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Showing posts with label 180 Days of Tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 180 Days of Tech. Show all posts
How Google Classroom Can Make This Your Best School Year Ever

How Google Classroom Can Make This Your Best School Year Ever


Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool.

Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool. 


Hundreds of Apps Integrate With It

Your favorite websites integrate, like Khan Academy, BrainPop, Flipgrid, Newsela, Pear Deck and much more.  Check out the full list!


Resources Abound

Google Classroom is easy to use. Setting up a new classroom doesn’t take a ton of time or expertise. You can train for about an hour, and have a classroom set up and running by the end of the session.  However, since it is such a well established and prevalent platform, there are tons of guides and helpful tips out there to help make it work for you even better.   Upgrades and improvements are also constant.


Teacher Planning Made Easy

Google Classroom allows teachers to schedule assignments in the future.  Designated assignments could be scheduled to go live on a Monday and then close that Friday. If you have to be absent, you can schedule out the assignments and thereby avoid having to rely on a sub to manage it all. Classrooms can also be used from semester to semester or year to year, allowing you to save some time by having certain things already in place (class syllabus, grading expectations, etc.).


Differentiation Distribution

Through Classroom, teachers are able to target instruction for their different learners. Designating lessons for the whole class, individual students, or groups of students takes just a few simple steps when creating an assignment on the Classwork page.


Facilitate Collaboration

Students can share assignments and work from home together to complete them. Teachers can flip the classroom by sharing a video to go live in the evening, requiring students to view it that night to prepare for a quiz on it the next day.  You can allow students to comment and post on the main page, so students with questions about assignments can get help from other classmates.  You can facilitate online discussions between students and create group projects within Classroom. Teachers retain full control over student comments and posts. 


Communicate More Efficiently

Enter the email addresses of the students when you set up the class, and classroom communication is done. You have an email group, a discussion group, and a Google Calendar automatically created. It’s then easy to add and remove students from the class as necessary.  Teachers and students can both send emails, post to the stream, send private comments on assignments, and provide feedback on work.  You can also communicate with parents either through individual emails or through Classroom email summaries including things like class announcements and due dates.


Data Analysis

Data from assessments can be exported into Sheets for easy sorting and analysis.


One Wonderful Word: Paperless

Online learning management systems are designed to help teachers create and collect classwork paperlessly.  When you set up Google Classroom, it will create Google Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.  Once students turn in an assignment in Google Classroom, they do not also have to share a Google Doc with you. Because it is all Cloud-based, there are no more “lost” assignments, rubrics or worksheets.  Students who are absent can access classroom materials from wherever they are, as well as can locate any other resources they may need to complete missed work. You can easily see who has turned in the assignment and who hasn’t.  As soon as they do turn in an assignment, you can grade it and send it straight back to them to review.


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Google Classroom is a learning management tool that teachers can use to connect with students both in the classroom and out. Let’s talk about the various aspects of Google Classroom that make it a solid choice for teachers looking for a classroom management tool.




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Brittany Washburn
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6 Simple Ways to Integrate Technology into Any Unit Study

6 Simple Ways to Integrate Technology into Any Unit Study


You don’t have to teach technology to use technology in your teaching!  Teachers can integrate technology into any unit of study.

You don’t have to teach technology to use technology in your teaching!  Teachers can integrate technology into any unit of study.  

Some examples to try include: 


Using Apps

  • They say “There’s an app for that.” because there probably is.  Classroom and learning needs are no exception.  Khan Academy has educational videos on a variety of subjects, Duolingo will help your kids learn a new language, Tynker teaches students how to code, Google Arts & Culture lets you explore and interact with art and architecture around the world, Quizlet helps students study for tests, Starfall will help you primary kiddos learn to read.  


Playing Online Games

  • Playing educational games is an extremely effective way to reinforce learning in an engaging way.  Even if you’re not quite ready to build them into your lesson plans, early finishers can be assigned a game on the topic you are studying as a meaningful reward while you help the stragglers complete their work.  Open up Google and type in “[subject] game for [grade level]“ to find something aligned to your unit. 


