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Collaborative Planning - What does it look like on screen?

Started by Mark Maddren 13 Aug 2014 12:43pm () Replies (113)

When planning in a team, what does that actually look like? I have visions of teachers either working in an online doc or site planning together based on their learners needs and then linking off to other docs as they get more into the detail of what they are teaching. I have tried to visualise my thinking below. Some feedback of the nuts and bolts and ways of showing this collaborative planning would be much appreciated.


Crowd sourced resource of examples of Planning Templates.

Please add yours to the resource so we can build up a number of examples. Screenshots or links to the docs will be fine.

Do not be shy we have a wealth of resources/ideas out there and need to share these.



  • Mandi (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2014 1:49pm ()

    We are currently running an MLE in a two classroom space while we await the building of our new 3 room hub. We have 45 Year 0-1 children with 3 teachers. Your visual pretty much represents how we do our planning.  We meet weekly for a formal meeting where we share results and observations from the week.  This then leads to re-grouping and re-defining for the following week and the resulting planning required. This meeting often takes 2-3 hours but is a hot house of inofrmation and a way forward which is constantly being reviewed.  As a result, we all know the children very well and we are all able to talk about their learning indepth.  Whilst we are still in the very early stages of this process, we have found that the use if the iugo planning tool and google docs great in the collaborative planning process.  Something that we also use is a very simple 'brain dump/ brain storm' book which we constantly add to during the week to follow up and discuss on in our weekly meeting.  This is not a 'pretty' or well-formatted document but rather a book of post-its and scribbles of incidental thoughts. We have found this invaluable in making sure that we achieve all we want to in the most time effective manner.

    We are very keen to hear further feedback  about what works for others!

  • Lisa Maniapoto (View all users posts) 29 Sep 2014 8:58pm ()

    Kia ora Mandi, we are a small school and we are keen to do more collaborative teaching together. I suppose we have questions around the actual organisation of the literacy time - what does that actually look like in your hub. Do you have individual type plans for your learners, do you run workshops, targetted learners. I love the idea of your brain dump book - thats a good idea. How do the children organise themselves...we havent been to visit any schools yet but have spoken to teachers, would like to see it in action. I realise that everyone approaches it differently...our challenge would be a more multi-levelled, Y3- Y7...with 3 teachers, but only 50 kids - so yes a wide range. This term, two of us are working together with 26 children (years 5-7) , just exploring how it could work - but most importantly developing our plan. So yes any hot tips or ideas - be appreciated. And we have a 100 year old room, but love our space, lots of character, high ceilings, open flow, great porches - made of solid native wood. I swap for anything...we are very creative too (as most teachers are) to make it work for the kids...cheers!


  • Mandi (View all users posts) 30 Sep 2014 9:58am ()

    Hi Lisa, 

    We have implemented the Daily 5 programme with our young learners during literacy time.  In this time the children have 5 tasks that they must complete but they have choice over when,where, and often how they do this.  Obviously this required a lot of teaching when we were setting up to ensure that the skills that we wanted practised were in fact happening!  The 5 tasks are... Reading to Self, Reading to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work. Within each of the 5 areas, there are a variety of options ie ipad apps, Reading Eggs programme, play dough, variety of written material, vast number of games and equipment to practise letters and words etc. While the children are working on these tasks we withdraw groups to complete guided reading and writing etc.  We also have  a system called 'Grab a Group' which includes our target groups ie children who need additional work on alphabet knowledge etc.  We break up the tasks and direct a 'changeover' by having 'call backs' where children share their writing, we read the shared book, model writing, share poetry etc.  Our children have become very indpendent in their learning through the use of this programme and also the embedding of our school literacy progressions which has made them very aware of what their current goals and they are able to articulate their learning and required next steps. Obviously, we continue to reflect and review what we are doing and we are are always tweaking the programme.  The collaborative teaching apporach also means that we are continually reviewing the progress of individual children and adjusting their programme accordingly.  Our groups are, therefore, very fluid!

