Friday, March 20, 2015

Kahoot

One of my favorite sites this year? Kahoot! It's a fun, interactive way to ask whole-group questions. For Kahoot to function, every student or group has to have a portable device to enter in their answers! 

Some cool things about Kahoot? The public database! There are thousands of already made Kahoots that educators & students have shared with the world. What's even better is that if those public Kahoots aren't perfect, you are able to modify it for your own needs! Kahoot provides instant feedback while allowing student answers to remain anonymous! The kids love it & can even make some on their own, once they get the hang of it.

My most recent Kahoot project? Well, I teach Reading Intervention & my curriculum revolves around 12 essential reading comprehension strategies that I have been teaching throughout the year. We just finished the last one & unfortunately, the least fun part is headed our way, the big test, over everything. To help them do their best & have a little fun, I made practice questions about each of our skills & made it in to a Kahoot game! I am looking forward to it & I know, without a doubt, that my students will enjoy it immensely!

Remember, email me with any thoughts or questions!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Two-Parter! Split-Screening & Screencasting!

This one is going to be a two-parter, both things are awesome & have so many possible functions in the classroom!

Split-Screening 

Some different splits available.
The app I use for this is Tab Resize, I love, love this app. There are multiple ways you can split your screen & this function always for a lot of things in the classroom! In addition, you are able to manipulate the sizes of the tabs (in case you want one to be most of the screen & the other to be a little bit). Different times I have used it in my classroom: Students: doing research, taking quizzes, etc. Me: looking at data, checking student work on 1 side/updating grades on other side, general multi-tasking.

2-1 split with Classcraft & Google Docs

2-2 split with Classcraft, my email, a random-name picker, & an office referral


Screencasting

The app I use for this is Screencastify. I am pretty new to this one, but it is pretty awesome. I used this one recently, to record myself showing my students how I wanted them to set up their chromebooks to take their quiz. Why couldn't I just show them this on my projector? Well, we have desktops & chromebooks, & unfortunately, the desktop is not as able flexible about manipulating the tabs. Chromebooks are perfect for this; hence why I recorded it on my chromebook & I am going to play my screencast through my desktop! I can see this being used in other ways in my classroom in the future!
video

Hope you guys enjoy, please feel free to email me your questions or suggestions!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Podcasts

Something I think that is extremely overlooked in this technological era are podcasts. I am an avid podcast listener, whether I am commuting to or from work --you know, the 5 minutes it takes me to get to work--or getting dressed, I enjoy filling my time with these wonderful audio treats! Most of the ones I follow are more for my own professional development & general enjoyment. My goal this summer is to find some podcasts geared more towards my middle schoolers age so I can implement some fun activities with them next year!

The following are all available online, but also through podcast apps on iPhone & Android. Personally, I use the Podcast Republic app for Android & love it!


Two you should DEFINITELY check out:

  • Stuff You Should Know (the two guys who run this are absolutely hilarious, they make learning very entertaining)
  • Stuff Mom Never Told You (two strong, empowered women that talk, mostly, about gender equality topics. That's not to say they don't discuss)

Other great podcasts from How Stuff Works-the host site of the 2 above podcasts:

Other podcasts to follow:

  • Serial (this follows a reporter investigating a real-life crime, interviewing the suspects, witnesses, etc.-For the longest time I didn't realize it was non-fiction!)
  • Death, Sex, & Money (this one may be a little more controversial but I find it quite entertaining, they cover random topics in those three categories!)

An additional one if you happen to like Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice & Fire:

  • Cast of Thrones (a pretty-funny gang discusses the books, the episodes, & all things in between. They do tend to get off topic pretty easily, but even then, they are usually great!)


Please let me know if you would recommend any other great podcasts, I am always looking!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Google Remote Desktop

Someone recently asked me on a Google+ community..."What is one Google App you could not live without?" Most obvious answer? Well, the entire Google Drive suite, of course (Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc.)...but that's a no brainer. But what one App has really changed my instruction overall? Google Remote Desktop! 
                           

This app is a must for all teachers that use more than one computer. What is it? You are able to remotely control any computer that you have synced with your Google Account. This means you can do absolutely ANYTHING from afar. Whether it is, print sub plans while you are sitting on your couch, working on programs that are incompatible with other devices you use (such as the IEP program on your chromebook), or circulating in the classroom while controlling your, very, stationary desktop. I can tell you, in the 4-5 months I have been using it, it has proven itself to be a necessity more times than I can remember!

The Google+ community forum must have jinxed me because, in fact, today, I had to do the very thing & live without the app! For the hour or so that Google Remote Desktop was down, I was miserable. I definitely can say now that I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I lost this app for good!


NEED INSTRUCTIONS?

To convert most of my building to my Google Remote Desktop ways, I designed & shared instructions via Google Docs & I would love to share these instructions with all of you as well! Here they are!