Capture, organize, and share student thinking with Post-it Note Plus

Some teachers have students use post it notes to handwrite feedback about topics or as an exit ticket after class.  Do you use post it notes in your class or have you wanted to try something like this?  If so, the Post it Note Plus App will be a great addition to your technology toolbox.  Post it Note Plus allows you to scan a group of Post it notes to a digital board where you can sort, organize, add notes, and share the board with others. Click the image below to watch a short video with specifics about how to use this useful app. Have you used this app? How might you use this app in your classroom?  Share your thoughts so we can learn from each other.  

Google Expeditions – Field Trips from the Comfort of your Classroom

Google Expeditions allows you to take your class on a Virtual Fieldtrip. Tour the Aztec and Mayan Ruins, the International Space Station, or Gettysburg National Military park. You can do all of this with your classroom iPads. When using Expeditions, you become the leader on your iPad and students join you on the tour with their iPads. Edtech teacher has created and quick video to show you how this works. Start by downloading the app on your iPad.  After that, you will be ready to take your students on a virtual Field Trip!

Formative Assessment Apps

Formative assessment is assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning.  It is a way to check for understanding along the way and guide teacher decisions about future instruction.  It allows teachers to differentiate instruction and ideally occurs on a daily basis.  This can feel overwhelming due to the competing interest of covering material.  But, reflecting and checking for understanding is an important part of learning.  It helps students get a better sense of how they are doing and teachers know what needs review and what doesn’t. Formative assessment apps can help with the time aspect.  They are easy to implement, ensure that all students are heard from, and organize the results into quick to understand bar graphs, pie charts, or excel spreadsheets allowing teachers to easily see if the class is ready to move on.   Tony Vincent has put together an excellent blog post called “Know Students Better: 16 Tools for Formative Assessment” where he details the ins and outs of 16 different formative assessment apps. Many of the apps are the same but some offer short answer, others offer premade exit tickets, fast past quizzes, or drawing features.  I encourage you to read through the brief descriptions of each app and choose 1 or 2 to try out and work into your repertoire of formative assessment strategies. Do you use one of these apps regularly? Which one is your favorite?

Quick Tips For Removing Distractions

iPad or iPhone  – Use the do not disturb feature. This will silence notifications on your device so you can work distraction free.  

Laptop – Close all apps. Turn off all notifications. Only use one app at time.

Extra Challenge – To give yourself larger blocks of time to focus. Check email only 2 or 3 times a day.

What works for you?  Let us know in the comments.

Tips for Handling Distraction at Home and at School

Let’s be honest, devices can be distracting for everyone, not just students.  Who among us hasn’t had trouble ignoring the buzz in your pocket during a conversation or a task that needs your focus.  The problem is that focus when learning is critical. Contrary to popular belief research has shown that it is not possible to multitask while learning new information.

So how do we deal with distractions in the classroom when students have devices. Common Sense Media has a great web page with lots of resources for teachers, students, and parents.

Have you mastered distractions in your classroom.  What techniques work well for you.  Do you see something on this website that you want to try?  Share them in the comments section.  

 

Seesaw @Pikeschool

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For week 5 of our Learn | Try | Amplify initiative, we are sharing a couple of videos (4 minutes) about how 1st and 3rd grades are using Seesaw as a digital portfolio app to engage parents, teach digital citizenship, and encourage students to reflect on their learning. Seesaw is one of the best educational apps to come out in the last couple of years so, I encourage you to carve out some time to check it out. Are you using Seesaw? Share how you’re using it in the comment section.

1st Grade Seesaw Video

3rd Grade Seesaw Video

For more See Saw activity ideas in Grades K – 2 click here.

For more SeeSaw activity ideas in Grades 3 – 5 click here.