Google Up Your Math

As an Instructional Technology Specialist, I am always looking for ways to help teachers of all subject areas integrate technology, which is why I was so excited to attend Alice Keeler’s Teaching Math with Google Apps workshop in Plano, TX in March.  Math is the area I usually find the most resistance when it comes to using technology.  With resources like Photomath, Khan Academy and Wolfram Alpha, we need to stop the busy work and create learning environments at the Transformation levels of SAMR.

If you ever have the chance to attend an Alice Keeler workshop, I highly recommend it! mathgoogle Her passion for teaching and learning is highly contagious!  After attending the workshop and reading her new book, Teaching Math with Google Apps Volume 1, I couldn’t wait to talk with the math teachers in my district.

With Alice’s permission, I have created a slide deck of some of my favorite activities from both her workshop and her book to share with my teachers and with you!


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Also check out this opportunity to see Alice Keeler and Kasey Bell in North TX in October!

Prosper ISD Named Google for Education Reference District

Google has named Prosper ISD as a Google for Education Reference District. According to Google, “Google for Education Reference Districts are districts that demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology, including G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.”  Currently, there are fewer than 100 school districts in the United States that have been recognized with this honor.

imageProsper ISD’s “Story of Impactwill be shared on the Google for Education website and the district will become part of Google’s Trusted Tester program. District resources will also be shared in various ways including events, workshops, and keynote presentations.

Prosper ISD’s technology integration vision is to facilitate student and teacher growth and to cultivate connected learners through the transformation of teacher-driven Ref District_Badgetechnology use into student-centered, collaborative learning experiences. To achieve this goal, the district has created a classroom cart model and put Chromebooks into students’ hands. The creation of new professional learning opportunities has also assisted teachers as they integrate technology in their classrooms.  

All professional staff and 2nd-12th grade students have access to a district G Suite for Education account. In order to utilize these accounts and district technology resources to the fullest, a large number of Prosper ISD professional staff have become Google Certified Educators in the past two years to show their proficiency with Google tools.  That number is growing every day due to Prosper ISD’s commitment to excellence and technology innovation.

Check out our submitted resources too!

Check out the New Google Forms Quiz Feature!

The Google Forms Quiz feature is making life a little easier for some middle school math teachers.  They are combining the pencil/paper method of showing work with technology for instant feedback.  The new Quiz feature in Google Forms makes this super easy!

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First, create your quiz as usual.  Reynolds Middle School 8th grade math teachers chose to use Examview to create 4 separate forms of their quiz.  Then, to make life a little easier with all those pesky math symbols, they created an answer document using Forms. (Note: The Quiz feature will only grade multiple choice, drop down and check box type questions.)

Once the form is created, use the Setting gear icon to turn on the Quiz feature.

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Go back to your questions and click on Answer Key on the bottom left.   screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-20-53-am

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Then, you can select the correct answer, add point values and give answer feedback
(optional)
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When you are done building your form, make sure your settings catch the email address of your students so that you can see their scores (or have the first question be to enter their name or do both).  Also, decide whether you want students to see their scores, see missed questions or answer key.  (Remember if you have multiple class periods and show correct answers, they can share with later class periods.)

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When students submit their answers, they will see the option to see their results.screen-shot-2016-08-29-at-11-10-21-am

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If you do not let them see correct answers but let them see missed questions right away, here is what they will see:

In the responses tab of the form, you will see a great summary of scores for all your students as well as individual scores that can be transferred to your gradebook.  If you didn’t release scores after they submit, you can do that here as well by clicking on Release Scores.

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You will also get a summary of responses for each question!

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Here are more great resources to help you get started with Google Forms Quizzes.

Create a Quiz for Google Forms by Google Support

New Google Forms Quiz Feature vs Flubaroo by Eric Curts – Control Alt Achieve

Google Forms: Turn on Quiz Features by Alice Keeler

 

Back to School: Engage with Tech

figure_balancing_custom_words (1)It’s that time again…teachers scrambling to get their classrooms ready and come up with innovative ideas to engage their students.  I’ve compiled great ideas from some awesome edtech leaders to help you get started!

  1.  Teacher Trailers by Shawn Beard    Don’t just sent a postcard or letter to your students this year when you can use video to introduce yourself!  Challenge your students to create their own video for you!                                                                                                                                              
  2.  Google Slides – Ask and Respond Template by Alice Keeler  Student voice is important in every classroom.  This great template will help students have a voice even when they leave your class, anytime anywhere collaboration in action!                                                                                                                                                                                              
  3. Quick Ideas for Creating a Classroom e-Newsletter by Miguel Guhlin  Communication with parents is a must for any successful classroom.  Create a format of digital communication that parents can rely on throughout the school year!                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  4. Google Classroom – my favorite uses! by Christy Fennewald  Google Classroom can help streamline many of your digital processes. Check out Christy’s favorite uses!                                                                                                                                                                                        
  5. New Quiz Feature in Google Forms:  Quizzes in Google Forms by Sarra Smith and New Google Forms Quiz Feature vs Flubaroo by Eric Curts  Whether you are using the new quiz feature in Google Forms or Flubaroo, using Google Forms for formative assessment is the way to go!  You can also use Forms for surveys, gathering data and feedback, rubrics, interactive reviews and more!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  6. How to Create an Ebook with Google Slides by ShakeUpLearning Engage your students with Google Slides.  Go beyond presentations and create ebooks and choose your own adventure stories!                                                                                                                   
  7. 10 Reasons to Try Genius Hour This School Year by George Couros  Help reignite your students’ passion for learning!                                                                                                        
  8. Flip Your Classroom:  Check out the Scaling Flipped Learning Parts 1-6 by Jon Bergmann and Learning to Flip Your Classroom Without Fear by Anthony Persico          Use videos to engage students inside and out of the classroom while creating deeper meaning and more time for interaction during the school day!                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  9. Use Breakout EDU Any subject area can come alive with a ready made Breakout EDU game or create your own!                                                                                                                       
  10. Try Something New!   Check out Jodie Deinhammer‘s 1st day plans and 7 Ideas to Mix Up Your School Year, Michael Hernandez‘s 5 Big Ideas in Education in 2016 and No More Lectures – Try Back to School Stations by Jennifer Wolfe.    A new school year means a clean slate.  Re-energize your students and yourself this year!  

