Thursday, September 24, 2020

99 Math: A Gamified Approach to Math Fluency

Games and math fluency practice are nothing new. In fact, when I was younger, I loved the game Number Munchers, which helped me learn my math times tables through individual practice. 

As devices have changed, so have the games; however, 99 Math is quickly becoming one of my favorite math fluency games because it can be used on any device as long as it is connected to the Internet.  



Why? It combines the gamified approach of Kahoot and Quizziz with math fluency practice! It's easy to use, device friendly, and free! How does it work? 

Check out my video below: 




Monday, September 21, 2020

Split Your Browser Screen into Two with Dualless

 Remote learning has caused educators to rethink the way that we provide instruction to our students. For example, many of our students (and even educators) struggle with needing to juggle multiple screens and windows. Dualless is a Chrome extension, which provides users with the ability to split their browser screen into two either horizontally or vertically! 

This is perfect for students who may need additional supports, need to see additional resources, or who want to increase their efficiency.


The ratio can be adjusted based upon need, which makes this a perfect companion tool for students and teachers who are working with multiple browser windows at the same time. 

Here are some helpful features:


  • Split your current browser window into a pair and resize according to a ratio (3:7,4:6,5:5,6:4,7:3)
  • Need to merge your split browser windows into a single window? No problem!












Did you need a video tutorial on how to do this? No problem! Check out my video below:














Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Create a Question Bank and Import Questions in Google Forms

 Did you know that you can import questions from a previously used Google Form? It's possible and can make your life so much easier. Simply click on the import questions button in Google Forms, search for the Form you want, and import your questions.




Why not take things a step further and build a question bank using Google Forms? First, create a new Google Form and add questions it. You will not actually use or share this with others, because the whole idea is to important questions from this resource. Next, create your Google Forms quiz and choose the import questions button. Finally, choose the questions that you would like to import. Want to see it in action? Check out my video below:

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Annotation Feature in Google Classroom iPad App

 The annotation feature in the Google Classroom mobile app is a great way to have students complete worksheets, annotate text, highlight key ideas, and show their work for math problems! It is also a great tool for teachers to create PDF annotations for students, while you are waiting at the bus stop for your own children or enjoying a quiet evening on the couch! 

How do you use this feature available on the Google Classroom iPad App? Check out my video below: 





Thursday, September 3, 2020

Stop, Drop, and Roll Virtual Brain Break Template in Google Docs

There are tons of cool brain breaks out there! Whether you create your own or are using pre-made breaks on Teachers Pay Teachers or GoNoodle,  brain breaks are an effective strategy for getting students refocused and priming their brains for learning. 



Lately, I have seen quite a few brain breaks that use dice! In the spirit of hybrid and virtual learning, I was inspired to create my own interpretation in the following Google Doc! I call it Stop, Drop, and Roll Your Virtual Brain Break!  

Feel free to click here to access your own copy and customize it to your needs.


How Does It Work? 

Did you know that you can visit Google and type in "Roll Dice" to get virtual dice? This might be a great way to complete this activity or give students the opportunity to complete this activity independently. 



First, use Google's "Roll Dice" feature to "roll" the dice on what to complete in the first physical activity. 


Next, roll the dice again to determine your gratitude activity. Gratitude is an excellent strategy to change your mindset and focus on the positive things. 
 

Finally, roll the dice one last time to complete your mindful breathing activity, which is a helpful strategy for relaxing the body and priming the brain for learning. Students complete an activity based on whether they rolled an even or odd number. 





Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Listen, Do, and Watch Choice Board

Although choice boards have been around for quite some time, they are gaining popularity in remote and hybrid learning situations. Why are they gaining such popularity? Choice boards help differentiate instruction by providing structured choice, provide flexibility, student autonomy, and increased engagement. 

Listen, Do, and Watch Choice Board

I created the following Listen, Do, and Watch Choice Board (feel free to use for your own copy) to provide students with different options for learning about a concept. Brain research suggests that students need multiple representations of new concepts in order to solidify its meaning. The following activity capitalizes on using video, audio, and hands-on learning activities. Plus it provides opportunities to reflect on their learning. 



How Does This Work? 

Prior to students completing the activity, you will want to add the name and a link to 3 different audio clips (or Podcasts), 3 activities, and 3 video clips. 

Then, post the choice board to Google Classroom (or the learning management system of your choice). Make sure that you make a copy for each student! 


Next, have students complete the assignment. Students can click on the link to your audio clip, video clip, or link to an activity. After they have completed the activity, have students reflect on the appropriate slide. Students can click on the icons to automatically link to the appropriate slide. 



As an added bonus, students can drag the X on top of the items that they have completed! This will help students keep track of what they have or have not completed! 







Thursday, August 27, 2020

3 Tips to Make Better Google Classroom Assignments

Want to take your Google Classroom assignments to the next level? Here are three tips for creating better assignments in Google Classroom:

 

  Tip # 1 - Break out Emojis!

Add emojis to instructions to serve as bullets or help key instructions stand out! Our students are visual creatures, which is why apps like Instagram and Snapchat are much more engaging to our kiddos! An awesome way to get emojis is through Joy Pixel's Emoji Keyboard Chrome extension.

Tip # 2 - Don't get too attached! 

Too many attachments is difficult to manage for students. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 attachments in a post. What if you need more attachments? Consider embedding additional resources like websites, templates, etc. in a Google Doc with instructions.

Need a sample? Check out my UDL Essay instructions. You will notice that it contains:

  • The Lesson Goal
  • Suggested Steps to Complete Assignment
  • FAQ's
  • Rubric


Bonus Tip!

Did you know that you can force students to make a copy of a Google Doc by clicking a link? Check out how here! This is a great way to make optional templates available for students, so that they can make as many copies as they would like. 

Force a copy with one simple step!


Tip # 3 - Screencast to save your voice and hair!

Add a screencast with instructions. A one to two minute screencast might be a helpful way for students to remember what to do or help parents understand an assignment. Simply attach your screencast to your assignment so that students know what to expect, how to complete, and how to submit.  

One of my favorite tools is Screencastify! It is quick, easy, and saves to Google Classroom! 

It might sound like extra work to record yourself; however, you could record yourself while you are already giving your class instructions or have a student do it. The point is to have something available for students who might be working remotely, need to hear it again, or weren't paying attention.