Monday, September 29, 2014

Pre-Assessment Tech Tools Cont.

Clickers without the hefty price tag! No batteries!
Student response system! Paper clickers!
From Kinder to . . .

How does it work? The teacher posts a multiple choice or true/false question . . . students hold up their card with the correct answer positioned at the top of the card. Watch the magic happen!

Student answer choices are automatically recorded on the site. Watch the bar graph grow with student responses!

Quick set up:

Download the Free app to an iPad, iPhone or Android.
Create an account
Build classes on the website
Assign each student a number
Create a question bank either on the website or through the app
Print your Plicker cards

Laminate your student response cards or put them in protective sleeves

Here is an example of a Plicker sheet. They can easily be printed on card stock, laminated or put in a protective sleeve! It also helps to label the back of the card with the letter that corresponds with the answer.  This allows students to turn their card with the correct letter at the top.  Students keep the same card all year. If they happen to lose their card, you can go back to the site and print a new one.
Use task cards, PowerPoint or Keynote to post the questions for students to answer.
The Plicker people do a great job of walking you through the whole process of setting up your class for Plicker fun!

Next up . . .
Socrative . . . it's got a new look!
Create a teacher account.
No student accounts. Students login with their name.
Create a "room" that student access for answering questions. Can be a quiz, quick question, race, or exit ticket.
Pose a question on the "fly" or create a bank of questions. Then, select the type of quiz.
Space race is a huge hit with students. Groups working collaboratively answer questions . . .while watching their rocket race across the sky to the finish line!

I love the fact that they have a fantastic teacher guide.
Click {here} for a great teacher's guide to Socrative.

There are so many types of pre-assessement tools. A good friend of mine, Daniel, said top 3! Only top 3! Other than that, it becomes overwhelming!

Pick one and give it a go!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tech Tools for Pre-Assessment

I spent last week with 1st through 4th grade teachers (5th grade is on Monday) and our fabulous Academic Dean for learning days. We only have 2 elementary campuses in our district. On each day all the teachers on each grade level get together to learn.

Topics for the day . . .
Fixed and Growth Mindsets
Differentiated Instruction
Pre-assessing students

As the Instructional Tech Specialists, we were asked to share tech tools that could be used to pre-assess.
Here is the first one!

AnswerGarden is a fantastic feedback tool. Use it for real time audience participation, online brainstorming and classroom feedback.
Plant a question and invite participants to your AnswerGarden.
Their answers instantly form a growing word cloud!

 Here are a few ways we used it during our learning days.

Once you have created your AnswerGarden question, you can share it with your class by adding the embed code to your class webpage (if it has the capabilities), share the link or use the QR code that AnswerGarden creates for your garden.

I love the fact that when your garden is finished, it can then be exported to Wordle or Tagxedo!

Here are a few other features . . .
There are different modes when creating your AnswerGarden.
Brainstorm Mode - each person can submit an unlimited number of answers, including repeat answers. Repeat answers how the words grow!
Classroom Mode - each person can submit an unlimited number of answers, but the same word will only show up once.
Moderator Mode - answers are submitted to the AntiGarden, so then the creator of the garden must approve the entries.
Locked Mode - the garden is closed . . . no more entries can be submitted.

Here is an example.

How could you use AnswerGarden in your class?... at

 2 more tools tomorrow!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Constitution Day and S'more

Constitution Day is September 17th. This is a day to  celebrate not only the birthday of our government, but the ideas that make us American.
Together, with together some resources for Constitution Day using, S'more! (More about S'more in a bit.)
Here it is . . .

S'more is an excellent tool for creating fantastic flyers, presentations, and flipping your classroom.
Here is a quick overview/how-to!
Create a free account. (You can always upgrade for a fee!)
Select the type of flyer you would like to create or start a blank flyer.

Select a design . . . 5 options.

Select a complimentary design color and font style.

Select different sections to add to your flyer.

 I love the fact that a Google Forms can be embedded in the S'more. You can even add your own or a found video to the flyer.

Super fun!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently ~ September

September and a Currently! 
I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh, Boy Fourth Grade for the fabulous and fun Currently

Listening: It has been a wonderful weekend! My daughter invited 3 friends to the coast. Crazy fun!

Saw this on the beach. Yep, everything in Texas really is bigger!

Circle of Death - Last time we came to the coast with my niece, be did the CoD! Crab hunting late at night . . .  scoop them in the bucket . . . stand in a circle . . . release the crabs in the center . . . last one still standing wins!

Loving: It was so nice to sit on the beach and do nothing. A few storms, but that makes it exciting until the wind bent our tent frame and then someone stole our tent cover! (Really?!!! That is just rude!)

Thinking: There is a paper I need to write and a chapter I need to read! Second semester of grad school has started! Tried reading on the beach . . . just didn't work. Distracted by the good people watching!

Wanting: The regular . . . housekeeper, personal assistant, personal trainer, personal chef . . .

Needing: Actually, I'm meeting a friend at 4:45am to walk. Ug! Gotta get my steps back up on the Fitbit!

3 Places: I can't seem to convince the family to go on an Alaskan cruise. I had a student go on one and he shared the scrapbook his grandmother had put together. It just looked beautiful . . .
St. Lucia and Australia - one day!

Alas, it is time to pack up and head home! Trying not to take all the sand back with us.
Have a lovely day and check out the other posts over at Farley's blog!