Skip to main content

Show What You Know

Asking students to show their work is a rite of passage for teachers.  It's right up there with nagging kids to stop tapping their pencils.  Boy, being a teacher is one big power trip, and it feels so good.
Anyways, let's get focused.  Having your students demonstrate their understanding of a topic is easy if your students are using iPads.  They have the ability to write on a number of whiteboard apps with their fingers and/or a stylus.  If your students are forced to use a trackpad, it's another story.  You know how difficult it is to sign your name using a trackpad on a computer.  It's a ridiculously humbling experience.  Asking a kid to work out math problems using a trackpad on a Chromebook is absolutely cruel.  Look at this pathetic signature at the left.  I'm a grown man with decent penmanship for crying out loud!
          The fact that many of our schools are switching to Chromebooks is why I'm writing this post.  Although some of our new Chromebooks have touch screens, many do not.  Luckily for us, there is a solution!  Simply create a screencast with the Screencastify extension.  I know you're familiar with Screencastify because I wrote about it in May 2019.  Before I forget, Screencastify kicked of 2020 with some pretty cool free version features that you need to be aware of.
          Tech integration specialist, Jake Miller, created a lovely video asking students to spin it around, write it down, explain with sound. I bet you're dying to see what this means!  Watch the following video to find out.
          If you are one of the lucky ones with touch screen Chromebooks or iPads, another solution is FlipGrid. We already know that it provides students with a fabulous video response option, because I wrote about it in May 2019. That was a productive month, wasn't it? I'm sure you've read it, but here's a link just in case. FlipGrid now offers a whiteboard option, too. Check out these two videos for some FlipGrid enlightenment.
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Creator: Elegance In Its Simplicity

Let me tell you something. Book Creator has become an instant favorite of mine this year. I've used it in the past, but maybe I just wasn't ready for it until now. You know, kind of like vegetables. Anyhow, I've used it with students on iPads and Chromebooks, both without any issues and with various grade levels as well. I recently taught some second graders how to create animal eBooks on Chromebooks, and they picked it up almost instantly. With a small learning curve for both teachers and students, you should give Book Creator a look see.  After reading the compelling paragraph above, I'm guessing that you think you have to pay for Book Creator. Well, for the first time in your life, you're wrong! It's free. Teachers get one free library that includes 40 books with unlimited pages. Click here for more pricing options.
The word on the street is that Book Creator is only geared for elementary students, but don't believe the gossip. This bad boy is absolutely a…

Google Classroom End of the Year Clean-Up

In the ever poetic words of Jim Morrison, This is the end. Beautiful friend. This is the end. It's June 4th, and summer is on the horizon. Many of you have a routine for cleaning up your physical classroom, which is super, but you mustn't neglect your Google Classroom. Trust me, you'll thank me in August when you drag your tanned, relaxed body back to school.

Below you will find a few simple steps that will help clear that cloudy qi of yours. Let's get started.

Tip #1 - Return all student work
Once students are finished working on an assignment, they turn it in. You then look it over, provide feedback and grade the darned thing. At that point, you should return the document back to the student. Hoarding documents isn't anything to brag about, people. Make sure you return the work. Here's why.

When a student turns in an assignment, you are now the owner of that document, and the student is relegated to view only rights. Once you return the work, the student again t…

PDF Mergy, I Love You.

I don't know about you, but I love me some Jason time. Time to read self-help books, time to listen to music, and time to take long walks on the beach are mandatory components of a healthy, fresh and mindful teacher. 
Well, I'm here to show you one way that technology can save you precious time to do the things that make you feel fabulous. How many times have you wanted to print student work and realized that you have to print one at a time? That is a painful process indeed, but my good friend, Emily Brunick, opened my eyes to a beautifully elegant, yet simple, website that changed my world. The website is PDF Mergy.

Watch the video below, and be prepared to be amazed.