- Is this a tool you would like to continue using with your students?
- What were your likes/dislikes?
- What would you do differently in the future?
- How did your students react to this tool?
Sadly, I had this program scheduled for last Friday, I created the quiz for my students, and even scheduled the lab to have my students use it. However, we all walked down to the computer lab, and it was taken for CFAs for the whole day! It seems that this happens often. Then, ironically, the lab is scheduled all the other days I can go before October 7th. So, I will give a reflection on what I can.
This week we focused more on rubrics, which personally I have always struggled with creating but think that it is a great thing for teachers to use to make sure there is a norm for all students work. I have used rubrics before, because I taught ELA last year, but I have to honestly say, I have never really created my own until this year. I am having the students post weekly current events on Canvas and to make sure that students are not only following a specific criteria, but also that I am making sure that I am not biased on their grading, I have created a rubric. I created one rubric for the first week and realized that it was very vague and needed to make it more detailed. So, I added some more information when it came down to late work, sentence structure, and grammar/ punctuation. All of my rubrics are definitely going to be an ongoing process.
I would give myself a little more time to prepare a more established lesson with it, that way it wasn't so True and False or multiple choice. Like opinion pieces- not that the data uses opinion, but I can see what students choose based on their answers.
They thought it was the coolest thing ever. That an ipad could read answers based off of a paper code that had their answer on it. They also, surprisingly, liked that there was instant data feedback on their answers. All of them kept asking, "How many got it right and how many got it wrong". It was
This week we focused more on assessment, but the nice thing is, we focused on assessments that were not just summative and formative assessments. When I think of an assessment, I always forget to include project and performance based assessments in my mind. However, they are my favorite types of assessments. Being in the 6th grade, we have a way cool curriculum, where the students learn about Ancient civilizations: geography, daily life, etc... So, many times I get the opportunities to see my students participate in activities, both group and individual, that really show me what they know and don't know about the content within the subject. For example, last week I did a center activity (yes we use centers in middle school), where the students were to read, observe, and then create their own cave drawings. I did not grade them on content exactly, what I focused more on is if they followed the instructions given and if they were able to recreate the cave drawings to the best of their ability- no matter the level. The students really enjoyed it and didn't even realize how quickly the period went.
I think project and performance based assessments are really important and should not be forgotten in any subject- especially those subjects that resort to paper and pencil tests every time, i.e. math.
I thought I would comment on one of the websites I really liked that we went over in class: lesson path. I think this a great website, that doesn't require the students to sign up, and provides on going, hands-on instruction. I think my students will really enjoy using this tool next week when we are doing Ancient Egypt. I also like that there are already lessons their for you, so although I can make them, I don't always have to reinvent the wheel.
I did not think that Class Dojo would be good to use in my classroom because I have 147 students and so many to keep track of. However, I am doing Executive functioning skills the old school way, with a pen and roster. However, it would be great to use on a quick basis when students don't turn their homework in on time, when they are off task, when they don't write in their planner, etc. I would hate to use it just for negative effect, however, it would make my life so much easier.
Dislike- one more thing to keep track of. I guess I could just bookmark the page and stay logged in.
Start it right at the beginning of the year and track data to see how well I was using it. I think it would also be nice to allow the students to design their own class dojo so that they are a little more invested in it.
It was already an expectation with executive functioning points, so the class Dojo didn't really change their opinion of it. However, I think if I would have started it at the beginning of the year and worked with them to always refer to the dojo it may have had a better reaction. 6th graders, in a middle school, may be a little too old to do something like Class Dojo.
I would love to do this in a younger age group!
Canvas VS. Skyward Quiz
We were able to learn how to take a quiz in Skyward today and I thought I would touch on a few things I liked and few things I didn't like. 1 think I really liked was that when the quiz was taken the grade would post directly to their Skyward grades. Another thing is, I can have the students take it online and control when they can and can't take it. However, one thing I do not like is that it is not as user friendly as Canvas is. I prefer, when giving a quiz, that it is easier for students to not only navigate but recognize what needs to happen. I have already given a Canvas test, so they know how to navigate through the test and know what/ how to do it.
Quizlet is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes. It is great because there is not only a free version where you can create your own flashcards, but you can also search other peoples' flashcards they have created. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, I can always use what someone else has created to have my students practice the program. One thing I don't like, is if I wanted my students to all log in and create their own flashcards, I would have to pay $25 to allow that. Oh well, I think it is awesome to use and will definitely embed it in to my Canvas.
This is a really cool program! I have already printed out, glued on cardstock, and laminated the sheets. I just need to 1) add my students and their numbers in to the program and 2) use them. I really like this because it will replace the very messy and hard to handle whiteboards. It also keeps data, unlike whiteboards or thumbs up thumbs down. This is a great formative assessment that I will be using ASAP!