Videoconferencing With an Expert

  • Videoconferencing is a great way to shake up your classroom routine and add some enrichment to your subject.  They’re a lot cheaper than a field trip, and you can pull a conference off without that pre-field trip day nightmare about losing a student.  You can use a website like Nepris or the Digital Human Library to get in touch with an expert.  Or if you already have a subject matter expert in your contacts, you can just use any video conferencing platform you like from Skype to Zoom or Google Meet.


Blogging About It as a Class

  • Classroom blogs are a great and versatile way to get your kids creating content. You can have students post their writing (stories, paragraphs, poetry, etc.), pictures of class projects, or even audio projects (read aloud practice, speech class ventures, etc.).  As a bonus, they are also a great way to showcase student work to parents and keep them in the loop.  Many blogging platforms are designed to be very easy to use, like Blogger and Live JournalEdublogs was even made just for classroom and school library blogs. 


Doing a Class Podcast Discussing the Topic

  • You can post your podcast on your class website (or blog).  Although you can try using the built-in microphone on a computer, an external microphone usually works a bit better.  If you use Macintosh, you can just use the included GarageBand software for recording and postproduction.  If you use Windows, you might use the free software Audacity.  You can also do podcasts as weekly classroom news broadcasts, to document a field trip, share book reviews or review curricular content.


Using or Creating Videos, Graphics, Digital Presentations, etc.

  • Animoto and other tools help create educational videos.  Websites like Canva and Thinglink help you or your students create gorgeous graphics.  Digital presentations are easy to create with platforms like Google Slides or Prezi.  There are also several creative platforms out there for contributing to online communities that create storybooks and illustrations, such as My Storybook and Storyboard That.  

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You don’t have to teach technology to use technology in your teaching!  Teachers can integrate technology into any unit of study.


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Brittany Washburn
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Top 8 Quiz Maker Tools for Teachers

Top 8 Quiz Maker Tools for Teachers


Paper quizzes and answer keys are so time consuming, and time is a commodity no teacher has an excess of.  These online quiz maker tools will help you get back a little .  Maybe you’ll even get to drink that cup of coffee while it’s still hot!

Paper quizzes and answer keys are so time consuming, and time is a commodity no teacher has an excess of.  These online quiz maker tools will help you get back a little .  Maybe you’ll even get to drink that cup of coffee while it’s still hot!


Quiz Making Tools

You can manage classes and quizzes, attach multimedia files to questions,  utilize robust report tools, and make quizzes in multiple languages.

Create exams & assessments with advanced quiz settings such as time limits, public & private test access, randomize questions, instant feedback,  video, audio, and ability to embed exams in Wordpress & Google Sites.  Essay, multiple choice, matching, short answer & more question types.

This one has a question bank and templates as well as custom quiz creation, and includes aesthetic customization options.  Randomize questions, shuffle answer options and set a time limit for answers.  Add feedback for each question based on learner scores.

Visually appealing quizzes plus in-depth reporting and analytics.  The platform also allows you to create other learning tools such as mind maps, flash cards, slides and even a full course builder.

Great for chromebook and otherwise Google dependent classrooms. You can insert files from Google Drive, choose from ten question types, and make an answer key on certain question types.  Flubaroo quickly grades multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments.

You can create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises.  It also allows you to set time limits, assign weights to different question types, offer hints at the expense of losing some points and set penalties for incorrect answers.  


Quiz Makers for Engaging Test Prep & Review

Great for both in-person and distance learning, since students answer questions on their own devices. 

Host live events where students answer timed questions or give student-paced challenges.  You can create a quiz from scratch, use their question bank to mix and match questions, edit a template, or reuse existing games.  Visual reports help you assess how the class performed, and identify difficult questions.  

Students answer questions at their own pace, and each student will get exposure to the questions multiple times to ensure mastery.  Assignments are taken care of and graded for you. Remote lesson plans with your content can be created in minutes.


