Tuesday, April 26, 2016

EdCampFoothills is Registering NOW!!

Have you heard of EdCamp but haven't been able to attend?  Join us for the 5+ county collaboration,  EdCampFoothills, on Sept. 10, 2016, at Heritage Middle School in Valdese, N.C.  Burke County will host with Alexander, Catawba, Hickory City, Newton-Conover, Lincoln, and McDowell.  This promises to be one of the best EdCamps ever!!!  There will be "swag", door prizes, and a day full of networking with your peers from across the state.  You will discuss, learn, collaborate, engage, and bring back tools, apps, etc. to use immediately in the classroom.  There is a limited number of seats so please register as soon as possible:

EdcampFoothills Registration

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Newsela- Why aren't you using it?

    • copy/paste a text/ questions from Newsela into a Google Doc
    • Share it with students
    • Students can highlight text, cite evidence, etc. and then highlight their answer choice using Read & Write (highlighting tool)- (Google Doc add-on/extension)
    • Read & Write will also Read Aloud the text
Example:  Nazi Death Camp’s Last  Survivor Dies

Google Doc:   https://goo.gl/0hfuA0  
If you are not using Newsela, you need to start!  This is an awesome resource that works seamlessly with Google Classroom.  There are 100s of current event articles that can be implemented into the curriculum on a daily basis.  It's a wonderful tool for nonfiction text.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Great Tools for Backchannels & Informal Assessments

Recently I attended NCTIES and found some amazing tools for Bachchannels and Informal
The following are just a few that are great tools in the classroom:

  • Backchannel=student friendly chatroom.  Real time feedback. Gives the shy student a voice. Gives an outlet to the super chatty student.
  • Todaysmeet - Has some new moderation tools introduced recently.
    • Grab embed code and embed on your blog or website.
  • Tozzl- Backchannel tools that allows you to give kids things to do
  • Dotstorming - brainstorm and vote on ideas
    • Use to vote on ideas, Pinterest boards, workshop sessions at EDCAMPs, etc.
  • Padlet - has an iPad app w/ QR code, Plickers, Kahoot
  • Quizalize - asynchronous quizzing site, can create teams or do individuals and competitions.
  • GoFormative - great for math teachers
  • Tackk - Similar to Seesaw, create and share pages on the web, collaborate, etc.
  • Remind - Make it two way - Send out a question or poll, kids reply back.
  • Triventy - similar to Quizziz, etc. but kids can submit questions, collaborative quizzes and surveys

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do your students need keyboard practice?

Do your students hunt and peck or try to type like they are texting? Dance Mat Typing is a great site with lessons and activities that will engage your students and create excellent typing skills! Easy to access and get your students started right away!

Friday, April 8, 2016

EDpuzzle - Show that video and check for understanding!

Now there is a tool that allows you to use any video (full segments or a clip) and add instructional tools to keep them engaged.  Edpuzzle is a wonderful tool that gives teachers the ability to check for understanding all through the clips with questions and voice overs.  After students watch the video, answer questions, and respond to voice overs, teachers can view the minutes watched and their answers.  If you add multiple choice questions, EDpuzzle will automatically grade for you.  You can also grade open response answers.  I love this tool for its features and ease of use.  There are so many wonderful videos to use for instruction and with EDpuzzle, teachers can now see if students are really watching, keep them engaged through interactive questions and voice overs, and have a record of student grades and engagement from each video.

This is a picture of the teacher dashboard.  Teachers can easily add classes and students can join with a code.

This is a picture of how student's join:
Once students join, they can add the class code and join automatically.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Read and Write Extension for Google Chrome

Read & Write
Sign into Chrome, go to Chrome App Store, and add Read & Write.  Use this link to receive Free Premium Account for teachers:


Students receive premium features for 30 days and after that, have Read Aloud and Translate features.
If you highlight a word, you can select dictionary, picture dictionary, fact finder (web) and it will give you the information.

Read Aloud:  If you click “play button”  will begin to read aloud all text.  You can click “pause” (double bars) to stop at any point and text will remain highlighted.  If you click “stop” (black square”, highlights go away.  In settings, you can change voice, speed.  Screenshot reader will allow you to choose part of text, immediately load, and begin reading.  Be sure to click off of it to reset.
HIghlight tool:  choose words to highlight (can choose different colors), and will collect to Google Doc with a link to the original doc.  If you want to create a vocabulary list, choose vocabulary icon (3 dots/3 bars) and will create a vocabulary page with definitions, pictures, and notes tab all in table form.
Simplify Page for websites is another tool.  For example, if you are on Wikipedia, and you want to take away distractions or just simplify page for younger readers, click icon (4 bars with arrow down) and it will take you to new tab with website simplified.
On PDFs, you can annotate, comment, etc.  You have option to open PDF with R & W.  
There is translator feature to translate text to several languages.  
Any website or Doc that the R & W is purple, you can use it.

****This extension is an invaluable tool for struggling readers. The Read Aloud feature can be adjusted in settings for speed and also, the type of narrator (male, female, and accent). I wish all the premium features were free for students but, since teachers receive a free premium account, you can still use as a teaching tool.