Showing posts from December, 2016

7 Tools to Make Classroom Management Easier

Classroom management is an important aspect of teaching. Here are some of my favorite tools for managing your classroom: Too Much Noise!  1. Noise Down iOS App Noise isn't such a bad thing, but how can you keep your students at a manageable noise level? An excellent FREE tool is called the Noise Down App for iOS . This simple to use App helps you manage the noise in your classroom and even your home.  Use Noise Down to measure the current noise level in decibels and set your maximum decibel limit. As soon as someone goes over the limit, an alarm sounds. Students (and your own kids) now cannot say that they were not being too loud! Documenting Student Behavior  2. Bouncy Balls Don't have an iOS device? No worries! Bouncy Balls is a free web-based tool to measure the noise levels in your room. The site uses your microphone on your computer to measure noise levels. Students can visually see how "noisy" it is through bouncy balls, emojis, and even bubbles

11 Creative Ways to Use #HyperDocs in Your Classroom

Are you just using Google Docs as a substitute for a worksheet? Why not use the full capabilities of Google Docs by creating a HyperDoc? If you are not familiar with the term, HyperDoc, it essentially means "an interactive Google Doc that guides students through innovative and inquiry-based learning lessons using directions, graphic organizers, links, and possible collaboration. The learning can be made to be self directed, and students can work at their own pace" ( Google Training Center, 2016 ). Let's take a look at 9 creative ways to use HyperDocs in your Classroom: 1.  Websites and Articles Obviously this is the most obvious to link to. Google Docs provides your students with access to resources that a typical paper worksheet can not. Why waste your time making copies of articles for students to read, when they can access the via a link? If you students need a paper copy, they can always print them out.  2. YouTube Playlists Yes you can link to Y

Google Drawings + Google Sheets = Badging System!

Badging systems seem to be a popular trend in today's schools. Whether you are using badges with students or staff, there are many benefits, such as providing: A sense of autonomy  Feedback Visual representation of progress I am currently experimenting with this idea. I have a student tech crew (aka SWAT team) that I work with on a monthly basis. I wanted to provide their teachers with accurate information on competencies they have achieved and technical knowledge that they have gained.  Here is my first stab at a badging system! Step 1: Use Google Drawings to Design Badges I designed my badges using Google Drawings. If you have not had the opportunity to use this valuable tool, you may want to check it out! It is more than just drawing pictures. Step 2: Publish Your Drawing You will need to publish you Google Drawing to the web for the next part. How do you do this? Simply visit the File menu and select Publish to the Web. Click Publish and make sure that

4 Strategies for Using Video More Effectively

Video is an effective medium many of us are use to enhance instruction; however, have you thought about how to use this tool more effectively? 1 - Where You Post Makes All of the Difference Where you post your videos makes all of the difference for learners who are hearing impaired, English Language Learners (ELL), or need to see written text. YouTube is an excellent place to house your videos because of its Automatic Closed-Captioning features. Click the Closed-Captioning button and there is nothing else to do. 2 - Embed Notes with Your Videos with There are several different web applications that you can use to embed notes with your videos. One of my favorites is called because it links with your Google account. How does it work? To create your first video,  paste a video link into and load your video. Add notes to your presentation in the side margin. Each note will contain a bookmark with the exact time it occurs in the video.

Google Drawings Choose Your Own Graphic Organizer Template

Graphic organizers are popular tools for gathering, organizing, and displaying information in effective ways. Have you ever thought about using the power of Google Drawings and choice to do so? Step 1: Create a Template with Graphic Organizer Options Simply create a new Google Drawing and use the drawing tools to develop different types of graphic organizers.  Place each graphic organizer in the margin area of Google Drawings, so that users can eventually drag the proper graphic organizer into place. I made my graphic organizers smaller, so that students can drag and resize to better meet their needs. Check out my example here.  Step 2: Share Your Template Click on the "Send" button in the top-right corner of your screen to create an editable copy of your image. You will want your students to make a copy of the Drawing. Here is a quick trick for automatically forcing users to make a copy of your drawing.   Step 3: Have Students Use The Template Have stu

Post #500: Two New Features from SeeSaw

Thank you everyone for your support over the years! I cannot believe this is post number 500!  If you are a SeeSaw user, then you may have noticed that it has recently introduced two new features. Image: SeeSaw (2016) 1. Text Labels Tool Students now have the ability to use text labels to annotate drawing or video with the iOS version of the App. Choose from 8 preset label styles or create your own customized labels. According to SeeSaw, this feature will be available on the web and Android version of the App soon! Check out the following link for a demo and lesson ideas! We know from brain research that students need opportunities to express their knowledge in different ways. This is a great tool to increase the opportunities for students to communicate knowledge. 2. Translation Tools With the increasing number of ESL and ELL students in our schools, we need to find creative ways to connect with parents inside and outside of the classroom. SeeSaw now has the ability