Sunday, October 26, 2014

Google Classroom, Google Chromebooks and Google Draw Challenge

                    Welcome to Google Classroom! 
If you use Google Apps for Education, Google Classroom is a MUST!  Check out this video! Sign up today! It's FREE!
                What is Google Classroom? 
Classroom is a new tool in Google Apps for Education that helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and easily communicate with their classes. Classroom helps students organize their work in Google Drive, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers.

Create and collect assignments:  Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly. They can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback to individual students.

Improve class communications:  Teachers can make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time—improving communication inside and outside of class.

Stay organized:  Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what’s due on their Assignments page.

The only way that I have found to differentiate "challenges"- (assignments/assessments) for my 2nd graders in Google Classroom is to have students in different classrooms. We have 4 different classrooms. All students are in the original Team Newell Classroom. I created 3 more classrooms for Advanced, On-Level and Strategic Intervention. I can quickly assign different assignments or assessments to the different groups. If it's an assignment for the entire class, it will be assigned to the Team Newell Classroom. 

Why use Google Apps and Google Classroom? 

1.If you teach in Ohio (OTES) 
Google Apps and Google Classroom are  great tools to use for Differentiation, Resources, Focus for Learning, Assessment
Common Core States- Common Core

With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

I took the OTES Training because I wanted to experience the expectations of how to become a Distinguished Teacher. 

After the training, I was overwhelmed and very insecure but it motivated me to reflect and to grow!

I encourage ALL TEACHERS to take the training! 
that I have experienced in a LONG TIME! 

 Keyboarding and online communication skills are fundamental components of literacy in the 21st Century. Digital Literacy advocates praised The ELA Common Core State Standards for addressing the importance of keyboarding fluency in elementary schools. Now, with the new PARCC exams on the horizon, students will be assessed on their ability to write using a keyboard.

The PARCC exams will be used by a large number of states in the US to assess students' mastery of Common Core State Standards. The PARCC will be administered to students from grades 3 and up, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The PARCC exams will be administered digitally, with students completing the tests on computers. You can read more at

Since the PARCC's ELA test will be taken on computers, students will need to type their written answers. While examples of type-written questions have yet to be released, we can draw conclusions about the rigor of these writing tasks from the Common Core State Standards. According to CCSS w.4.6, fourth graders must be able to type "a minimum of one page in a single sitting." CCSS w.5.6 requires fifth graders to type "a minimum of two pages in a single sitting."

Taking technologies out of the project mold and making them a fundamental part of learning experience, provides students with more motivating assignments.
Using Google Apps/Google Classroom helps students to acquire the skills they will need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.
The assignment below is a basic Google Draw Challenge. My students completed this assignment the first few weeks of school on the Chromebooks. It was hard to draw using the track pad, but for the 1st try I was so proud. Recently, I learned students can use styluses on track pads! I need to order a class set!
Google Draw Challenges:
I feel angry when...
I feel happy when...
I feel exhausted when...
I feel hyper when...
Write a complete sentence.
Draw a picture for your sentence. 
Use at least 1 shape. 
Students did not know how to use the "spelling" tool at this time so I highlighted items that needed corrected. Assignments were returned, corrected, and turned in to me. Students are now amazed by the spelling tool. I love seeing their faces smile and hearing them say, "Bam!" when the misspelled word is corrected. 
Assignments are easy to grade. I notice that I leave more feedback on these assignments than on regular papers. 
Students did not know how to reply to my comments at this time. Now they are excited to check each day for new comments so they can respond. 

Here is a quick video that I made to show you how to add assignments and to see the assignment from the student perspective. 
            What do the students use and when? 
I mentioned earlier that students complete Google Classroom Assignments on Chromebooks. 

We have 2 Chromebook Carts to share between 6 classrooms on our floor. 
Chromebook Cart #1  
(Whole Group- 30 Chromebooks)

Chromebook Cart #2  
(Small Groups 15 Chromebooks)

Since we share the Chromebooks, I designated a Google Classroom time into my schedule each day. If I had my own set of Chromebooks, assignments would be integrated into daily lessons ect. 
We have used Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Docs for many more assignments. We will be sharing throughout the year! Come back soon!
Attention Google Classroom or Google Apps for Education Users: I am always looking for pre-made assignments that other teachers are willing to share! I will share too! Let's collaborate!

Monday, September 15, 2014

FrontRow JUNO...You Had Me at Hello!


I have written several local mini-grants to purchase speaker-type systems throughout my teaching career. The Juno Tower is my 4th system! This by far is the best system that I have ever used! 
It's NO Tom Cruise, but it had me at HELLO!! 
                       IT COMPLETES ME :) 
Everything I ever wanted and MORE! 
We have been using our JunoTower System since the end of August. Team Newell Students are very attentive and motivated to learn! 
The student microphone keeps students on their toes! It motivates them to participate! 
The teacher microphone saves my voice. I am learning to speak clearly and calmly. 
The software has motivated me to improve instruction. We record lessons so students and parents can review them on our YouTube Channel. 
Team Newell Students beg to learn a new cursive letter each day to watch the videos made by using the FrontRow Software. I am modeling how to use the software for a few more weeks. Students will be making videos soon too! Here are a few of the videos. Visit our channel throughout the year to see how our Juno Tower enriches learning!
Did you know... kids farthest from the teacher can miss up to 40% of what's being said? Did you know that 25% of what the teacher says in class never reaches students' brains? Write a grant or speak to someone who might be able to purchase you a Juno Tower TODAY :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Bye Summer, Hello 19th Year of Teaching

Goodbye Summer- Hello 19th Year of Teaching!
1. Looked up from my phone! 
This video is AMAZING!

2. Spent time with my husband and my 4 legged children.  

3. Hung out MANY DAYS by my mom & dad's pool.                 

4. Played lots of golf and hung with friends.              

5. Met Fitbit goals! 

6. Created new TPT products (My Math Exit Slips Ch 1 -12) for my store.              
7. Bought a new Toyota RAV4!                              

8. Updated 30 iPod Touches, 5 iPad Minis, and 10 Nexus Tablets. 

9. Went to a 3 day OTES- (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) Training and I PASSED the TEST! I am now a credentialed OTES Evaluator!

10. Read 4 great books that have inspired me for this upcoming year!

 I am energized and ready for my 19th year! 

My new TEAM has already started a Google Presentation project!
Come back soon to read all about it!
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