Tuesday, May 21, 2019

End of Year Tech Check! - Save the Files!!

Only one more Tuesday to go!

The year has surely flown by.  You have all done so many great tech-infused activities in your classrooms, that we want to be sure we have them safe and secure for next year!  Take the following steps to not be a victim of file-loss in September!

1. Save your Files - Your teacher machine & Surface may go through re-imaging this summer. Be sure that you don't have anything saved locally (e.g. on your Desktop).  All of your files need to be in your Z Drive on the network and/or your Google Drive to be sure they are safe. 

Let me know if you would like me to stop by and see that you have everything where you need it!

2. Archive Your Google ClassroomsStart with a clean slate next year, and avoid any unnecessary Ss comments, submissions etc over the summer.  You WILL still have access to the classrooms next year for reusing posts, etc. 

3. Get your To-Do lists ready. Google Keep and Google Calendar are great resources for planning out the start-of-year reminders.  Set yourself an alert for those first in-service days about the great ideas you have to improve your classes in 2019-2020!

Have a great end of the school year.  

Let us know what you need 
& any ideas you want to brainstorm for the fall.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

I have a worksheet, Now What?

I am teaching a new novel in 7th grade Spanish, so every day is a new adventure with new instruction & assessments.

For a formative assessment I found a quiz already made on a Google Doc by another Spanish teacher!  Woot!  Woot!   Although, I would like to put it on Google Classroom.

In today's post.  We are going to take a look at this worksheet/quiz and see the various ways that I can push it out to students digitally, assess and give feedback.

First thing first!  If it is a Word document, add it to your Google Drive and convert it to a Google Doc so there are more options for creating a digital assignment.

Level 1:  Print and Pass Out
Pros:  easy peasy   

Cons: one heavy schoolbag & feedback no earlier than 48 hours (every other day classes)

Level 2: Google Classroom - Copy for Each S - ADD BOXES

Note:  If you are having a student answer questions digitally do not use the underscore to create a line that they cannot write on!  Use a 1x1 table instead!
Pros:  no carrying around papers, no lost papers, can grade them as they come in, by adding tables formatting remains intact, only prep is adding in tables

Cons: time consuming to review & assess

Level 3 Option 1: Google Form 

Pros: answers populate in a Google Sheet for quick review, options to auto grade 
- Add answer key to form, have it look for key words or exact match answers
- Format answer spreadsheet to have cells change colors when words are matched 

Cons: more work upfront with form settings (the first time), need to copy and paste questions into the form, hard to give personal feedback 

Level 3 Option 2:  Pull Table by Alice Keeler

This option takes the boxes you made for your worksheet on Level 2.  Then, it pulls the answers into a spreadsheet much like a Google Form.   WAIT... there's more!  It also offers a FEEDBACK column where you can write comments on how they can improve their work!! Great for mid-project reviews!  You can pull the table at ANY time! Feedback that you write in the spreadsheet is now placed on top of the document!!! 

You type feedback in the spreadsheet for each student ... then VoilĂ  it appears on their worksheet!!!!

Pros: no need to retype document, quick review of answers, option to format the spreadsheet, quick and easy feedback that goes straight to the doc

Cons: as with all of our feedback, you need to give the students a reason to read it and act on it 

Interested on how to get them to read your feedback?  
Check out this post by Kristy Louden "Delay the Grade" 

Last thing last!!  Don't try to do it all at once.  See where you are, and do 1 step at a time.  
Personalized learning & Personalized goals.

Image result for one step at a time

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Wakelet - Resources Where & When You Need 'Em

If you are like me, more and more of your ideas for lessons and resources that you use in class are online.   At this point in the game it may be overwhelming to figure out a best practice for saving and storing all of those links.

  • There is the bookmark bar at the top of your browser...

  • And of course, Pinterest has been a popular option for many of us, especially K-5 teachers!

Today I would like to offer you one more option for organizing your digital teaching resources.   It is this time of year that we are getting to that "To File" pile behind our desks, yet we still are accumulating more and more ideas that we want to try next year.

For this, I bring you WakeletWakelet is very much like a personal Pinterest account.

You curate collections of resources based on topics of your choice.  Some ideas of teacher collections could be:
  • Unit Resources
  • Tech Tools
  • Project Ideas
  • Strategies to Try in 2019-2020

Within each collection you can add any of the following:

  • Links to Websites
  • Images
  • Text Descriptions (Notes to Self)
  • YouTube Videos  
  • PDFs
  • Google Drive Files
  • Tweets! 

With the Wakelet Google Chrome Extension, it is easy to add resources as you use/find them.

Not sure how to create your own account?  Follow me as I sign up for Wakelet and add the Chrome Extenstion in this video tutorial.

Wakelets can be shared between teachers and students alike.   Encourage students to curate a portfolio or a resource set to explain key concepts as an alternative assignment! 

