a week’s worth of slides, I’ll create a new slide and title it “Week 1” to visually separate the weeks in the master slideshow.
Then, I’ll begin the process all over again by creating a “Week 2” title slide and adding my daily slides in order. This way, when students open up the slideshow, they will see the most recent slides first.
5. Finally, I repeat the process in the same slideshow for the whole semester…or year.
Because you shared the slideshow to Google Classroom when you created it, you NEVER HAVE TO UPDATE OR POST IT AGAIN. It’s foolproof. You literally cannot mess it up, and even if you delete a slide or something, there’s Revision History for that. Isn’t that beautiful? I usually keep my agenda slides hanging out in the same slideshow for a semester, but you may opt to start a new slide deck for each unit, quarter, etc.
Bonus Tip: How to add Bitmojis
One of my favorite parts of creating my agenda slides for the weeks is adding fun Bitmojis to each slide. To do this, first install the Bitmoji Chrome Extension so it appears on your Chrome toolbar. Then, you can browse through the different Bitmoji categories or search keywords to find more. You can even create custom text Bitmojis by typing a specific phrase into the search bar. For example, I typed in “First Chapter Friday” and created the Bitmoji you see on the agenda below! The Chrome extension currently supports up to 6 word phrases. It’s a fun way to customize your Bitmoji to your content, expectations, lesson, or mood!
Want to save time with appealing, organized daily agenda templates?
If you’re interested in checking out my agenda slides, you can find a growing bundle HERE, or the individual listings below:
- Gold Foil Balloon Theme
- Pink Glitter Theme
- Technology Theme
- Chalkboard Theme
- Neutral Boho Theme
- Book + Days of the Week Theme
Have a suggestion for a new theme or design? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to add it to the bundle!
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