“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are singing the song and thinking about the holidays, then you are partially correct. While this is not a post about the winter holidays as it is only nearly September, it is a post that brings “gifts”. These gifts, however, are in the form of great tools you can use and connections you can make right off the bat for the new school year ahead!

First off is the All New Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid 3.0. In early August, Fligrid launched a slew of updates including making it FREE to educators everywhere! Now you and your students can share your voices, connect with other classrooms, become epals, and co-pilot topics safely, securely, and easily. Just imagine using Flipgrid on one of the first days of school for students to share something they want you to know about them, goals for the start of the year, or a favorite poem.

Speaking of sharing, flattening classroom walls, and connecting, the 2018 Global Read Aloud will kickoff in just over a month on October 1. Join with over a million other students and teachers in reading one of this year’s selections.  Then use Flipgrid to share reflections, favorite passages, and messages about the book with other classrooms from around the globe.

Richard Byrne has recently released his Practical Ed Tech Handbook for the 2018-2019 School Year that you are free to view, download, and use in your classroom and schools. In it you will find tips for staying in touch with parents and students, ways to use online quiz platforms, tools for making stop-motion and documentary-style videos, and more.

As my school continues our implementation of Positive Education under the Positive Psychology umbrella, and schools are realizing the importance of promoting and facilitating a growth mindset in their learners and faculty, Learn Storm and Khan Academy offer these growth mindset lessons and activities for elementary, middle, and high school students that you can utilize with your free Khan Academy account.

Day one is coming or for some is already here. Here are three options for one-minute of retrievals from Pooja Agarwal you can use with your students to get them primed and ready to learn. These are simple, quick warm-ups you can easily implement that are research-based ways to deepen your students’ learning. You can subscribe for weekly updates, read about the research and download free guides and follow Agarwal on Twitter.

Lastly, while you are setting up your classrooms, taking a walk in the beautiful weather, or just like to listen to learn, then take a few (usually hovering around 5 – 10) minutes to listen to Matt Miller’s DITCH podcast. This will take you to a podcast about more ways to use Quizizz and if you scroll down, you can hear about Fliphunts (a mash up of Flipgrid and a scavenger hunt), changes to Google Classroom, Educator Goals and more.

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!