Friday, November 20, 2015

Managing Collaborative Classrooms via Doctopus & Goobric

Doctopus is a Google Sheet add-on available through GAFE (Google Apps for Education). Created by a veteran teacher to improve teacher collaborative workflow, Doctopus enables educators to manage student assignments within a class roster and provide personalized feedback. Educators using Doctopus can install the Goobric Chrome extension to attach rubrics within Doctopus assignment sheets. Goobric  provides an efficient rubric assessment system when evaluating student products to include Documents, Presentations, Sheets, etc.

Doctopus in Action: A chemistry teacher uses Doctopus with his students to evaluate lab reports. Students fill out a Google form at the beginning of the year to include student names and GAFE mail addresses. Using this roster, the teacher uses Doctopus and Goobric to attach a rubric and monitor student progress. The teacher provides comments regarding a student's work and a notification is sent to the student's email alerting the student of teacher feedback and that the lab report was graded.

Digital Learning Platform: Doctopus & Goobric increase collaboration and feedback mechanism, improving the overall cognitive experience for each student.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reaching for the Stars Using iPads at Hardeman

Recently 5th grade students in Mrs. Hill’s class have been looking up, down, and all around.  Hill explains, “In science we are reviewing  the solar system.  We used an app on the iPads called Skyview.  The students had to move the iPad around to find the location of the sun and planets in the solar system.  Once they located either the sun or planets they could tap the image and gather information.  They also located the International Space Station when they pointed the iPad at the ground!  Some students were also able to locate the Hubble Telescope.”  

West Birdville Students Diving into Technology

Rhonda James is seeing quite an increase in digital resource use in her classroom at West Birdville. Her students are finding many ways to use the BISD bond provided equipment as well as the equipment they’ve had from previous years. James tells us, “The students in my classroom rotate daily with iPads, iPods, and laptops. They are learning basic skills at this time, which consist of turning the device on and off, logging on, locating an app or program, and learning how to operate it. They have learned how to take pictures and videos with the iPads, and some have even learned how to edit those pictures. We have one student who uses his iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard and utilizes the voice over feature of iPad to do his written assignments instead of using his braillewriter.” Great use of multiple technologies and digital learning.

ACFT Students Loving Plickers

Students in Mrs. McComber’s class and Mrs. Thomas’s class at ACFT are quickly discovering the excitement of using Plickers.  Plickers is an online resource that allows teachers to create a variety of questions for students to answer.  Using the Plickers app on their iDevice, teachers (or a student leader) scans the Plickers cards the class is holding up.  The app reads the ‘answer’ from the card and the results are immediately displayed in real time on the board.  Teachers can quickly adjust instruction to meet the needs of the students. Today students in both classes were able to review multiplication facts, Science concepts and a mixture of other facts from the core content areas.  Looks like fun!

7th Grade NRMS Falcons benefit from a creative Science teacher

At North Richland Middle School you will find a 7th grade science teacher who is keeping students engaged because she’s always trying new things. I went to Mrs. Sanchez’s class to watch her students respond, for the first time to review questions using Plickers. While I was waiting outside, I noticed the life size posters of Body Systems. They caught my attention because they were three dimensional and some of them were interactive with “organ flaps” that revealed additional information. Once in the room, I couldn’t help but notice a very large stack of cereal boxes in the corner. Mrs. Sanchez explained they were student projects and the kids had to take a body system and make a cereal for it. The boxes were so creative and well thought out. She also told me that only four students didn’t turn one in. While I perused the pile of cereal box projects, Mrs. Sanchez explained the system for using the Plicker cards to her class. Normally, when a teacher introduces a new system or process there can be some confusion or resistance from students. Mrs. Sanchez’s students took right to using Plickers for the first time. The unit review helped her to quickly see what areas needed re-teaching and applaud the class for concepts they had down solid. At the end of class as we were discussing the Plickers session, Mrs. Sanchez told me that for the last three years her goal is to try something new in her class every six weeks.  So enjoy the 3D Body posters now because next year they might be replaced with a new project. No wonder her students adapted so well to Plickers. If you are in Mrs. Sanchez’s class you can expect change and you can expect learning to be fun because they have a fearlessly creative teacher! You are an awesome asset to the staff and students at North Richland Hills Middle School Mrs. Sanchez!!! Thank you for inviting me into your class.

Rashel Larson
Digital Learning Specialist
Birdville ISD

Providing Feedback via Kaizena

Kaizena is a free resource allowing educators to monitor student work, providing meaningful feedback in a variety of formats. GAFE (Google Apps for Education) users can utilize the Kaizena Google Add-On to utilize the resource directly in Google Drive. Teachers can monitor skills utilize a rubric, provide voice comments directly in student documents, or offer two-way conversation in real time to promote communication and collaboration.

Kaizena in Action: Students peer review research papers to provide feedback in the form of audio, video, and links. The collaborative process allows for dialog to improve the overall student final product.

Digital Learning Platform: Kaizena is an interactive feedback resource that is student centered, improving the overall cognitive experience for each learner.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WMS 6th graders Use Padlet in Stations

WMS 6th grade teacher Colleen Zitzman sets up stations for her students to interact in word work. One station had students post sentences on iPads using Padlet.

WMS Teacher Using Smore to Organize Instructional Units

The Watauga MS ELAR facilitator, Heather Raynsford, is pulling together instructional units utilizing Smore. Smore allows Mrs. Raynsford to organize and link together the primary text with all supporting materials for her students. And it looks great!

