Got a Minute?

This week I learned about a great new site called Check 123. It is an online video encyclopedia of over 20,000 videos on a range of topics from the Arts to Technology with a lot more- 27 to be exact- in between. What makes this site different is that the videos are either 1, 2, or 3 minutes long. While browsing the site this morning, I found several videos that I know my colleagues could use with their unit on Westward Expansion and Ancient China. They also have a Chrome extension that brings web pages to life by searching the page for companion videos that you or your students can watch without leaving the web page. Pretty cool. After I got my welcome email- of course I joined this site- it’s free not to mention useful- I replied back and then got a reply to my reply. They are very responsive. If they don’t have a video you need, just ask and they will find one for you.

What’s in a name? I have shared numerous times about sites you can use for creating interactive videos for formative assessment, or designing blended learning lessons. Well, some of the sites have changed their name. Educanon is now Play Posit; Blendspace is now TESTeach, and Histry is now Sutori. Just thought you’d want to know.

This morning I finally had some time to watch a video that has been sitting in my tabs. It is Jo Boaler’s kickoff keynote on math and growth mindset from the CUE 17 conference. It is an approximately 45 minute keynote that is well worth your time. In it Boaler speaks to how calling our students smart or gifted can actually lead to fixed mindsets, and how we can change how our students think of themselves by the messages we give them. For example, if you ask a question and call on the first person who raises her/his hand, the message you are sending is that speed matters. The same message goes out when you give timed math quizzes and that is one of the stressors that leads to math anxiety. I encourage you to watch this keynote.

If you’d like to learn more from Jo, including finding amazing resources for students, parents, and teachers, webinars and online courses, you can visit their new website, YouCubed. YouCubed’s mission is to inspire math success for all students through innovative teaching and growth mindset.

Get Hyper (Docs)

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This week I feel like I hit the motherlode with what I found while scrolling through my Twitter feed and I am excited to share my find with you.

It all started with this intriguing title, “Forms + Hyper Docs, Putting the Form in Formative Assessment!” Of course I clicked on it because I was curious about HyperDocs and I like posts that offer ideas for formative assessment. This teacher loved using HyperDocs so much that she thought she would replicate the engagement and learning into a Hyper form so that she could see all the results in one place (a spreadsheet) and provide feedback, and students could get instant feedback and the ability to retake the quiz! Phew, that is a mouthful and most likely a run-on sentence. This is the Hyper Form she made for her third grade students to show their understanding and what they know about rounding numbers.

This same teacher linked to an earlier post about Hyper Docs so naturally I clicked on it to learn more. What I learned is that Hyper Docs is not a document with a lot of links in it, rather it is a series of lessons and engaging activities  within a doc that can allow students to work independently or in small groups, and the the teacher can coach, guide, and work with another group. If I had to analogize a Hyper Doc to something so you can get a frame of reference, I would say it is similar (kind of) to TES Blendspace in that everything you need for a lesson is in it but with Hyper Docs it is prettier and more inviting packaging.

As I scrolled along on that post I saw this Padlet of HyperDocs made by other teachers and saw this HyperDoc on the Holocaust for one of my middle school history teachers, this on the 2016 Election, this Interactive States doc, this on Dia de los Muertes for my Spanish-teaching colleagues this on Exploring Makey Makey.

Still wanting to learn more, and being a serial clicker, I went here next, HyperDocs Explained. One click led to another and I came to How to Create a HyperDoc  and this set of video tutorials, and then- wait for it- Teachers Give Teachers – searchable HyperDocs lessons from other teachers that are ready for you to use, adapt, remix, share! There is something here for every grade, every subject. I found this on PAX, one of the Global Read Aloud 2016 books, this on Ancient Greece, and this on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. 

But don’t take my word for it, click for yourself!

Hop on the Feedback Train

This is a short week so it will be a short-ish share.

