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.

iPad as Teacher’s Assistant

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Ever wish you had an assistant in your classroom? In a way, your iPad can act as your assistant and, in a sense, amplify your lessons and activities. Full Disclosure…. I’m completely stealing this idea, verbatim, from Tony Vincent’s blog. Tony’s infographic is filled with great ideas for using your iPad as your assistant. Each section of the infographic is organized into common tasks like manage your classroom, assess student work, or interact with your students. Below, I have shared just the section titled “Manage the Classroom” to narrow things down and provide focus for this week. I encourage you to give one of these apps a try this week and report how it went in the comments. That way, we can all learn from each other.

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END OF YEAR TECH DETAILS FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

Below you will find important details about how to handle your files and accounts in eBackpack, Google Drive, and Veracross.  Please be sure to read the entire post.

eBackPack – access to eBackpack will end June 27 – Grades 6-9

For students who are graduating or leaving Pike – all files will be erased after June 27th.  

  • Any file in the “My Files” area that students want to save should be moved to the E-Portfolio area.  All other files will be deleted.
  • If you want to save assignments turned into the teacher.
    • Navigate to that assignment.
    • Open the file that you turned in.
    • Click the “share square” and then move it to Notability or Google Drive.
  • Any file in the E-Portfolio area will remain available as read-only next year for returning students.

Google Drive – Grades 4-9
Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 27th

Access for returning students ends August 22

There are two options for saving files.

Option 1 – When you only want to save a few files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Select the files you would like to save.
  3. Go to More Actions (three dots) > Download…
  4. Make the appropriate choices for file formats and then click download.
  5. This will download a .zip file containing your documents.  You can open these documents on a home computer.

Option 2 – When you want to save all of your files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Then go to Google Takeout
  3. Under “Select data to include”, put a check next to Drive only.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click “next”.
  5. Click “Create Archive” in the “Customize download format” section.
  6. If you have a lot of files, this process will take a good bit of time.
  7. It will say that you will receive an email when it is finished but you won’t because students don’t have access to email.
  8. Instead return to Google Takeout later and choose “Manage Archives” at the top of the screen.
  9. Find your archive and click download.  Your files will be downloaded as a .zip file.  You can transfer these files to a home computer.

Veracross – all grades
Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 27th

  • Reports must be printed before June 27th.  As of June 27, 2015, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • For your reference, below are the dates that Term 3 reports will become available on Veracross:
    • Lower and Middle School reports will be published on Veracross on Thursday, June 16th.
      Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 20th.

Access to reports for returning students ends July 25th.

  • Reports must be printed before July 25th.  As of July 25, 2015, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • For your reference, below are the dates that Term 3 reports will become available on Veracross:
    • Lower and Middle School reports will be published on Veracross on Thursday, June 16th.
      Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 20th.