Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fun with Forms

If you haven't tried Google Forms you really should! There are so many fun and time saving uses for them. I've used them for student information gathering, polling, collecting student award names, quizzes, reading response logs and much more! Last week I had my second grade students use a google form to share great words that they came across in their reading. I had them predict what they thought the words meant and then look up the definition and add that. Here is the form I created to do this -

After they entered their vocabulary words, I copied the list of words from the spreadsheet that is automatically created for each form. I pasted the words into Wordle and made a word collage of their words. Here are their amazing words!

For more info about forms, check out the google tutorial.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tips for Class Dojo

For those of you using Class Dojo, here are a few tips for organizing the behaviors.

First, the behaviors come up in alphabetical order. There are certain behaviors that I want to see first on my mobile app or on screen so I don't have to scroll through them all. To organize them the way you want to, start each behavior with a number. I just changed to a 2 digit numbering system to accommodate for some extra behaviors. If I numbered them 1, 2, 3 ...up to 10, 11, etc then the way computers number it would go 1, 11, 12, ... So I start with 01, 02, 03...

My kids earn extra points for behavior as a class or individuals in special classes like Music, Library, PE, etc. Those come up less frequently so I bunched them together in the 20s. I also weight those behaviors. If the class gets "5" top behavior from the PE teacher, then they get 5 points from me in Dojo.

Sub Days - if I have a sub prescheduled that I know, I might have them use Class Dojo with the class. I did have one sub a few years back give a kiddo 9 negative points in one day. Granted, he was having a bad day, but I wouldn't give a kiddo that many negative dojos and that was a big hole to climb out of for both of us (parent feedback, etc.) So now I have Substitute teachers use a clipboard and notes to let me know about behaviors and I do the Dojo points when I return. If the whole class had a good day +2. Awesome day or specifically noted as extra special could earn a +5.

My system is mainly based on positive feedback. I do have behaviors listed for negative Dojo points but use them very rarely. And none of my negative behaviors are weighted. If someone needs a reminder to get back on task, I would give a + point to someone near them who is on task to model what I'm looking for. Also, I am more likely to discuss a behavior privately before using the negative point. 

Thanks Class Dojo! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Slides in Second Grade

Google Drive in Second Grade
Today was our first day to try Google Slides in class. We have been working on landforms and the kids have worked on Google Drawing and Docs for a few weeks. This was done by a team of 3 second graders today. It's not complete but I'm so excited about what they will be able to do this year! :)

Here's to the risk takers! This next presentation was made by another student who figured out (and taught the class) how to crop images into shapes! Hello! I did not know how to do this! I didn't know I wanted to do this. But now I really want to!

GAfE Summit San Diego

Anyone who knows me knows that I love all things Google. And what could be better than Three days of Google!
Friday 10/3: Google Education Trainer (GET) Workshop with Sergio Villegas. Great review and additional info about all of the Google Drive pieces. Tip 1: create custom search engines for each unit so kids are not distracted by off topics results. I created a search engine just for animal research  with National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, and San Diego Zoo. When I tested it by searching the word "frogs" I came up with over 1100 entries! So even limiting students to specific resources will still give them a lot to choose from. Fun Challenge: Sergio gave us a couple photos during the day and we needed to use our google skills to find the address of the location or what kind of animal was pictured. After we found it we discussed the search terms we used to find it.
Saturday 10/4 and Sunday10/5: Long days at Coronado High School with 400 other teachers all learning and sharing how to integrate technology. 100s, if not 1000s, of tweets and status updates were posted over the weekend. Take Aways: 1. connect through Twitter more often than at conferences. Teachers are awesome at sharing. 2. Google Hang Outs are cool and will have a ton of uses from Mystery Career Calls to Virtual Field Trips. 3. Close reading will be fun with the Text Talk Study Skills Add On. Students highlight vocabulary and key ideas and then can 'collect the highlights' into a separate document. 4. Google Forms have undergone a huge update and we now have tons of design choices and can upload our own images. You can also embed video into a form. I'll be posting ways I will use these tips over the next few weeks. I love EdTech!