Ask any teacher, and they will tell you students need more time to read self-selected books.
The problem becomes: How do we hold them accountable for their reading?
Many teacher choose to enter a "participation" score into the gradebook, but even if you count it as a low percentage, this can inflate your gradebook and does not feel like an authentic way to motivate all students. Yes, you will have some kids who worry over grade point averages, but those are usually the students who wouldn't need the extrinsic motivation in the first place!
The original idea uses SnapChat to take a picture of a book page, then annotate on the page and use stickers or Bitmojis to visually summarize what was read.
For elementary and middle school teachers, issues with this method are clear: What if I have a student who does not have SnapChat? What if SnapChat is blocked at my school? How do I collect and organize the booksnaps I receive??
Google Slides to the rescue!
Using the feature that allows you to take a picture and put it in the document (Insert > Image > Camera), your students can take a picture of a particular page or paragraph, then use several of the features of Google Slides to annotate the page and make their thinking visible.
I've created a template you can access by clicking here. You will be prompted to make a copy to be saved in your Google Drive. After deleting my example BookSnap slide and editing the title slide to fit your needs, you can attach the template to a Google Classroom assignment.
I have two ideas for how this might work:
Martin, T. (2016). #Booksnaps - snapping for learning [Blog]. Retrieved from: http://www.tarammartin.com/booksnaps-snapping-for-learning/
Disclaimer: You do NOT have to have any prior knowledge of coding to use this activity with your students. I promise.
The "Hour of Code" is coming up December 4 - 10, 2017, and I've found an easily-customizable coding activity that can be incorporated into any subject area.
As part of Google's free CS First computer science curriculum, they offer the "Create Your Own Google Logo" activity. The activity breaks introduces the concept of coding and the Scratch web-based coding program. It also gives students ideas about themes for their logo and differentiated levels of customization.
In any class, your students could customize and present their Google logo to tell about themselves. These creations could be shared with the class and then posted on a class website for parents to view.
Below are some sample activities for using this activity to further student mastery of academic concepts:
What other ideas do you have about how to use this activity?
Extensions are small programs that add new features to your browser and personalize your browsing experience. They can increase learning and productivity, make it easier to share links and pictures, or just add some fun and personality to your browser!
These are my top picks for students:
# 10. Google Dictionary - With this extension, you can:
# 9. Split Tabs - Having to toggle between tabs can be annoying and time consuming. This extension allows you to view multiple tabs side by side.
# 8. Emoji for Google Chrome - Because, why not??
# 7. One Click Timer - Literally a timer that you set with one click . . .
# 6. Note Anywhere - Add a virtual sticky-note to any website. When you return, the notes do as well!
# 5. Google Keep Chrome Extension - Features:
# 4. Ad Block for You Tube - Blocks all surround advertisements and eliminates distracting and inappropriate ads when browsing YouTube.
# 3. Grammarly - Eliminates grammatical errors and enhances writing!
# 2. Kami - Highlight and type on PDF documents, then save them into your Google Drive or submit them in Google Classroom as an assignment!
# 1. Noisli - The best and most beautifully designed productivity companion throughout your day. No matter if you are in an environment where it is too loud or too quiet, with Noisli you can create and listen to your favorite background sounds in order to focus and concentrate on your tasks.
Visit the Google for Education Training Center for training on the fundamentals of G Suite, advanced training, devices training, or for trainer training! All courses are free and self-paced. There is an opportunity for you to earn badges if you complete the assessments at the end of the training courses.
This morning, our eMINTS teachers dug into building a positive classroom learning community through the use of class-building and team-building activities. We talked a lot about developing meaningful class norms to ensure that all members of the classroom felt valued and respected.
During our discussion, we defined what Classroom Community means to us.
In a meeting this week, Mrs. Charlotte Smith, principal of Lisenby Primary School in Ozark, Alabama, mentioned a great article she had read recently titled "100 Questions that Promote Mathematical Discourse."
I Googled the article title and found this wonderful infographic (printable version here) from Curriculum Associates that could help teachers encourage real conversations about mathematics among their students.
If you're a GAFE school, your students need to install this Add On in Google Docs! It will save you time by intelligently proofing their paper, counting words, scoring readability, and much more.
To install the Add On:
Leave me a comment to let me know how you like it!
Today we had our September sessions of our eMINTS professional development.
In Session 103, we reflected on what our own personal teaching beliefs were, explored constructivism, and made connections between the eMINTS Instructional Model and the philosophy of constructivism.
After lunch - in session 102 - we explored the components of effective family communication and worked to create family communication folders for their classes.
Finally, the the teachers were given some time to work with and customize the various tech tools we reviewed and tailor them to their own classrooms.
The most popular tech tools were Google Classrooms and using Google Forms to gather feedback and formative assessment data.
Below are some pictures of our teachers completing a constructivist activity called "Save Fred!"