Planboard Guide

Chapter 1: Setting Up Your Semester

Planboard makes it simple to get organized and reduce your classroom prep time. Accessible from anywhere, you can plan lessons, align to curriculum sets, and manage your schedule with ease. Best of all, it’s free for individual teachers.

This learning guide will help familiarize you with the features of Chalk's Planboard app. While this guide will cover many of the features available, please refer to our extensive support articles for specific questions or reach out to us at support@chalk.com or through our in-app Live Chat service (available Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm EST).

The following chapter of our learning guide will go over how to:

  • Create your semester
  • Add subjects/sections to your semester
  • Add subjects/sections to your timetable

How do I set up my semester?

When you create your account for Chalk, you will be prompted to set up your semester. This set-up is essential for being able to use both Planboard and Markboard. Setting up your semester involves a few things: picking your start and end dates, creating a name for your semester and adding subjects and sections. The semester holds all of your students, subjects, and content for your Chalk school year.

Step 1: 

After logging in for the first time, you will be automatically directed to the Semester setup page. The first thing you'll want to do on this page is name your semester. Since I have one long school year, I will be calling mine "2019-2020 School Year".

Step 2:

Next, you'll want to pick your start and end dates. You can do this by clicking in the start and end date areas of the box. I will have the same students and timetable the entire school year so I entered the first and last day of school.

Note: You can edit your end date at any time, but your start date cannot change without the help of Chalk Support. See this article for more information on editing your semester. 

Step 3:

Select the "teaching days" of your semester. This will be the days that your school has in their "Rotation". In most cases this is Monday to Friday, but differs from place to place.

When you're done, select the Save and Continue button to move to the next step.

Step 1:

Tap on Sign in with Google or Sign up with Email if you are creating a new account. If you have already created an account in your browser but haven't gone through setup yet, tap on Log In in the bottom-right corner.

Step 2:

After logging in for the first time, you will be automatically directed to the Semester setup page. The first thing you'll want to do on this page is name your semester. We recommend a clear title like "Spring 2020".

Step 3:

Select the start and end dates of your semester to when your schedule begins and finishes.

Tap on Starts or Ends to bring up the calendar and navigate to the appropriate dates. Tap on Select when finished.

Step 4:

You will be asked to select your semester rotation, which is how often your class schedule repeats. For example, if you teach the same schedule each day, you would select "Daily".

Tap on the drop-down menu to bring up the options for your rotation schedule. Tap on Select when finished.

Step 5:

You will be asked to select the days of the week that you teach. Monday through Friday will be automatically selected, but this can differ from place to place. Tap on the day icons to select or unselect them, then tap Next when finished.

You've now created your first semester! Tap on Create My First Subject to continue to the next step.

Step 1:

Tap on Sign in with Google or Sign up with Email if you are creating a new account. If you have already created an account in your browser but haven't gone through setup yet, tap on Log In under the main buttons.

Step 2:

After logging in for the first time, you will be automatically directed to the Semester setup page. The first thing you'll want to do on this page is name your semester. We recommend a clear title like "Spring 2020".

Step 3:

Select the start and end dates of your semester to when your schedule begins and finishes.

Tap on Starts or Ends to bring up the calendar and navigate to the appropriate dates. Tap on OK when finished.

Step 4:

You will be asked to select your semester rotation, which is how often your class schedule repeats. For example, if you teach the same schedule each day, you would select "Daily".

Tap on the drop-down menu to bring up the options for your rotation schedule. Tap on your desired option to select it, then tap the arrow in the bottom-right corner when finished.

Step 5:

You will be asked to select the days of the week that you teach. Monday through Friday will be automatically selected, but this can differ from place to place. Tap on the day icons to select or unselect them, then tap the arrow in the bottom-right corner when finished.

You've now created your first semester! Tap on Create My First Subject to continue to the next step.

How do I create my subjects and sections?

Here is a quick breakdown of the difference between subjects, sections, and non-teaching blocks when it comes to scheduling in Chalk:

  • Subjects are relatively straight-forward. You might teach Grade 11 English, Grade 10 English and Grade 12 World History all in the same semester. These would get their own subject, making them easy to distinguish between for assessments, grading, and observations.
  • Sections are when you teach the same Subject to the same Grade but different groups of students. For example, you might teach Grade 11 English to two different sets of students at two different times. They have the same Curriculum Sets or Standards attached. Therefore you would have one Subject of Grade 11 English, but two sections within it. For more information on how to add sections, please visit this article
  • Non-Teaching Block is a period of time that you'd like to have in your schedule or timetable, but doesn't require any lesson planning. This could be Lunch, Recess or maybe Study Hall. For more information on adding non-teaching blocks, click here

Step 1: 

Select the plus icon on the right hand side. 

Step 2: 

Select the Subject option in the drop down menu that appears.

Step 3: 

Click where it says Subject Name to edit your Subject block. 

Step 4:

Name your subject in the Subject Name box.