That said, click HERE to access & make a copy of my Formative Assessment Tools Wakelet.

And be sure to share your Wakelets with your colleagues and students!  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Google Classroom Update: Filter Topics & Post to Top

Last week Google Classroom rolled out a few updates that will help both students and teachers access the posts as well as associated information they need. 

You will notice in the Classwork Tab that all of your topics are listed in the left side panel. 

By filtering the view to one particular topic, each post expands for you to see the full description, attachments as well as the number of students who have completed the assignment already. 

Don't see any topics?
Go to the "+ Create" button to add some topic folders to organize your content.  Remind students to always go to the CLASSWORK tab first to see their assignments in an organized fashion.  The STREAM is just a feed of notifications. 

Below is a screenshot of the Google Classroom Help Center describing how to use topic filters. 

Wish you could just go straight to the CLASSWORK tab?  

Here is a work around by adding the classwork tab for each class to your bookmark bar, just click and drag! 

Need a 10 min tutorial on how to organize your Google Classroom in preparation for next year?   
Let me know, I would love to visit! jtamburlin.youcanbook.me

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Throwback Tuesday - Flippity for End of Year Review & Games

Need a review game?   How about a random name picker?  Certificates? A timeline project? 

Could you use an easy way to have students practice spelling words?  How about a way to mix and match ideas for creative writing prompts? 

There is so much you can do with Flippity & the only skill you need is the ability to type text into a spreadsheet.  This original post was brought to us back in November, and the web application just keeps getting better and better.

As Breakouts become more and more popular I would like to showcase Flippity's version. They call it a "Flippity Scavenger Hunt".

Try out the demo now by clicking HERE

No programming skills needed, just add your questions and answers to the Google Sheets Template.

No time???

Have your students make up games for year-end review then challenge teams to open as many locks as possible in a station rotation!

Brain frazzled from PSSAs & Keystones? 
Here is exactly what you need to post to Google Classroom.

Link to add to Classroom:


Did you or one of your students make a game?   Post the link for us below to try!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Weighted Rubrics in Google Sheets

I have shared this one before, and I will share it again!

Google Sheets Rubrics!!! 

Here is the quick scoop: 

1. Make a Copy of Alice Keeler's Rubric Template by clicking HERE.

2. Go to PowerSchool > Backpack > Highlight the Roster > Copy

3. Paste the roster to the first column on the spreadsheet

4. Put their smdutch email (OR.. just copy your email) in the 2nd column.

5. Adjust the rubric to meet your criteria & ......................

you can "weigh" the criteria!!!!! 
You care about spelling, but not enough to make it worth a quarter of the score.
So make it 10% instead! 

6. Run the "Rubric Tab" add on & watch a rubric be automatically created for each student!

7.  Give a value (1-4) for each criterion and POOF!!! -  A magical score is calculated based on the weight of each criterion!!!! 

8. Add comments in the comment box

9.  Print or email to students. 
10. Feel awesome that you were able to make demonstration of learning the most valuable score!

Here is a video I made last week while grading using the Google Sheets Rubric.  Check it out! 

It is hard to feel "good" about grading, but this is one of the tools that I am proud of.  Students have a clear understanding of their score as well as understanding of where they need to grow versus what they have mastered! 

Don't forget, if at all possible, show the students the targets before they start the assignment!! 

Need help setting a Google Sheets Rubric for the fist time???  Let me know! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Just Slide, Slide, Slide... Paper Slides!

Analog meets Digital with this week's Tech Tip.

Have something that is best worked out w/ pen & paper? 

Worried about screentime distractions when making a presentation? 

Change it up with Paperslides ! 

Last week in 7th grade Spanish I wanted a quick demonstration of student learning. Ss were asked to describe characteristics of a good athlete.  Instead of making a Google Slides presentation with a screencast, or in-class presentations, we did a quick and easy paperslide video.

Ss were given paper templates on which they wrote adjectives that described their athlete.  The groups prepared their dialogue (on notecards if necessary).  Then there was 1 device in the back of the room setup with a ready-to-record FlipGrid .  I used the building iPad on a tripod with a music stand (that Chris doesn't know I stole ;-)).  I covered the stand with a soccer jersey for a background.  

When ready, groups went back and recorded their presentations.  I liked the paperslides because there was little time wasted on colors and formatting.  We just got right to the content.  Also, this was only to be a quick formative assessment, not a 3 day in class project. 

I am very pleased with the results.  I have the data I need for instruction without sacrificing classtime! 

There are a variety of ways to do paperslides, some are very creative!  All you need is one recording device. Use Flipgrid for easy uploads! 

Other Paperslide thoughts: 

- Use this as an option for students w/o tech at home
- Option for artistic students
- SeeSaw users, add this activity right to their journals for mom and dad to see!
- Student explanations of how they solved the math problem
- Design Thinking? Have the students design and build a device holder that will record paperslide videos!
- Teachers can make them for flipped learning lessons