You know what will work best in your classroom.  If you try one thing and find it isn't working as well for you as you'd hoped, then try something else next time. Whenever you are considering a new quiz maker, here are the things you should be on the lookout for:

  • Supporting all the question types you may need

  • Auto-grading

  • Ease of quiz creation

  • Ease of login for students

  • Meaningful student data 

  • Functionality such as changing due dates for absent students, or allowing retakes

  • Students and parents can log in to see graded quiz results

  • Ability to copy quizzes for re-use in other years/classes

  • Option to include images, sound bites or media clips

  • Engaging options for conducting quiz-like prep & review sessions

Pin this blog post to get back to later:
Paper quizzes and answer keys are so time consuming, and time is a commodity no teacher has an excess of.  These online quiz maker tools will help you get back a little .  Maybe you’ll even get to drink that cup of coffee while it’s still hot!



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Brittany Washburn
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10 Free Educational Websites for Elementary Students

10 Free Educational Websites for Elementary Students


Here are some of the top free educational sites for elementary.  There are so many great resources out there, and so many websites have that one amazing resource that just hits that one standard perfectly.  I’ve focused here on websites you can let your students roam free on because the entire site is filled with educational gems!

Here are some of the top free educational sites for elementary.  There are so many great resources out there, and so many websites have that one amazing resource that just hits that one standard perfectly.  I’ve focused here on websites you can let your students roam free on because the entire site is filled with educational gems!


https://www.khanacademy.org/

Incredibly helpful, straightforward, standards-aligned videos, practice exercises and articles.  Topics for K-6 include math along with reading & language arts.  You can even assign work and track student progress with a teacher account.


https://code.org/learn 

Your students will learn to code with challenges and games conveniently leveled for pre-readers, grades 2-5 and grades 6-8.  Clicking on an activity will show you what standards it supports, whether it can be completed by students independently, what technology is needed, languages it is offered in and how long it will generally take to complete.


https://www.arcademics.com/  

This is a hub for educational games, and every single game here is truly educational.   Language arts skills such as grammar, spelling and typing and a wide variety of math topics.  If you want your students engaged while building fact fluency, this is where you send them.


https://www.sheppardsoftware.com/ 

Another place where educational games dominate.  In addition to math and language arts, this website also includes a variety of science and social studies games.


https://www.typing.com/

With an ever-increasing focus on technology in our world, typing is a crucial skill.  Younger students will develop their fine motor skills and familiarity with the keyboard, while older students can improve their typing speed.


https://wonderopolis.org/

This website is dedicated to answering all those wonderings kids have.  It’s a great place to stoke your student’s curiosity and let them see that there are answers out there.


https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

There are great educational videos, photographs, quizzes and even suggestions for fun science experiments.  This is also a great place for your young readers to do their own research when writing about nonfiction topics.  Disclaimer: there are also some silly games and loosely educational personality quizzes.


https://www.storylineonline.net/ 

Your students can watch stories read aloud by various actors.  The stories are from a variety of genres and have suggested grade levels K-4th.  They are also starting to add some titles read in Spanish, and even have one read with an ASL interpreter.


https://www.prodigygame.com/ 

An adaptive, standards aligned math skills game, built into an immersive video game world kids love.  Students battle monsters with spells cast by correctly answering math questions.  The game will level, assess and continually challenge your students all by itself, or you can create a class and assign your own questions to match what you are studying.  Disclaimer: There is avatar customization and students can "meet" other avatars in-world then run around aimlessly together, so you'll have to enforce that your students should be in battles at all times.


https://www.sketchup.com/

Let your students build their engineering skills by experimenting with 3D modeling software.  They can use the basic free software designed for personal use, or SketchUp for Primary and Secondary program is free with a G Suite or Microsoft education account.


Pin this blog post to get back to later:

Here are some of the top free educational sites for elementary.  There are so many great resources out there, and so many websites have that one amazing resource that just hits that one standard perfectly.  I’ve focused here on websites you can let your students roam free on because the entire site is filled with educational gems!


Read more »
Brittany Washburn
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