Building your students’ self-discipline, self-reliance, and time management skills while answering the age-old question, “What are we doing in class today?”
One of the earliest lessons I learned as a new teacher was that organization and communication are the keys to a well-run classroom.
After observing one of my lessons as a first-year teacher, my principal asked a simple question: “Why are you responding to these kids asking, ‘What page?’ and ‘What’s next?’” Gesturing dramatically to the agenda on the board, she continued, “The answers are right there! How will they learn self-reliance?”
After this simple (but brilliant) demonstration, I began to respond to those types of questions by smiling and pointing to the board, not having to utter a word. Students soon learned the routine: check the agenda and begin the first task. They were learning important life skills such as self-discipline, self-reliance, and time management, while I learned to let my agenda speak for me. What a valuable lesson for a new teacher!
It’s not so different in a remote learning environment. As students enter our virtual classrooms, it’s important for them to know what’s expected of them and where to find that information.
Teachers use Posts, Assignments, and Quizzes in their daily instruction, but an active online classroom might have several posts in one day, causing important information to be lost in the fast-moving class stream. Teachers need a place to post a collection of activities, procedures, and resources for students who want to know, “What’s next?” My former principal would be happy to know that Edmodo now has an Agenda where students can quickly find answers to these types of questions!
Creating an Agenda is quite simple. Teachers can click the “Create” button in their class, then add the important assignments, activities, and posts that make up the day, week, or longer time-frame, depending on the situation. The current Agenda will be available to a student on the right side of their class page.
Teacher's view of creating an Agenda
Student's view of an Agenda
Deciding what to include in your Agenda depends on a few factors: the time-frame, the audience, and what information needs to be shared.
Younger students might benefit from a simple, daily Agenda. Adding emojis or an inspirational message builds a connection between the teacher and students, especially in a remote learning situation. Adding the time it should take to complete the task offers an opportunity for students to practice time management.
This week-long Agenda from an eleventh-grade American Literature class demonstrates how a teacher can share a collection of important activities, links, documents, and learning objectives with their students. Including a link to a post ensures that students can quickly find an assignment without excessive searching.
An after-school activity, such as a sports team or club, might have different types of tasks students must complete. Having all the required documents and resources in one place, along with a timeline for completion, is an efficient way to share important information with students across grade levels.
Adding an Agenda to a lesson or unit of study is a great way to organize curriculum resources and communicate expectations to students. Then, when a student asks, “What are we supposed to do?” you can just say, “Check the Agenda!”
Try out the new Agenda feature for yourself and let us know what you think!
Doreen is an Education Writer at Edmodo and a Veteran Educator, experienced in both elementary and secondary levels in the USA and Germany. In her career, she has served as an Instructional Coach, Professional Development Coach, and Curriculum Specialist. She is passionate about using technology to create and grow a community of engaged learners worldwide.