Ever wonder how to give your students an authentic audience for a close reading?
When students look at text, whether it's fiction or non-fiction, sometimes it's challenging to develop an authentic assessment that creates a vibrant, exciting product that students can easily share with each other and with their teacher. And, wouldn't it be wonderful if this aforementioned magical product also allows teachers and students to view and comment on every students' product from the same webpage?
I have one possible solution to this assessment dream, but before I explain, I want to pose a another problem that has the SAME solution...
How do you give your students feedback on a project or an essay in a manner where they are able to fully understand your comments, hear you speak to them, and go over their essay, line by line, without ever having to meet IRL (in real life)?
Answer: Two words--Screencasting, Flipgrid.
This is the ultimate APPSMASH for assessment. If you don't know what an APPSMASH is well, it's this amazing concept where you smash (combine) two digital apps together to perform a never before imagined function. I learned this term when I attended the CUE Rockstar Workshop @CUE in Monterey 2017 at the California League of Schools Tech Conference.
When you Screencast, you are recording your computer screen, your voice, and your face (if you choose to), all at the SAME time. Imagine the possibilities with this app! I love Screencastify and Loom, as screencasting apps, but keep in mind, you'll get a movie file with Screencastify that saves to your Google Drive when the recording is complete and Loom will give you a unique URL, when done.
Flipgrid is something you have to see to believe. It is this amazing digital platform where a teacher can collect a class set of "work" in the form of videos; on this page, you enable your students to view their peer's products and provide comments. It is so much more that this, but that's the gist. Okay, I know you want more, so... You can also view your students' work as the teacher and give a score. In addition, students can post fun "stickers" on their thumbnail photo. When you provide feedback, you can give it in the form of an emoji dropdown menu, written comments, a rubric with separate scores for ideas and performance, or even record a video response for your students!!! It's incredible all that Flipgrid lets you do! I. Love. It.
So, you have screencasting and Flipgrid. I know what you're thinking: Why can't I just use Flipgrid for assessment? Well, you can, but with my APPSMASH, you will see how awesome these two apps can work together. See, there is this little thing called a "time limit" that Flipgrid has- a 90 second time limit. So for a minute and half, you can record yourself and throw that baby up on Flipgrid- raw, beautiful, and 90 seconds long. So, what if you have your students analyze a long poem like T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" or Poe's "The Raven." Oh, my. I know what you're thinking, Mrs. Waters, how could my students ever fit an analysis explanation of those poems into a 90 time limit...it's just impossible. I know, my dear. I know.
So, here's what you do. APPSMATH that baby. APPSMASH it!
Record your literary analysis as a screencast, and then upload it to Flipgrid. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention... There are a few added benefits of using screencasting: recording your screen, your face, and your voice on the video. Not to mention, you can edit your video when you screencast it first. It makes me excited just thinking about it.
Now, onto the next scenario: Screencasting yourself grading a student's essay. You heard me right. It's not just wishful thinking anymore, you can actually have a student's essay on the computer screen, record your mouse movements and voice telling students what they did well and what they need to work on.
I'll post a screencast of what I'm talking about so you can see it live, in action.
Happy Teaching!!! xoxo @Janee_M_Waters
Teaching is so much more than mastering lesson design: Sometimes it involves making low level changes to the composition of the room that you were originally given. As the year progresses, you notice certain things that can take away from your lessons, like too much glare from the sun on your Smartboard. Although I usually love natural light, the sunlight from the windows makes the material I project difficult to see. I ordered some blackout tint from Amazon, enlisted the help of my children, and got to work.
You need a few tools to get started: Scissors, a box cutter razor, tape measure, straight edge, water bottle, baby shampoo, and squeegee. Once you have all your tools, you'll prepare a mixture of baby shampoo and water in the water bottle (the tint will have the directions regarding the ratio of shampoo to water).
Cut the tint to fit your window leaving about an extra inch or two on each side. Hopefully, you can employ the help of some munchkins, like I did to hold the tint while you peel plastic film off the sticky side. Be careful not to drop it (like I did more than once) because it will get ruined. After peeling the film, you'll spray the sticky side with the shampoo-water mixture. Then spray the window with the same mixture and place the film on the window. Use the squeegee working your way from the center towards the edges to eliminate any water bubbles and smooth out the film. Next, you'll get your plastic straight-edge and line it up against the frame of the window. Use your sharp box cutter razor to cut the film along the straight edge. After you're finished trimming the edges, use the squeegee to smooth out any remaining bubbles, working from the center to the edges.
Stay tuned for my next practical blog post when I show how to set-up surround sound in your classroom:)
#tintyourclassroom #windowtint #classroomimprovement #reduceglare
After attending the #FallCUE Conference in American Canyon, CA this past weekend, I was inspired by the #Hyperdocs workshop that I attended. They taught me how they present lessons using hyperlinks with a focus on Universal Design for Learning. The focus was on packaging a well-designed lesson that moves students strategically through the components of effective lesson design while offering them choices for input of information, as well differentiation built -in for our different learning types, AND offering choices for assessment. Of course, I couldn't wait to get started using #Hyperdocs in my English 12 class this week. I took our Study Sync Essential Question for the quarter and developed a lesson that allowed students to answer the question using their personal background information, then allowed them to explore a variety of sources that discuss that topic, further respond to the topic using their new "insight," and lastly curate a list of 5 songs that express a response to the essential question. Thank you for the package in which to design a well-planned learning experience for my students @lhighfill @kellyihilton @saralandis For more information and resources, check out their book THe Hyperdoc Handbook
The assessment component came straight from another great workshop I attended this weekend called Cue the Remix: Integrating Design Thinking and ELA. Their 5 song playlist idea was phenomenal!
Thank you @trustahoodlum @Chclteteacher @weberswords #theintelligenthoodlums