A couple weeks ago I shared a great Google add on for giving feedback to your students, Joe Zoo Express. Well last week they launched their new platform making it even easier for you and your students. They have a great YouTube channel of videos and tutorials that I encourage you to check out and subscribe to so you can get the most out of this tool. Here is the list of new and improved features that they sent in their announcement:

  • New Add-on Design – we’ve redesigned our add-on to improve its usability 
  • New JoeZoo App – to bypass some of the design and functionality limitations inside Google Apps, we’ve built JoeZoo App to house our new Rubric Builder and more great tools to come 
  • New Rubric Builder – it is now faster and easier to use and includes the following improvements: 
    • Customizable Grading Scale – you can now input NAME, IB or any other scale you’d like to use 
    • Fractional Grading – you can now give B+/- Weighted Points Scoring – you’ll be able to give points, as an alternative to %, when grading a doc 
    • Rubric Sharing – if your school or district installs JoeZoo, you’ll be able to instantly share rubrics with anyone 
  • Redesigned Feedback & Grading – we’ve redesigned both to reflect what you’ve told us:
    • Multiple Assessors – now multiple teachers and students can add feedback and grading to each doc
    • Feedback & Grading History – now all of the comments, messages and grades added to a doc are grouped by Date and can be scrolled in our add-on 
    • Self/Peer/Teacher Feedback – based on who assessed whom, we group and label their comments, messages and grades in our add-on 
  • Less Clicks – we’ve reduce the number of clicks to give feedback or grade by 75%, here’s how: 
    • No More Steps – we got rid of all those steps so you can add a comment, message or grade from 1 screen in 1 step 
    • No More Menus – to add a comment you simply search and save, no more menus to click through 
  • New Comment Features – here are the requested features we added: 
    • Point Scoring – you can now indicate if your comment is corrective or praise by give it a score between 1 – 5 points
    • Fix Tip Control – you now control when you want to show a “How to Fix” tip with your comments 
    • Resource Links – you can now add links to comments if you wish students to explore helpful resources 
  • New Monkey Checkers – if your school or district installs JoeZoo, you’ll get the following improvements: 
    • Teacher Monkey Checker – users with ‘educator’ accounts will get this version
    • Student Monkey Checker – users with ‘student’ accounts will get this version, perfect for Self Assessment
    • Multiple Uses per Doc – now you can use each Monkey Checker multiple times per doc 
  • Increased Student Privacy – we take privacy seriously and have made these improvements: 
    • No Personal Information – we will no longer ask for student Names or Gender during the set up of JoeZoo 
    • Deleting Personal Information – for existing students, we will be deleting any Names and Gender information they gave us when setting up JoeZoo 
    • JoeZoo Privacy Kit – we will be providing teachers and schools a kit that will include our new Privacy and Terms of Use policies and a Parental Consent Letter template 

While stepping in at the last minute to cover a 6th grade English class, I found The Teacher’s Corner. I was looking for daily writing prompts for middle school students and this one incorporates historical events and people in each day’s prompt. This link is for the month of October. While Teacher’s Corner’s prompts came up in my query for prompts for middle school, they could easily be tweaked for use in elementary classes as well.

I enjoy thoughtful articles that prompt discussion amongst other educators and this one on homework practice from Eric Sheninger is one such post as it was tweeted and retweeted several times. In it he reminisces about how he and his brother spent after school afternoons playing outside until dinner, participating in school sports, and the like. He then went on to talk about how our students are spending their time after school – often on “obscene” hours of homework. Sheninger reminds us of the purpose of homework and asks us to look critically at the kind of homework we are assigning and at how it is affecting our students.

“If your homework practices make kids dislike school and/or learning that alone should tell you something has to change.”

