I started using this program with the intent to use it as a digital planner for our summer work. This digital planner gives you the ability to set up a calendar for your school year and to include holidays and vacations. You can then set up each student and assign them a grade level and classes. After setting up their classes, there are a couple of different ways to add lessons to the classes. You can add lessons one at a time or do "Create-A-Plan" and either do "Quick Split" or "Rapid Repeat" lessons. I struggled in this area a bit because I do very descriptive lesson plans. I like to either give a specific worksheet or lesson such as "10C" or "Week 8, Day 1 video and worksheet" or "Read pages 6-18". I never found an easy way to set up those kind of lessons in succession. I ended up working on nearly every subject one day and lesson at a time. It was a bit time consuming. On some of the subjects, I allowed the program to just assign lesson 1, 2, 3, 4, etc to speed up the process. I did appreciate that it was easy to share lessons between the students. In some classes, Apple and Speedy work together on lessons or they do the same lessons independently. It was nice to only have to enter it once and then share it.
One reason I like to give descriptive lessons is so I can just print out a weekly plan for the kids. This program will email you daily or weekly. When I would get the weekly email, I would print it for the kids straight from my email. It will print but is a small version in order to use less paper if printing.
Even though it wasn't as easy as I wanted it to be, I was able to set up all their summer classes and start using My School Year. It serves as way more than a planner though. With this record keeping website, you can track grades, extra curricular activities, awards, and attendance! The program gives you as the teacher the ability to adjust the grading scales and to enter all the extras for your student. A nifty little Teacher's Aid is available to assist you if you are missing certain information for your students or plans.
I have to say that my favorite aspect of My School Year is the grade tracking. This is a HUGE plus for me. This past school year I really started putting some emphasis on grades with my kids. They'd fallen into a pattern of not putting forth their best effort with their schoolwork because they knew I'd give them a chance to correct it. We are still working on overcoming that habit so we will continue to focus on grades this year. Last year I made a really simple spreadsheet to keep up with their daily grades. It was so very hard to calculate everything at the end of each semester. It wasn't organized well at all and I paid for it with several hours spent pouring over it trying to calculate final grades. It wasn't a good thing. In the Planbook, you open each lesson to mark it completed. When you do that you have the ability to assign a grade for that day's work or to complete it with no grade assigned. Hallelujah! Just what I needed. Not only that y'all. It calculates it all for you. Every day. The scores are always right there ready to access. I could cry tears of joy. I'm sure there are other programs that do that, but this is a biggie for me! It's also big for my kids because they can access their scores at anytime through my account to see where they stand.
Now that Apple is in 7th grade (GASP & sob), I have been looking ahead to requirements for high school. It can be a little overwhelming just to look over all the lists. One thing I've worried about is tracking her time for each class. My School Year will do that too! In the same screen that you can mark lessons complete and assign a grade, you can also input the number of minutes spent on the lesson. Score! This would make high school record tracking so much easier. You can even download a report card to print at any time!
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