Thursday, April 23, 2015

Plickers

Several of our teachers have been using Plickers (https://plickers.com/) in their classrooms for quick formative assessments and checks for understanding during instruction.  Plickers provides realtime formative assessment data and only the teacher needs to have a device - not the students.

Teachers need to setup an account and load the app, either IOS or Android, on their tablet or smartphone; and both are free. There are also pre-made Plickers card sets you can download for students to use.

It's also a great tool to use to survey staff during meetings and professional development.

IOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plickers/id701184049?mt=8
Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plickers.client.android

Here are some ideas and resources for using Plickers in your classroom:

 https://www.smore.com/4ck5 

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/12/getting-started-using-free-plickers-for-assessment/

Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Project Based Learning

As we near the end of the school year, many teachers are looking at Project Based Learning. We've been leading some PD and sharing ideas and resources with teachers to prepare them for this adventure.


https://www.smore.com/ytzps

Here are a couple of interesting PBL articles:
http://bie.org/object/document/main_course_not_dessert

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-pet-peeves-common-misconceptions-andrew-miller

http://www.teachthought.com/learning/difference-between-doing-projects-and-project-based-learning/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17Cfgl7mThQzpa5KoBCW-58oUwbZuF9Vy7Ij7yOddtDY/edit

And one of my favorite PBL quotes: "If you assign a project and get back 30 of the exact same thing, that's not a project, that's a recipe." ~ Chris Lehmann

I am excited that more of our school leaders and teachers are talking about, investigating, and learning about PBL. For many teachers, PBL is like coloring outside of the lines! It's a long road to travel but we will eventually get there!






Wednesday, April 8, 2015

App of the Week: Evernote Scannable

Scannable is a new scanning app from the makers of the ever popular Evernote. It instantly locates and scans documents, receipts, photos, and other paper files. Your scans are cropped, rotated, and enhanced right in the app. It can even turn scanned business cards into contacts! Scans can be shared via email, sent to other apps such as Evernote, saved to Photos, or send to Cloud storage locations such as DropBox or GoogleDrive.





Monday, April 6, 2015

Organizing Centers in the 1:1 iPad Classroom

One of my favorite things is to observe in our 1:1 iPad/Flipped Learning Classrooms. It's always so interesting to see the varying ways each teacher organizes and manages their classrooms as well as how they instruction and apply learning.

On a recent visit in a 4th grade 1:1 iPad classroom where they were working on converting fractions into decimals. I saw some very effective and well organized math centers! It was obvious that the teacher has spent a lot of time helping students learn how to move through their centers and even reviewed the procedures prior to starting.


The centers were a combination of using iPads and completing learning application activities using paper and pencil. Each center utilized a QR Code to provide students with instructions for completing the center activity. There were 7 rotations each lasting 7 minutes. The teacher used a timer and gave them a minimal amount of time to clean up and move to the next group. Smooth as clockwork!






And each small group was able to meet with the teacher as one of the rotations. The teacher provided differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each group.

Pretty exciting to watch!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

App of the Week: Toontastic


Toontastic is a storytelling app for creating your own cartoon stories. Design your set, create characters, act out the learning. Students can draw, animate, narrate, and record their

Launchpad Toys, the creators of Toontastic, was recently acquired by Google and the full version of the app is now free! There are hundreds of characters and backgrounds to choose from and videos can be exported to the Photos app, posted online, or edited in iMovie.




Learn more on their website: http://www.launchpadtoys.com/