Last, but certainly not least, is a teaching and learning tool I learned about again from last night’s Edchat Interactive webinar with Kathy Perret. It’s called Class Flow and it’s completely FREE tool to create engaging, interactive, differentiated lessons for your class. I first mentioned in this post along with 9 other formative assessment tools. You can create your own lessons (compatible with Smart, Promethean, and more), find lessons that other teachers have shared, differentiate what your students do  by sending questions to small groups of students, give  badges, check for understanding, and work together in class or out of class.  They have lessons for students from pre-k through post-secondary that you can filter by grade, subject, rating, language- yes- I said language as they have lessons in languages from Arabic to Vietnamese and 22 in between. There is so much more to know (I only just learned about it last night) and you can learn more about it by looking at their information and short video introductions here. And by the way, as I mentioned, it is completely FREE to sign up and use!

For great articles, videos, and more like this one on teacher stress, please visit the Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition!

 

A Trio of Tools

29848464932_1aeb40a637_qThis week I am excited to present 103 great tools! Now you may be wondering if I was sharing that many why did I only mention a “trio” in my title? Well, the extra 100 come from this list of Top 100 Tech Tools for Education, many of which you will see that you know.

While I do know a good number of these, here is one I did not know: Moovly. Moovly is similar to MySimpleShow that I introduced last week yet offers more editing tools and options. Where MySimpleShow is simple and you can put your presentations together in 3 fairly quick and easy steps, Moovly is simple in a more involved way. You can easily spend hours building your RSAanimate-style presentation (but you don’t have to!). Moovly has an education platform that will allow you and your age 13 and up students the ability to create, present, co-edit, and share animated videos. Here is the one I am working on about best practices in professional development for a course I am currently taking.

https://www.moovly.com/embed/26f6a570-95a8-0449

This next tool was shared with me by our head of middle school and I must say, it looks excellent and has amazing potential! Let’s Recap is a web and app-based platform for video feedback for your classroom. You create a free account, assign a prompt/problem/question to your students who then use video to respond. You can see your students’ thinking as they reflect on the assigned prompt. This is a great tool for formative assessment, for students who find it easier to talk through problems (or for whom typing or writing is difficult), and for fostering the habit of reflecting on their learning. I am pretty excited to give this a try!

Last are two short lists of great Youtube channels for history and social studies teachers. The first is a list of 7 to which I would add History Pod (for their daily what happened on this day in history), HistoryTeachers (if you like music, you’ll love what history teachers does), and Schoolhouse Rock (because I love when learning is put to music!). Interestingly enough, when I opened this week’s Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition, I saw on the front page this next list of 20  great channels for social studies teachers that includes many of the 7. So whichever you choose to check out, I think you will find at least one channel to which to subscribe!

photo credit: Marcus Rahm tooltime via photopin (license)

Coming Soon & Here Now!

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#1 EdCamps are grass roots style education un-conferences that began a few years ago with the first being EdCamp Philly which @WendyE40 and I attended. EdCamps are known as “un-conferences” because they are free, often sponsored, attendees are encouraged to present topics of interest, sessions are not pre-planned, rather attendees write  and post their topicCo ideas on notecards on the day of the event, and if you are in a session that does not speak to you, you are encouraged to get up and move on to something else. There is one coming up in Philly on May 14 that Wendy and I again will be attending and you may sign up here. 

#2 While EdCamps are for the adults in the room, there are many schools and teachers who are hosting Student-Led EdCamps which are engaging, empowering, and a host of other “ings” for your students that I believe we could try to do too. You can check out these resources to get  your ideas flowing.

#3 Quizlet is a great for formative assessment, reviewing for a test or quiz, studying material, and learning new vocabulary and concepts, and it has gone live! Now you can turn your Quizlets into a live, team-based quiz show for your class. Students will join the live event from any device, be randomly assigned to teams (which you can reshuffle if need-be), and then the reviewing/learning/formative assessing can happen! Just another in a long line of options for having fun while learning in (and out of) class. For more like this, you can reread this post.