This is the link to her current unit: Heather is doing amazing work, and I wanted to share!

Christine Thompson
Academic Coach
Watauga Middle School

5th Graders at DES Using Kahoot for Science Review

Carrie Chandler’s 5th graders are excited for Science reviews these days.  She and her colleagues discovered Kahoot, an online resource that allows kids to answers questions from any device that can hit the internet.  Today kids were reviewing multiple Science concepts that have been covered in the past few weeks.  Based on the immediate feedback that Chandler and her students received, Chandler could review misconceptions and guide her students to more focused understanding.  Awesome use of their new BISD bond provided laptops!

Plickers in Kindergarten at DES

Kindergarteners in Ms. Herring’s class at DES recently learned how to use Plickers.  Ms. Herring was reviewing sight words that have been studied so far and was introducing new ones.  The kids quickly learned how to hold the cards just right to show their answer as Herring scanned the room with her iPad.  Awesome use of bond technology and digital resources!

2nd Grade Eagles at DES Share Ways to be Generous

In Miss Martinez’s class, students have been working hard discussing ways to be generous at school, at home, and in the community. Martinez used her Project Innovate iPad to film her young Eagles as they issue their challenge for everyone to be generous this year and think about how fortunate we are. She then used MovieMaker on her computer to put all the clips together for the finished product.

They have some great ideas to share! This is what Thanksgiving and the other holidays should be all about. The kids came up with this idea all on their own. Miss Martinez so proud of their kind hearts. They wanted to share these ideas with as many people as they could to spread the word. Feel free to share their message.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Technology in use in the Music Room at ACFT!

The music room at ACFT has received a class set of iPads from a Birdville Education Foundation grant, as well as the Bond iPads and laptops.  This week, second grade music students are using the iPads and laptops with a quick review using Kahoot. Students are learning the half note and half rest, as well as reading and writing rhythms (TEKS 2.2A). They were introduced to 2/meter and counting the beats so they are grouped in sets of 2's.  They previously learned quarter note, quarter rest and beamed eighth notes.  This Kahoot is a quick review of the rhythm symbols.  They had a lot of fun using our technology!

Elizabeth Shier, M. Ed.
Music Teacher...Girls On the Run Coach
Academy at C.F. Thomas
8200 O'Brian Way
North Richland Hills, TX 76180

iMovie and Energy Trailers

In science class I began to use the iMovie app to create Energy trailers. Students planned out the outline and chose the type of trailer. Students complete trailers within a class, and displayed the trailers the following day. Attached is a link to class youtube account with one of the trailers.

Richard Pence
5th Grade Science & Social Studies
Birdville Elementary

First Graders at ACFT Enjoying Post It app

First graders at ACFT have been making good use of their BISD Bond iPads lately in workstations.  Last week Ms. Bingham’s students were using the Post It app to take pictures of the words they were working on in stations and then arranging the words into different groups within the app.  This was a great way for students to learn new words and how they relate to one another.

NOMS Uses Google Forms to Organize Canned Food Drive!

NOMS teacher Christine Guzman created a simple Google Form to collect the daily counts of cans for the annual Thanksgiving food drive. The spreadsheet is sortable daily by teacher making class count updating easy and efficient!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Demonstrating Patterns in Movement

In Science, first grade students from Snow Heights were learning about patterns in movement.
Describe the change in the location of an object such as closer to, nearer to, and farther from. {1.6C}
Demonstrate and record ways that objects can move such as in a straight line, zig zag, up and down, back and forth, round and round, and fast and slow. {1.6D}

First grade teacher, Mycah Baxter, placed her children into small groups and took them outside.  Their task was to video themselves demonstrating different types of movement.  The students used the camera on the iPad and took turns recording themselves demonstrating and describing various movements.  They had a great time and a better understanding of what they were learning.

NOMS librarian Uses Padlet to Collect Student Responses

NOMS librarian Dani Webb invited students to share our perceptions about digital citizenship through a Padlet wall. Students worked in pairs on Chromebooks to input their ideas.

Hink Pinks with Watauga 1st Grade GATE

1st Grade GATE students have been working on the generalization, Patterns are predictable.  After studying predictable patterns in word families the students created Hink Pinks, a pair of rhyming words that match a riddle.  Students created their own Hink Pinks and made video riddles with the Chatterpix Kids app on the iPads.

The Amplified Classroom at West Birdville

West Birdville teacher Modesta Juarez was interested in helping students in her class hear better during the day. Her room is a bit larger than most classrooms and discussions levels can be a bit loud.  She and another teacher partnered to write a grant for the ‘Amplified Classroom.’  The grant was approved, and the pair of teachers recently received their equipment.  Equipment included an 800 watt speaker on a stand, several wireless microphones that can be used around the room, and a sound mixer board.  Her room is set up in groups, and each group is assigned a microphone.  She also had a microphone and uses it as she does her focused lessons.  Students use the microphones in their group to answer questions or participate in class discussions.  Great use of sound equipment that ensures all students the opportunity to hear what is going on in class!

GATE Students Making Use of New Bond Equipment

Last week at West Birdville, GATE students in Mrs. Harris’s class were busy utilizing digital resources made possible by the BISD bond equipment.  Using both laptops and iPads, students were brainstorming types of structures that can be used for organizing things in Google Classroom.  Next, they gathered information from different websites about those structures.  Students then watched video clips of the election process to see how that was organized.  Awesome example of how to incorporate new digital resources!