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Lisa Maniapoto (View all users posts) 02 Oct 2014 8:58pm ()

    Kia ora Mandi, hey thanks for the feedback, sounds exciting in your class and I like the way that you guys have organised your learners, so they are independent - awesome.  Like you 'grab a group' idea, good way in including those target learners. Thanks for much for sharing with us, and I know that it takes time to think through it all, plan for it all to happen, especially with Year 0-1's - kia ora koutou! 

  • alyson (View all users posts) 18 Dec 2015 9:52am ()

    Hi Mandi

    I love your ideas, are your call backs for the whole group or a small group? 

    We are starting off next year with 3 classes (all single cell not one big learning space) 3 teachers and Y0-6 (50 students in total) A small rural school. We are looking at ways to collaborate withour resorting to crossgrouping! Any hints and tips greatly appreciated

    Many thanks


  • Chris Bradbeer (View all users posts) 13 Aug 2014 2:09pm ()

    Nice visual Mark. A great way to illustrate your thinking. One of the key decisions when working together in this way is coming to an understnding in terms of where to invest the collaborative effort. It does, as you've noted, take time. So what in that case is worth doing together, what's worth coordinating and getting people to do and then bring together, and what's done better on your own? The online tools are really useful to help the collaboration. It then means you can decide what needs to be done synchronously or asynchronously. We've used Google sites/ docs extensively but the iugo looks interesting too. Keen to hear what others are doing too.

  • Mark Maddren (View all users posts) 20 Aug 2014 4:14pm ()

    In reflecting on the comments above and research I have read it seems to me the way you document planning in a collaborative space is probably not alot different to documenting planning in a single cell classroom especially if you are using online tools like Google Docs or Office 365.

    The big difference in a collaborative planning space appears to be the need for time and resources to allow rich discussion between the members of a collaborative team around the data they have collected and the next learning steps for their learners. This in turn leads to planning the learning for the following sessions.

    I am interested to know if schools see the benefit of investing in professional learning around data literacy as internationally this seems to be an area that teachers are generally weak in. Data literate teachers have the skills to analyse and infer from the students responses, what they know and can do. This then enables next steps to be planned for and also enables the teacher to understand what they need to learn to teach that child.

    In a collaborative space I can see that data literate teachers would be far more effective at meeting their learners needs and would be able to have much more in depth discussions about the student data. 

    I look forward to feedback around my thoughts.


  • Tracey Janes (View all users posts) 02 Oct 2014 10:09pm ()

    Hi all,

    We went through a similar 'panic' about how to plan when we set upour MLE - 44 Yr6,7,8 pupils. I couldn't find anything I liked much, despite trawling the internet, so created my own Google Sheets planning template. This looks like a regular timetable but uses hyperlinks to the curriculum and other online content, and to my own Google Docs. I also share the relevant weekly plan with the class, via their email (obviously this isn't practical if you are teaching littlies!) so they an access the links themselves. Seems to be working well. Happy to share with anyone if you provide an email address.

  • Alicia Marsh (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 8:02am ()

    Yes please Tracey!

    Hi all. I am part of a MLE pilot group, however I am still in a single cell classroom, and the only class in my team at this point. I personally purchased iUgo to ensure I was 'covering all the bases', but mostly have been left to find my own way which has certainly had its ups and downs! The other teachers are, or have already, taken onboard new pedagogies, however it is the systems and supports in the middle (such as collaborative planning) that I would like our team to develop further next year. These discussions and suggestions are invaluable :)


  • Jodie Brown (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 8:26am ()

    Hi Tracey

    I would love to see a few of your planning docs. I, similar to Alicia, am hoping to develop an MLE type set up in a single cell classroom. The planning aspect is something that I am struggling to get my head around, so would love to see some of yours!

    Alicia, where abouts are you, and with what age? I am keen to hear some of your ups and downs. 


