May 16

Tuesday Tip! – Sheets, Charts, and Docs Working Together

We have become such a visual society that images and graphics really are an important part of our communication skill set.  Why not include charts as a way to reinforce a concept in a persuasive written piece?  Recently, a local high school English teacher did just that.  

When introducing a unit on The Holocaust, she asked students to rank their Top Ten for Who is Responsible for The Holocaust?  The teacher posted a link to a Google Sheet in her Google Classroom.  There were nine categories in protected cells and students could add their own tenth category.  Then, they entered numbers to rank each category.  Next, students converted the spreadsheet data to a pie chart.  Then, they inserted the chart into a Google Document and wrote a justification for their choice of ranking.

Basically, the  teacher saw three different types of effective responses for this assignment.  One student simply did a numbered list.  The pie chart helped to illustrate the ranking for the students to choose the level of responsibility and the student chose the ranking to be ten for most responsible and one for least responsible.  The justification was written with the highest ranking as the first numbered point.  Other students who wrote a numbered list ranked ten as leas responsible and one as most responsible.  So, the written justification certainly became an important part of the assignment.

 

Other students chose to write their justification in essay format, writing a paragraph as a way to explain the choices.  A student took the essay format one step further by changing font colors to match the categories on the pie chart as the explanation was detailed.  Sometimes the best differentiation comes from giving only basic instructions and allowing students to interpret!

 

 

 

 

 

Creating visuals solidifies ideas and concepts for readers and for students creating the visuals as well.  More importantly, an assignment like this gives the teacher a starting place for knowing what information is banked in students’ prior knowledge and what needs to be learned.  Amazing formative assessments don’t have to be locked into a ten question bubble sheet.  Why not smash a few apps together and really learn more about what students do and do not know?

October 20

Formative Assessments with Nearpod

Nolensville Elementary teachers have been exploring and using Nearpod.  This onearpodnline resource allows for creation of informational slides, formative assessments, and sharing student work as exemplars.  Click on the image at right to access a video overview.

When a teacher creates an activity within the lesson, the options include multiple choice quiz, draw it, open ended questions, poll it, and fill in the blank.  Reports with formative feedback are provided.  Free accounts are available with limited features. Live lessons feature whole group and small group lessons.  Student-paced lessons feature purposeful practice rotations so that students can learn about a topic and answer assessment questions. Students join a lesson by entering the PIN provided by the teacher that Nearpod assigns.    Continue reading

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September 21

Bookmark, Capture, Highlight, Annotate, and Share with Diigo

diigo logo 2Diigo has a helpful Chrome extension which allows users to bookmark, then add digital highlights and interactive sticky notes to webpages and articles.  Annotated items can be shared with other Diigo users and groups.

It allows users to collaborate and share what they are reading and notes users attach.  The material can be accessed online, anywhere, using most any device.  Both public and private groups can be created which allows for specificity in sharing.  Items can also be tagged making it easy to search and find materials relating to a certain topic.  Bookmark, Capture, Highlight, Annotate, and Share with Diigo - #WCSEdtech

The Diigo Chrome extension is an exceptional tool for the classroom!  Reading and research materials can be bookmarked, highlighted, annotated, and notes added.  Web resources can be shared with the whole class or used for differentiating with small groups and individuals.  Check out this video for an overview of its features.