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 planner
  • Add classes for your school year
  • Add classes 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 setup 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 planner and adding your classes. The semester holds all of your students, subjects, and content for your Chalk school year.

Click Let's Get Started to begin the setup process.

Step 1: 

After creating a teacher account, the first thing you'll need to do is name your planner. It will automatically be titled with the nearest school year by default, but you can change it to whatever you'd like. We recommend creating a planner for the entire school year unless your school is strictly semestered and no classes are taught in multiple semesters.

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.

Note: You can edit these dates at any time after you complete the setup process. See this article for more information on editing your semester. 

When you're done, click the Next Step button in the top-right corner.

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 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.

How do I set my teaching schedule?

Your teaching schedule is the number of days your timetable is, and how long it takes to repeat itself. For example:

  • If you teach the same classes every day, you have a "Daily" schedule
  • If you teach a different set of classes for each day of the week, you have a "Weekly" schedule
  • Some schools have 4, 5, or even 6 day rotating schedules that may begin on different days of the week

The next step of the setup process will have you select the teaching schedule that best suits your school year.

Step 1:

Click on a box that best fits your teaching schedule (Daily, Weekly, or Rotating) and then click Next Step in the top-right corner.

Step 2:

If you selected a Daily or Weekly schedule, you will just be asked to select your teaching days. These are the days that will be available during your school year for scheduling lessons. Click on the toggle buttons to add or remove teaching days from your planner.

If you selected a Rotating schedule, you will also see options to change the number of rotation days/weeks with a preview of how this schedule would appear in your planner. You can click the blue buttons next to the number to add or remove rotation days, or click on "I need a multi-week rotation" to add multiple weeks.

When your teaching days or rotating schedule look correct, click the Next Step button in the top-right corner.

Step 1:

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 2:

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:

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 2:

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 classes?

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

  • Subjects/classes 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 class, making them easy to distinguish between for lessons and assessments.
  • 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: 

Click the + Add a Class button on the left-hand side.

Step 2: 

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

Note: If you have classes created in Google Classroom or Schoology, you can import them into Planboard by clicking the Import Classes button in the bottom-left corner and following the instructions here.

Step 3: 

Enter a name for your class in the text field that appears.

You can click the colour picker icon to the left of the class name to select the colour you would like to assign the class.

Once you've chosen a name and colour for your class, click Create and you will see the class added to the list on the left.

Step 4:

Repeat these steps until you've created all the necessary classes for your school year.

Step 1:

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

Step 2:

Tap on Subject.

Step 3:

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.

Step 4:

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.

Step 2:

Tap on Subject.

Step 3:

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 left of its name.

Once you are finished editing your subject, tap on OK to go back to the Subjects screen.

Step 4:

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 customize your planner by setting up your timetable/schedule.

Step 1:

After creating your classes, you will see all of them in a list with the word "Unscheduled" beside them. Now you can schedule them on the appropriate teaching days.

There are multiple ways to schedule classes on your timetable, so choose the method that works best for you.

Option 1 - Drag and drop method: Simply click on the subject you wish to schedule and drag it onto its desired position on the timetable.

You can edit the length of the class after it has been placed by dragging the two lines that appear on the bottom of the block. The next time you drag and drop a class, it will be the most common length used on the timetable so far.

Option 2 - Schedule in bulk: Click the scheduling icon to the right of the class you would like to schedule.

The following popup will appear for you to select the start and end times of the class, as well as the rotation days that you have this class in your timetable. You can enter the start and end times by typing in the time field or clicking the clock icons.

If your class appears on different times for each day, it may be easiest to schedule all instances at the same time and then move the blocks into the correct time slots.

Click Schedule when finished, and the class will appear on your timetable.

Option 3 - Draw method: Click and drag a box on the timetable to select a class to add, as pictured below. You can edit the start and end times in the window that appears.

Step 2:

Schedule the remaining classes on your timetable. Along with seeing the block now appear on your timetable, scheduled classes will also show in the side list with all of the Days they are currently scheduled on.

You can click on any existing block on your timetable to edit its details, including switching it to another subject.

Once a class has been added to your timetable, you can move the block on your timetable by clicking on it and dragging it into a new position.

To edit the length of a class on your timetable, you can click on the two lines at the bottom of each block and drag then up and down.

If you need to remove a class from your timetable, simply move your cursor to the scheduled block and click the X that appears in the top-right corner.

Note: Planboard supports overlapping classes! Simply schedule classes with overlapping start and end times and they'll appear side-by-side on the timetable. You can find more more information about overlapping classes in this support article.

Step 3:

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

Step 4: 

When you're ready, click the Start Planning! button to save your schedule and continue to Planboard!

Note: You can come back and edit your timetable at any time, but changes to your timetable only apply 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.