How to Use GoodNotes for Teaching

GoodNotes is an app that’s mostly intended to be used for note taking and as a planner. But GoodNotes can also be used by teachers to help streamline our planning, keep track of assessment data, explain concepts to students, and much more! Here are some reasons to try out the GoodNotes app in your classroom:

1. You can import your lesson plans as a pdf into GoodNotes. Once you’ve have your lesson plans saved in the app, you can make notes or highlight as you plan, to help your lessons go more smoothly. Plus, all your ideas will be saved for next year and no more loose sticky notes all over the place!

2. On GoodNotes, you can have multiple files open at once and quickly switch back and forth. This way, you can keep your lesson plan, assessment checklist, schedule, weekly or daily plans open all at once, all on the same device. No more carrying around a million binders and clipboards!

3. There are blank and grid backgrounds for the GoodNotes pages. You can easily just add a new page and use it as a white board to explain things to students. Use different color pens, highlighters, add shapes, screenshots or images, rotate and move items around. It’s almost like having a mini interactive white board that you can take with you to small groups or as you circulate your classroom to help individual students. It’s a great way to differentiate your instruction.

4. Using GoodNotes is great for read alouds of chapter books because you can annotate right on the screen and save your notes. If you can import the book as a PDF, you can annotate it right in the GoodNotes app. Now you can have all your read aloud planning notes without having to destroy a copy of the book by writing in it. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about losing your copy of the read aloud, because it’s right on your tablet!

5. If you use PowerPoints or slides in your teaching, you can have PDF versions of the slides right on your tablet to go back to as a reference.

6. Keep all your planning in one placeā€¦ fewer papers and books to carry around. No more giant teacher bag stuffed with planners and binders!

7. GoodNotes syncs to your phone or other devices, so you’ll always have access to your teacher planner and whatever you need. Plus, if you make sure it backs up to your cloud storage, you won’t have to worry about losing your work or records.

8. The copy & paste function can save you time. You can duplicate templates of pages that you use frequently, write out all the students’ names once, or copy/ paste repetitive parts of your schedule or lesson plans.

9. If you decide to invest in a digital teacher planner, it’s reusable! You’ll only ever need to buy one and you can reuse those pages for as long as you want.

10. Take photos of pages, handouts, random ideas, and loose papers, and keep them all in your planner easily. No more scraps of paper everywhere falling out of your plan book! Take photos of student work, bulletin boards, etc. to save as ideas & reminders for next year.

I use GoodNotes mostly for highlighting and annotating books that I read and for planning. I love having all my yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily plans all in one place, and I love being able to easily edit and move things around. Do you use GoodNotes in your classroom? What do you use it for?

Happy Teaching (with the GoodNotes app!)

Christine Cadalzo