I have used stick pick before, which is a great change from when I was in an elementary and I made my own sticks. The one thing I don't like is that it takes forever to get the students names inputted in to the program. AND I do not like that it does not transfer from one device to the other. I wish they just had me sign in and it would go from one device to the next. However, I do like that there are Bloom's Taxonomy questions to go along with the names, which is really good when you want students to dig more in to the information/ you are expected by an observer to ask those types of questions.
Although I was not in class this week, I learned a lot about interactive assessments that I can use with my kids. It also taught me a little more about how gamification is not necessarily gaming in the classroom- it could be something as simple as an interactive assessment.
The first thing I would like to comment on is how great it was to watch the video on Ron Clark Academy and how they use the Promethean software. I wish it were something that the district would purchase so we could do ongoing assessments with our kids, while it being all data based. Although we are constantly assessing our kids, it would be awesome to have the data right on hand for parents, SPED facilitators, the district and our principal to see physically how a student is academically achieving or falling. I may even look in to using Donors Choose to try and get funding for something along the lines of the promethean program.
Another thing that I would like to mention is that although classroom Dojos are a great idea and really good for smaller classrooms, like elementary classrooms. I think it would be very time consuming to set up 147 students individual Dojo for the class. If I were still in the elementary setting I would be on it like crazy, in fact I have a lot of elementary teacher friends that successfully use it in their classrooms, but I myself, think that I would rather take another route for personal
This week we went over a few cool tools that teachers should be using on a regular basis- especially if they are in the district.
The first one is Skyward. I use skyward daily to enter attendance and grades, but a lot of people do not realize that you can run data, get demographics, and learn about your students and what they do on a regular basis. What I mean by 'what they do' is how they learn. Another place you can find that is on Data Dashboard.
I have used Data Dashboard before to learn my students' learning diagnostics. I have a lot of low students in my group because we have the co-taught classes in the pod. So it is nice to know what my students' reading levels are so that I know what to expect when doing our day-to-day reading in class or at home. It is also nice to know, based off of students needs, how to group them in a classroom.
The last tool we learned about was Google Forms, which I learned when I was at UCET. However, 1 thing I did not learn while there is the data you can drive from the Google Form. I think its great to do an assessment on my students to see where they are on certain topics and subjects. What a great way to data drive my teaching. I will be using Google Forms more and more in my classroom- especially now that I know how easy it is to embed in to the Canvas documents that I have my students do on awee
When I was deciding which group to go to I wanted it to be more focused on Middle School based tools, or tools that would not make my students bored.
Gone Google- This is a really cool program. What you are able to do is create a conversation between characters and it will video it live. You can also add music and change the color of the characters. There are a few things I didn't like about it: 1) I don't like that you can't have it connect with Google- it just kicks you out when you go to log in 2) You cannot input pictures or video and 3) It doesn't give you a lot of freedom to manipulate the presentation. This would be a great tool for my students to compare and contrast civilizations, like Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome.
Storyjumper- Although I thought this was going to be a little too young of a tool, I was wrong. I think my students would love creating online books. They can use their creativity, have fun with the stickers, and then if they want to they can get the story printed out. This would be a fun way to have students input their personal narratives in story form. The story would be a little bit more substantial in text, but they could have a lot of fun with it and it may even teach them how to organize their paragraphs from their essay in a better way.
Animoto- I was signed up for the education account before, but I was not aware of how easy the app version was. I think I will be using this tool for my introduction at the beginning of the school year. I was also happy to learn that it didn't have to be just 30 seconds and I could add my own music!
Animator- This is essentially a flipbook. You start with a post it note and can add your drawing or writing from there. However, what I did was I added a picture from my library and edited a stick figure and had it interact with the picture. It was a lot of fun to see and it was easy to use because of the onion layering that is automatically added to the app. This would have been a great app to use for our stop motion videos. The only problem is you cannot manipulate the sound- however, you can download it and add it to iMovie and add sound then.
This is what I ended up making from Flip Book:
PuppetPals- This may be a tough app to use in my classroom because the free app does not have a lot of features- like cool backgrounds and characters, and it also requires more than 1 Ipad in the classroom. This would be good for me to use if I were to introduce a topic and I could have a student volunteer help me after school (like a low or ESL student). One thing I really like is that there is a teachers guide at the bottom of the home page and it gives teachers ideas on how to use the app and lesson plans for the app.
Book Creator- This app is a little more advanced. I would say, in comparison, this is like Shutterfly. The difference is, you can manipulate it all through the ipad, so it doesn't just center you to your computer. One thing I don't necessarily like about it is that it is advanced and with my students being in 6th grade, it may be too much for them. This would be something good for those students I know are big in to technology, big in to writing, and big in to creating something from that writing.