  • Alicia Marsh (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 8:53am ()

    Hi Jodie

    I am at St Mary's in Northcote, and have a Y4 class. Ups include ideas presented to me from readings and books I have found, or others have shared, that make sense! Many lightbulb moments regarding pedagogy. Examples include collaborative planning with the kids, flexible timetabling, choice over what books/Journals they read, flexible seating arangements, being open to them emailing me with ideas or discoveries outside of school hours, have groups that are ever changing according to immediate observations, or from identifying needs acording to work in their books. Most importantly, I am lucky that the management team has let me experiment.

    Downs include feeling slightly isolated at times, not having individual gmail accounts for the kids (then I could start 'flipping' some learning, or at least experiment with this), and WANTING and NEEDING more PD - though I know money is always an issue. I become energised when sharing an recieving new concepts etc.

    I am still very much finding my feet in all of this. It is not suiting all of the children, but that is OK too as I seem to have time to work with these few while the others fly. So much to say really! Always searching for new ideas :)

  • sandrafraser (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 8:30am ()

    Tracey I would love to see a copy of your planning.  I trialled sharing the weekly timetable with Year 7 students, timetabling their workshops with me then they had to plan the rest of the their week.  I used Google Sheets which worked well but still needs some refining.



  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 10:48am ()

    Hi Tracey,

    I would love a copy of your planning document.  Thanks for sharing,


  • Tracey Janes (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 11:54am ()

    Buffy, you will need to give me an email address or I can't share...

  • Buffy T (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 12:23pm ()

    Hi Tracey,

    Thanks.  louiset@turakiprimary.school.nz 

  • sandrafraser (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 12:34pm ()

    Thank you so much for sharing your planning.  I already have an idea after having a quick look at yours.  I really like how you have got different tabs at the bottom for each week.  I would have made separate ones but now think your idea if much better.

    I look forward to having a good look over the weekend.

    Thanks again for sharing 


  • kylie gilbert (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2014 12:56pm ()

    Hi Tracey

    Sounds very exciting and would to see your planning too.



  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Oct 2014 9:48pm ()

    Hi Tracey.  I'd love to have a look at your planning too.  We're starting next term down the MLE track.  Cheers.  Iona



  • Lisa Maniapoto (View all users posts) 06 Oct 2014 10:59pm ()

    Kia ora Tracey,

    Would love some help with the planning side of it all...love to have a look and get some ideas..


    Thanks so much


  • Riki Culley (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2014 6:23pm ()

    Hi Tracey,

    Our school are trialling a range of collaborative planning templates within our teams. Staff have really embraced the challenge and have come up with some great ideas on google docs. Our next step is to share our planning templates with all staff, reflect on the effectiveness of them and decide which planning docs we will use/re-create so that there is consistency across the school. I would still be interested in viewing your documents to see if we're on the right track. Perhaps I could share our docs with you later. Thanks for sharing Tracey!


  • Manny Horua (View all users posts) 17 Jan 2016 11:36pm ()

    Hi Riki,  we are also trialling a range of collaborative planning documents and have chosen Google docs  as the format to plan with.  Some of us have also used Google slides to plan units.  Some teachers started using Google slides last year with the students for eportfolios.  In previous years we had used Powerpoint but wanted to trial Google slides so that students were able to access and add to their learning journey at home or where they had access to the internet - ubiquitous.  We then moved to sharing the weeks learning with the students for Maths and also set tasks with co constructed Success Criteria and a timeframe of when the work needed to be completed by.   There needed to be some timetabling with use of devices however this was easily managed with students signing up for "sessions" where they could work on the tasks in class but also being able to work on them at home.  We decided to start slowly , one learning area at a time but are quickly moving into other areas as well.  

    We have shared some of  our planning templates with the staff but are aware that some might be overwhelmed if shown too much too quickly.  