Step 5:

Select the colour you would like to assign the subject. This is optional if you want to keep the randomly selected colour that it originally has. 

Note: You can click on the colour picker icon for more colour options.

Once you have everything set up to your liking, you can finalize your settings by clicking on the following options:

  • Select Planboard to move onto your timetable and get started on Lesson Planning. 
  • Select Markboard to start setting up your Assessments. 

Step 1:

Tap on the + icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen to add your first subject.

Step 2:

Tap on New Subject to edit your subject's name. You can change the colour of the subject by tapping on the colour picker tool to the right of its name, tap in the Sections area to create another section of the same subject, or tap the + icon in the top-right corner to attach a curriculum set to your subject. For more information on adding curriculum sets to subjects, click here.

Once you are finished editing your subject, tap on the arrow in the top-left corner to go back to the Subjects screen.

Step 3:

You can tap on the + icon in the bottom-left corner to add more subjects. When you are finished creating all your subjects and are ready to move on, tap Continue.

Step 1:

Tap on the + icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen to add your first subject.

Step 2:

Tap on New Subject to edit your subject's name.

You can change the colour of the subject by tapping on the colour picker tool to the right of its name, tap in the Sections area to create another section of the same subject, or tap the + icon in the bottom-right corner to attach a curriculum set to your subject. For more information on adding curriculum sets to subjects, click here.

Once you are finished editing your subject, tap on the arrow in the top-left corner to go back to the Subjects screen.

Step 3:

You can tap on the + icon in the bottom-right corner to add more subjects. When you are finished creating all your subjects and are ready to move on, tap Continue.

How do I set up my timetable?

Before you can get started on planning your lessons, you'll need to set up your timetable/schedule so that you'll know which lessons to plan for which date and time!

After you've set up your subjects, and select the Planboard option, you'll be taken to this page: 

Here is the step by step process of how to set up your timetable.

Step 1: 

Set your Rotation Schedule. Your rotation schedule is the number of days your timetable is, and how long it takes to repeat itself. For example, your time table may be different every day of the week therefore it's weekly. If everyday for a month is different before it repeats, then you'll want a 4 week rotation. 

Step 2:

Insert your classes. When you first enter this page, you'll see all of your sections in a list with the word "Unscheduled" beside them. 

Select the section that you wish to schedule, and this pop up will appear. 

You will then need to select the time that teaching this section or this non-teaching block happens. Many schools call these periods.

You will then need to select which days of your rotation that this section or non-teaching block appears on. 

When you're finished, click on the "Schedule Class" or "Schedule Block" button. 

Along with seeing the section or block now appear on your timetable, they will also show in the side list as "Scheduled" to keep track of.

Note: You can schedule two different sections or subjects into the same time slot as long as the start and end times are exactly the same.  Planboard does not otherwise support overlapping classes at this time.

Step 3: 

Double check your Timetable. At the end of scheduling your sections and blocks, your timetable might look something like this:

Note: For quick editing, you can click the bottom or top of a block or section to drag it longer or shorter!

Step 4: 

Save & Continue! Above the top right corner of your timetable you'll save your schedule and continue to Planboard and start planning!

Note: It will tell you the number of changes that you have made to your timetable, including the sections and non-teaching blocks that you've added or removed, and the time changes.)

Note: You can come back and edit your timetable at any time, but changes to your timetable only make changes from the present and future. Past timetables will not be affected. 

Step 1:

Tap the + icon in the top-right corner to begin inserting classes into your timetable.

Step 2:

Tap on Select Class to choose which class to schedule.

You can tap on Days Taught to choose the rotation days that this class appears on. Tap on the start and end times to schedule your class, then tap Insert when done.

Note: If you need to schedule the same subject in multiple time slots, you must do this step for each time slot on mobile.

Step 3:

You will be taken to your current timetable where you can see your scheduled classes.

To schedule more classes, tap on the + icon in the top-right corner. You can tap on a scheduled class to edit or delete it from your timetable. You can also edit your rotation schedule by tapping on your selected rotation schedule in the top-left corner.

When your schedule is finished, you can tap Save and start planning! to be taken to your Planner view and begin creating lessons.

Step 1:

Tap the + icon in the bottom-right corner to begin inserting classes into your timetable.

Step 2:

Tap on Choose Section to choose which class to schedule.

You can tap on Choose Days Taught to choose the rotation days that this class appears on. Tap on Choose Start Time and Choose End Time to schedule the class, then tap the checkmark in the top-right corner when done.

Note: If you need to schedule the same subject in multiple time slots, you must do this step for each time slot on mobile.

Step 3:

You will be taken to your current timetable where you can see your scheduled classes.

To schedule more classes, tap on the + icon in the bottom-right corner. You can tap on a scheduled class to edit or delete it from your timetable. You can also edit your rotation schedule by tapping on your selected rotation schedule in the top-right corner.

When your schedule is finished, you can tap Continue to be taken to your Planner view and begin creating lessons.