One of the benefits of using digital tools to support learning in your classroom is that students can extend their learning and project activities beyond the school walls. While I do recognize that not all elementary students have access to Internet-enabled devices in their homes, certainly a majority do.
Through the use of your teacher website, blog, or wiki, you can post and share resources, activities, and videos to engage your students while they’re taking inside breaks from their outdoor snow adventures! Consider using Google Drive in grades 3-6 to create and share documents or presentations, and ask students to contribute to conversations around content area learning topics. Encourage your students to use their Kidblog spaces to write on their days off and share their snow day experiences or reflect on books they’re reading. Try creating lessons and activity sequences with LearnZillion or Power My Learning. These digital tools empower the learning to be self-directed through Common Core-related topics and activities.
The possibilities are endless!
Sadly, our in-service for Friday has been postponed, but I’d like to share with you some of the resources that were to be shared in this “flipped” professional development fashion, so you can access them at your leisure and use to support your own learning and integration of technology into your classroom.
Many of you have expressed interest in learning more about resources to use with the interactive whiteboards. Here is the link to the resources I’ve compiled and shared regarding best practices with IWB and also Polyvision/Eno specific resources for you.
Some of you have used the Easiteach software that accompanies the Eno boards. This software helps fulfill the basic needs of creating whiteboard spaces to add content to and scroll through during direct instruction or when kids are interacting with the boards. This software requires an installation from a disc, which I carry with me from building to building. If you don’t have this software installed and would like it, please email me and I will schedule a time to install it on your machine.
Please know that you are not limited to using Easiteach with your board! Your board serves as a display for any/mostly everything interactive that you could display on your laptop. So if there are interactive websites your students use, you could engage them using the board for those activities. It does require the use of your laptop, of course, so if you’re envisioning the use of the board as a learning center during literacy block, you’ll need to plan for the fact that your laptop will be connected to the board during that time. There are many links to Polyvision/Easiteach resources on our Elementary Tech Blog. Here’s a direct link to elementary Easiteach activities shared through the Polyvision wiki.
Here are some great interactive resources that may work well with your board, geared to our youngest learners:
Kinderchat Symbaloo Mixes- a ton of well-organized Symbaloo mixes, categorized for your easy access – I know kindergarten teachers and students will enjoy the StoryBots letter videos!
Language arts interactive websites and Math interactive websites via Kathy Cassidy (other category links at the top of her page)
Sites recommended by your colleagues: Turtle Diary, Math Play, Tvo Kids
If you have any sites you would like added to the K-2 Symbaloo, please email me the direct links! Contact me also if you’d like me to come in and work with small groups of students who are using the board during small group independent time. It is always helpful to have another adult there for support when kids are interacting with the board.
Formative Assessment Supported through Technology
Every day you make instructional decisions based on the performance of your students before, during, and after lessons and classroom activities. There are a handful of digital tools that can support formative assessment in the classroom and help your students be more active, engaged participants during the learning process. They also provide you with quick-access to student responses and feedback, thus streamlining the assessment process and giving you important data needed to continue to tailor instruction for kids.
Google Forms and Flubaroo
Creating and sharing a Google form is an easy way to have your students take a pre-lesson survey sharing their prior knowledge or contributing summaries of information learned after a lesson. Google forms has been revamped in the past year and you now have the ability to embed videos and images into your forms. All of the information submitted through a Google form is reported back to you in a Google spreadsheet. You can then easily sort through student responses and use to plan future instruction. For those of you feeling very confident with Google tools, check out the script called Flubaroo. It allows you to create “self-grading” forms that give you immediate feedback and student scores on objective assessments.
More resources here:
Using Google forms for formative assessment
Using Google forms for formative assessment
Creating formative assessment tools using Google forms
Socrative is “a smart student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. Our apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Socrative runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops.” And, it’s FREE! And easy to use! I posted more resources about Socrative on this page of our tech blog.
Today’s Meet is a virtual space to support backchanneling. No accounts are required. Teachers can create a room, name the room, and share the link with students to access the space. Students enter their names and then respond as directed in the Today’s Meet space. Teachers set the room to “expire” in a set period of time, anything from one hour to a day to a month or more. Choose this based on how long you need access to the information, and of course scaffold the experience so students understand the task, purpose of the use of the tool, and expectations for use. More ideas for use here and in the video below.
Services such as Padlet and Lino allow you to create virtual boards where your students can post written responses on “sticky” notes and add other media. Think of the ways your students can use these virtual spaces for brainstorming, sharing ideas, summarizing, and answering essential questions. Share the links to the virtual walls via your classroom websites/blogs/wikis for easy student access.
Take a look at this presentation from math educator David Wees to view ideas for different formative assessment strategies. (You can only use think, pair, share so often, right?)
Please contact me if you’re interested in having me help you create these spaces for “intellectual collisions” and collaboration! I’m happy to do so and push into your classrooms to support your efforts, or meet with your teams during planning time to help you try out some of the tools.
Happy snow day, and happy learning!
photo credit: Daveybot via photopin cc