    I would love to see what others are doing in their schools also



  • Johnny Zondagh (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2016 4:37pm ()

    Hi Manny,

    We are mostly using Google Docs for collaboration, however, lately we were using Padlet and it is really great for teachers to collaborate. We have also used Google slides with our students. If the slides are created and shared with them they can each work on a different slide and comment on each others' work. That worked well in one of my classes.

  • mdewan (View all users posts) 11 Oct 2014 8:40am ()

    Thanks for being so generous with your time replying all our emails for sharing your documents apart from putting yourself  'out there' and sharing your planning in the first place!

    I am going to take some more of your holiday time away from you as I would love to have a copy of your planning too. My email is



  • Lori Mravicich (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2014 2:39pm ()

    Hi Tracey,

    Just joined the VLN and have been trying to find some examples of planning collaboratively and I would really appreciate having a look at your planning if you were still happy to share.

    Email  lorim@stjosephs.co.nz



  • Roz Waters (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2014 4:00pm ()

    Hi Tracey

    I would really appreciate a look at your planning docs. We are hoping to set up an MLE next year from year 5-8 and are always looking for good ideas.


    Thank you

  • CraigMcD (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2014 9:51am ()

    Hi Tracey,

    I'd love to see examples of collaborative planning too please!


    Craig McDonald

    Tahatai Coast School

  • Peter Fowler (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2014 11:11am ()

    Hi Tracey

    We are prototyping at the moment so would love to see your planning template.

    Thanks and cheers



  • Hazel Smith (View all users posts) 23 Nov 2014 9:24pm ()

    Hi Tracey.

    Yes please that would be awesome...before i redesign the wheel!




  • Lori Mravicich (View all users posts) 20 Dec 2014 11:33pm ()

    Hi Tracey,

    Would really love to see what your planning looks like! lorim@stjosephs.co.nz



  • Shirley (View all users posts) 21 Dec 2014 3:38pm ()

    Hi Tracey,

    I'd appreciate seeing examples of your planning as well, thanks. One more email address to add to your huge list! :)



  • Tineke Dippenaar (View all users posts) 22 Dec 2014 8:11am ()

    Hi Tracey,

    We are starting out MLE Build in 2015. I would love a copy of your template.




  • alyson (View all users posts) 18 Dec 2015 10:07am ()


    I'd love to see an example please?

    many thanks



  • L Parry (View all users posts) 18 Mar 2016 12:02pm ()

    Hi Tracey

    We are just starting down this route with 90, Year 7 and 8 pupils.  I would love to view how you guys are doing it as we are very new to this and not quite sure how to keep it manageable for the students and for us!!! Would you mind sharing any docs you have that might give us a bit of help?

    Kind regards



  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 9:27am ()

    Morning everyone...

    Here is a screen shot of part of our modern learning planner.  We are a GAFE school, using 1:1 in our learning space.  Each studen has access to this doc.  Its just a document that has tables drawn on it.  Every second week we have a 'reactive workshop week'.  This means students choose what they want to learn.  Students, teachers, experts from the community run the workshops based on what the students want.  And every other week we have a very similar aproach, but us teachers see more of the students at set times.  We set the workshop based on what we believe the students needs are.  This is generally reading, writing, math... and if we have time left over we run other workshops like coding, video editing, high focus writing, decoding text.

    The reason we moved away from this and have every second week a 'reactive' week, is because dispite the previous timetable being student directed, it was still basically set by the teachers.  So wasn't really student directed at all.  It was a stepping stone in our path, and hopefully next year, it will all be 'real' student directed.  (keep in mind that its been 3 years for us to get this far)

    We are lucky that the BOT have decided upon a modern aproach, meaning we have massive flexability to try new techniques based upon our pedagogy.  This is the key.  Try, fail... try and eventually we learn't enough to make our Modern Learning work.

    We have 3 old single cell classrooms with holes knocked in the walls to make an open learning space.  Three teachers, and 84 students. If you want to read more about it its all in my blog. http://modernlearners.blogspot.co.nz/


    Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 9.23.55 am.png

  • Denise Welsh (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2016 11:26am ()

    Hi Hamish,

    We have 5 year 5 and 6 classes starting the workshop system this year. We are starting small with inquiry process skills workshops. Do you have any suggestions as to how we could direct our students in deciding for themselves which workshops they may need eg. templates, tracking forms or do you suggest the teachers booking them in to start with?