 

My Summer Reading List

One of the things I love most about summer is the time I have to READ!  I never seem to find time during the school year so I compile a list of books to enjoy over the summer.  This year I have quite the collection.  Here are the books I currently have on my list.  They are not in any certain order.  Send me your faves so I can add them to my list!

Last week Todd Nesloney spent the day at our #prospertrendingnow conference and I have to say his book is at the top of my list.  He made a huge impact on the teachers and administrators in my district and I’m looking forward to reading his book first.

My list includes books on student engagement and empowerment, changing our schools, leadership and personalizing professional learning.

  1. Kids Deserve It! by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome
  2. The Power of Questioning by Starr Sackstein
  3. Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller
  4. Launch by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani.
  5. 140 Twitter tips for Educators by Brad Currie, Billy Krakower and Scott Rocco
  6. What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker, Jimmy Casas, and Jeffrey Zoul
  7. Personalized PD by Jason Bretzmann, Kenny Bosch, Dr. Brad Gustafson, Brad Currie, Kristin Daniels, Laura Conley and Ben Wilkoff 
  8. Your School Rocks…So Tell People! by Ryan McLane and Eric Lowe
  9. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
  10. Explore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera
  11. Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz 
  12. Hacking Education by Mark Barnes and Jennifer Gonzalez
  13. Building School 2.0 by Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase
  14. Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger
  15. Uncommon Learning by Eric Sheninger
  16. Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros
  17. Pure Genius by Don Wettrick
  18. The 20time Project by Kevin Brookhouser

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Of course I can’t forget all of the great titles from the Corwin Connected Educator series

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Google Educator Certification Boot Camp

I’m excited to be a Google for Education Certified Trainer and will be holding a boot camp in Frisco, TX on July 12-13, 2016 to help teachers get ready for the Google Certified Educator exams.  I have been holding 1 day sessions in my district this semester and we currently have 24!  Check out the flyer for more information!

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Blended Learning

Blended Learning is the integration of digital learning with classroom instruction.  I used blended instruction with my 7th grade science students during the 2014-15 school year with great success.  My school district does not offer advanced classes for 7th grade science students and while most classrooms focus on teaching to the middle and differentiating for the low, I wanted to also extend learning for my critical thinkers.  Blended Learning was a method that helped me achieve my goals.  I chose the rotation model for my science classroom.

5 Tips I’ve learned along the way…

1) Have goals in mind that relate to your objectives and be able to explain how this method will help you achieve those goals.

Administrators want to know that your instructional methods will help you meet your curriculum objectives.  Discussing the blended learning method with your adminstrators is helpful to work out your goals and potential issues.  A great way to get your students on board with this instructional change is to be up front with them.  I explained to my students at the beginning of the year that I wanted all of them to succeed and enjoy my class.  I made it relevant to every student by identifying their hurdles.  This method would help those students that finished before others and were easily bored during class time to move ahead and be engaged.  Students that always felt rushed by other students would be able to work at their own pace and not be distracted by students that were finished early.  Parents also want to know that you have thought out how your instructional methods will help their child, especially when it is a method they are unfamiliar with.

2)  Look at the bigger picture…but start small

You need to be aware of your ultimate goal for your school year but you need to start small when it comes to incorporating a new instructional method into your classroom.  Going slow gives you a chance to work out any problems that arise but also your students to adapt to the changes in their learning envirnonment.

3)  Don’t be afraid to fail

Not everything you do is going to be perfect.  Talk to your students and parents throughout the process. Ask them what is working and what they would like to see done differently.  Show students that it is okay to fail…as long as you keep working at the problem.  Your classroom should be a safe place to fail, problem solve and seek help from others.

4)  Technology needs to have a purpose…not just a fun way to pass the time.

Technology integration can be a delicate balance.  You should ask your self if the technology is enhancing the learning of content or just a fun distraction.  The use of technology should have a meaningful purpose to enhance the learning environment and should not become a distraction.

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5)  Don’t be afraid to ask for help…Do your research and create your own PLN

You don’t always need to have all the answers.  Create a professional learning network that you can turn to.  If you don’t have an abundance of resources in your school or district, look outside.  Online courses, webinars and Twitter were valuable resources for me.  The strongest teachers are those that keep learning.

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