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Maybe TeX isn't the best for this particular problem, but any teachers out there use a particular class or package to plan lessons? Right now I'm just using a spreadsheet, but I always find myself wishing there was a 'lessonplan.sty' or 'classschedule.sty' file out there somewhere so I could still use the LaTeX for equations, tables, lists etc.

A bit of searching yielded a few results, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus. Anyone used any of these:

http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/calendar/

http://www.sultanik.com/LaTeX_calendar_style

http://tug.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/termcal/

Any recommendations from anyone on best way to make calendar-based class schedules and/or lesson plans?

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5 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I use termcal for planning lessons and creating syllabi. I usually start by creating a blank calendar for one semester for just specific days of the week, with holidays marked etc. When I finish the plan, I fill in topics, quizzes and exams, homework info and other details for individual days.

A great advantage is that when I teach the same class again, usually I just need to change the starting day and the holidays, and can keep everything else pretty much unchanged.

This is my typical schedule (parts omitted to make it shorter):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{termcal}

% Few useful commands (our classes always meet either on Monday and Wednesday 
% or on Tuesday and Thursday)

\newcommand{\MWClass}{%
\calday[Monday]{\classday} % Monday
\skipday % Tuesday (no class)
\calday[Wednesday]{\classday} % Wednesday
\skipday % Thursday (no class)
\skipday % Friday 
\skipday\skipday % weekend (no class)
}

\newcommand{\TRClass}{%
\skipday % Monday (no class)
\calday[Tuesday]{\classday} % Tuesday
\skipday % Wednesday (no class)
\calday[Thursday]{\classday} % Thursday
\skipday % Friday 
\skipday\skipday % weekend (no class)
}

\newcommand{\Holiday}[2]{%
\options{#1}{\noclassday}
\caltext{#1}{#2}
}

\begin{document}
\paragraph*{Tentative Schedule:}
\begin{center}
\begin{calendar}{1/11/2010}{16} % Semester starts on 1/11/2010 and last for 16
                    % weeks, including finals week
\setlength{\calboxdepth}{.3in}
\TRClass
% schedule
\caltexton{1}{1.1, 1.2 Review}
\caltextnext{1.3, 1.4 Review}
\caltextnext{2.1, 2.2 Linear Equations}
% ... and so on

% Holidays
\Holiday{1/18/2010}{Martin Luther King Day}
\Holiday{3/8/2010}{Spring Break}
% ... and so on

\options{4/26/2010}{\noclassday} % finals week
\options{4/27/2010}{\noclassday} % finals week
\options{4/28/2010}{\noclassday} % finals week
\options{4/29/2010}{\noclassday} % finals week
\options{4/30/2010}{\noclassday} % finals week
\caltext{4/27/2010}{\textbf{Final Exam}}
\end{calendar}
\end{center}
\end{document}
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1  
Jan, I love your calendar. I was wondering if you know how to make the width of the calendar boxes wider? I am teaching a M-F class and the boxes are too small. Thanks, Tricia –  user17253 Aug 3 '12 at 23:23
    
@user17253 This post is old, but I had the same question. The answer is: \setlength{\calwidth}{X in} where "X" is replaced by the amount of inches you wish for the width of the calendar. This may put your calendar off-center. You can adjust the margins by using the geometry package: \usepackage[margin=Yin]{geometry} You can tinker with the X and Y until your calendar is wide enough and centered. –  user2205916 Feb 6 at 9:45
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TikZ/PGF has a nice Calendar library and an example of using it to produce a course schedule.

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http://www.diyplanner.com/node/6270

Requires Python to generate the calendar data for the selected year.

I wanted something to look 'modern' 'light' and 'open plan'.

Can be easily internationalized to most European languages (e.g. French, German, Spanish, etc.)

alt text

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I don't know of one, but a few years' back I developed a layout for a scheme-of-work. It's a bit long to cut-and-paste here so I've put the tex file and pdf file on my website.

It's not very sophisticated: at heart, it's simply a big table and a load of wrapper commands to make it obvious how to put the right pieces in to the right places. If it's of any use, you're welcome to use it!

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This looks great for lesson planning, I will certainly use it. (I wish there was also a way to integrate this with a calendar view). Thanks for the links! –  crlane Aug 3 '10 at 19:37
    
@PolyCode, Leo: Leo's answer reminded me of the TikZ calendar library (which I've never used before) so I thought I'd give it a go to see if it could be integrated with my scheme of work. All I can say is: TikZ is awesome! I don't know exactly what you (PolyCode) want, but I've added a calendar view to my layout and updated the above links. Take a look - it may not be pretty, but it does work. –  Andrew Stacey Aug 4 '10 at 11:56
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Just found this question. There is also a very nice ConTeXt module here: http://modules.contextgarden.net/PocketDiary (it includes calendars); also, Emacs can export a calendar view to LaTeX (an old feature - it produces LaTeX2.09 code - but works quite nicely. I usually print a month view and stick it to my fridge;).

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