  • RachelO (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 10:30am ()

    I would also love to see any examples of planning or templates.  




  • Mike Malcolm (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 10:37am ()

    BYOD seems to be something that many schools are pursuing.  In an effort to help schools form connections and find others to share practise with / visit etc I have created a google doc for schools to add their name to so that others may reach out to you for help.


  • Tracey Janes (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 11:53am ()

    Hi Ladies,
    I have shared my template, rather nervously as it certainly isn't perfect! - and have let you edit as I think this is the only way you'll actually be able to access the hyperlinks and see the notes. PLEASE make a copy (File, Copy...) then edit this if you want to use it as a template because if you edit the version I've sent you it will change my planning!
    We only started the MLE proper in Week 5 so the planning changes then, and you will be able to see my first 4 weeks were a bit different to look at.
    If you go into the 'Literacy Groupings' or Maths etc each of the kids' names is hyperlinked to a Google Doc I have set up in their name, on which I record observations, progress, performance etc. t is useful having it on the plan where it is easy to access.
    Lots of the content on the weekly plan is hyperlinked - eg Maths groups hyperlinked to 'nrich' maths problems (if you don't use this site, check it out, it is amazing) and then if you hover over the link, the notes show a link to one of my Docs which may be a worksheet or template...
    The Reflection sheets at the end are linked to my own (and my co-teachers) reflection documents, and I make notes here about how the week has gone, ideas for the next week etc
    It certainly isn't perfect, but struggled to find anything I could use as a template and this is the best I've managed so far!
    I'll also share the plan for this term, which is not very full yet, but I have tweaked the layout...
    Feedback, ideas most welcome!

  • Jill Pears (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2014 12:15pm ()

    Thank you for being so generous - I would love a copy too ...


  • Krishna (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2014 1:48pm ()

    HI Tracey,

    Could you please email me a copy of your document.

    Thank you.



    Primary Teacher
    Year 3 and4

  • Melinda Bolton (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2014 5:07pm ()

    Thanks so much for sharing your planning doc, it's really generous of you.  I know how much time can be spent trying to figure out the most efficient way of planning!  Already I've got some great ideas from it of how to tweek my own planning format.  Smile


  • Chris Meehan (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2014 6:44pm ()

    Kia ora Tracey, I love the conversation being generated here during the holidays! It's a good way to indulge in some professional reading. 

    I haven't seen your templates or work...how does that happen? But I have a question - wondering if you are using tools such as Blendspace to get lessons together. This is one tool which our 56 yr 7/8 students really love using, while they work across two old style classrooms with a range of BYOD and school supplied laptops. We have the power of two teachers collaborating and our planning and organisation seems to be constantly evolving as we all try to work in together. Student voice is vital and we ensure this through weekly hui led by students who keep minutes and create the agenda. It's a fabulous way to work - fun, inspiring, rewarding, tiring, busy, hands-on, all in all fantastic pedagogy!

  • Abbie (View all users posts) 26 Oct 2014 7:37pm ()


    I teach at Tapanui School and was wondering if I could have a look at your planning method also, since you've so generously shared it with others. We are looking at beginning the MLE pedagogy next year, as the MLE physical changes have not yet taken place. 



  • Denise Welsh (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2016 11:34am ()

    Hi Tracey,

    Could you please kindly share your planning with me also as our team are keen to see how we could improve our collaborative planning.


    Thanks in advance :)

  • Mike Malcolm (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 12:01pm ()

    tracey, i would be keen for a gander also if you are willing.


  • Christine Hansen (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2014 12:21pm ()

    Hi Tracey

    Would also like to look at your planning and how you are using the links. Thanks appreciate your sharing.


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