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Creating Lesson Plans with Spreadsheet.com

Whether you’re teaching one class or juggling many, having tools to plan and execute your lesson plans is crucial to making sure that your students reach their learning goals by the end of the term.

Spreadsheet.com gives you all the tools you need to develop your lesson plans and keep all of your materials in one place. And with free Premium plans for teachers, you can access all of Spreadsheet.com’s features without dipping into your budget.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at Spreadsheet.com’s Class Planner template and explain how key features like data types, row grouping, and Related rows can be combined to create an all-in-one lesson planning solution. Take a look at our lesson plans workbook and follow along, or create a copy for yourself to experiment.

Plan and Manage Upcoming Activities

Use data types to turn a simple spreadsheet into a lesson planner

With support for more than 25 rich data types, cells in Spreadsheet.com workbooks can hold a lot more than just letters and numbers. Data types let your workbook’s cells display things like attachments, checkboxes, sets of icons, dropdown lists, and more. In our Lessons worksheet, we’re using different data types to enhance our lesson planning and keep important materials directly in our workbook.

Lessons worksheet with rich data types

Column F - Required Resources uses the Multiselect data type to list the required materials for each lesson, each of which is selected from a dropdown list that’s built into the cells.

Column H - Files uses the Attachment data type to display photo and file thumbnails in cells. Attachment cells can hold multiple files, and you can click on a thumbnail to view it in full size and download the original file.

Column I - Lesson Evaluation uses the Rating data type to display icons that correspond to a numerical rating, like a scale of one to ten. Rating values act like numbers, so you can calculate sums or averages of groups of cells.

You can quickly see which data type a column uses by looking at the icon to the left of each column index.

Organize activities into lessons with grouping

By creating an additional Sheet view in our Lessons workbook and using row grouping, we can easily categorize our activities into lessons. Row grouping combines rows with shared values in one or more columns into groups. Take a look at our new Sheet view – “Grouped by Lesson” – below.

Lessons worksheet grouped by Column B - Lesson

Here, we’ve grouped our worksheet by Column B - Lesson to organize multiple activities into groups of lessons. By clicking on the header row above a group, we can quickly add summary statistics about our groups, like a count of activities in Column B - Lesson or a sum of the duration of all activities in Column D - Duration.

View upcoming activities on a Calendar view

By adding a new Calendar view to our Lessons worksheet, we can see all of our planned activities laid out on a calendar. Take a look at the Calendar view – “Activities Calendar” – in the image below.

Lessons displayed on a Calendar view

Our calendar is color-coded by lesson so we can quickly reference which lesson is being taught each day.

Organize Lessons into Learning Objectives with Related rows

Related rows, one of Spreadsheet.com’s data types, let you link rows in multiple worksheets so that your sheets can work like tables in a relational database where editing one changes the data in another.

For our Class Planner workbook, we’re using Related rows to connect our three sheets – Lessons, Learning Objectives, and Classes – so that they can share information with one another.

Use Related rows to link lessons with learning objectives

Each lesson in our Lessons worksheet is associated with a specific objective in our Learning Objectives worksheet. This relationship is represented with Related rows. Take a look at Column E - Learning Objectives in the image below.

Lessons worksheet with a Related row column (Column E - Learning Objectives) linking it with another worksheet

Column E here is a Related row with a 2-way link that connects it with Column B - Topic, the primary column in our Learning Objectives worksheet. With a 2-way link, the relationship between records is reflected in both sheets; each record in the Lessons sheet lists the associated learning objective, and each record in the Learning Objectives sheet lists all associated lessons.

By using a Related row with a 2-way link, we can use additional Related row data types like lookups and rollups in both sheets.

Use Related rows to link lessons with classes

Column J - Sections in our Lessons worksheet is a Related row that’s connected with Column A - Section in our Classes worksheet. Like our previous Related row, this one uses a 2-way link so that the relationship is reflected in both sheets.

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