#4 PBS + I-Books is a match made in K-8 teacher heaven. This past Tuesday, PBS announced their most recent addition to their teaching and learning resources and materials- I-Books for K-8 teachers. These interactive I-Books will enhance a variety of curricular areas including beginning Spanish, math, and language arts and will include videos, professional development resources, lesson plans and games. These are available through I-tunes. You can read more about PBS Learning Media from a recent blog post.

#5 Many teachers are using Newsela in their classrooms for current events and election updates, but did you know that Newsela has leveled 18 Famous Speeches in their bank of resources for your classroom including several in Spanish! You can listen to Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Patrick Henry, Frederick Douglas, President Johnson, and President Obama just to name half a dozen. These can be filtered by grade level, standard, or language. Don’t just read about history- listen to it loud and clear! 

photo credit: Reputation Management Tips Businesses Can Handle via photopin (license)

Overdrive, DOGOnews & Thought Leaders & Innvoators Worth Following

This is a copy of an email I shared with my colleagues back at the end of October

Guess what?! I found another FANTASTIC EXCELLENT AMAZING GREAT news site for kids and it’s called DOGOnews (but I read it as dog gone news at first). Kids can ready by category (Current Events, Science, Sports, and more) or filter by Grades (K-3, 3-5, 6-8. Note: When you filter by grades, you will not necessarily get the most recent news). Kids can look at news on the map and see where in the nation/world news events are happening. There is also sections on Books, Movies, and Sites where students can read reviews and see trailers. Try it- bookmark it, and let your students have options for getting the news (other FABU options: Youngzine, Tween Tribune, and Tween Tribune Junior ALSO HAS TWEEN TRIBUNE IN SPANISH, Time For Kids, and Newsela— I gave you that link last week). 

Surely you must have seen or heard of the movie High School Musical. Well, then you’ll appreciate this “We’re All in this Together” reference when I strongly suggest that you read this WashPo article on WAIT FOR IT— math. Since many of you are feeling that we are all math all the time, you will get a lot of enjoyment of this article on math. It might say Common Core, but it can easily apply to our MIF as both encourage teaching understanding rather than the rote way we learned back when teachers used blackboards that were either black or green and clapping erasers outside was high on the job chart. Anyway, you will get a chuckle about halfway through at Stephen Colbert’s words and a at what one of the dad’s wrote in response to an assignment. I’m serious— it’s FUNNY! So, be like Dora and just keep swimming (after you read this article).

I love Pinterest and get weekly updates on great boards. Here is one for Spanish teachers that has a lot of lessons, videos, books, and sites to share with your classes. And here is an annotated list of 30 Pinterest Boards for elementary teachers including SPECIAL SUBJECT TEACHERS like Art, Music, and Science 🙂 Yay, something for everyone!

By the way, if you are like me, you love to read. At this point, I go from book to book on my Kindle or my Kindle app. Well, you can kick your book habit into Overdrive (literally) and rent ebooks and audiobooks right from your local library using the Overdrive app.This article will explain. And you’re welcome; I just saved you $7.49/book or $9.95 if you were using Oyster Books monthly.

Checking in with your students before, during, and after a lesson is important to your teaching as it informs how you progress with a lesson. Here are 52 ways to formatively assess your students. There are some really easy and excellent ways to do this. Some involve technology, like using PollEverywhere, Geddit, Padlet, Google Forms; others are simple, no tech ways like a show of thumbs or paper slips. However you choose, make formative assessment a regular part of your teaching day.

Yesterday’s #edchat was about educational innovators and thought leaders. It was a great conversation talking about who we thought was inspiring to us as a thought leader; who challenged our thinking. I immediately thought of Sir Ken Robinson, Alan November, and Seth Godin. Another chimed in with Alfie Kohn . It was a great online discussion about what kinds of people inspire us to to look at our practices and beliefs about education.Someone shared this link in the chat that lists 30 Education Innovators Worth Following on Twitter. If you are making your way into Twitter, these are some people you might want to check out and follow.