Thursday, December 18, 2014

Using Pen Names as Online Student Identifiers

Many teachers have embraced the digital age and have begun to share stories that happen in their classroom with the world.  Maybe they are posting photos to instagram, writing posts on a blog, or inviting conversation on facebook.  Wherever the sharing takes place, the question asked often is “should I post names of my students”?

For the most part teachers are sensitive to information posted online.  They won’t put names with photos.  They won’t use full names.  Some teachers use a first initial only instead of any name.  

One idea is to provide a student identifier for each child.  Sort of like a students pen name.  What if you provided student identifiers using fictional characters for each student?  For example, students could be referenced as Olaf, Cinderella, or Schreck.

When referencing work posted by the student, the byline simply reads “by Olaf”.  When posting a name referencing an image, use “Olaf and Eeyore enjoying the snow”.

One classroom has students author posts on her blog.  Each post is signed by the student identifier.  Then the post is labeled by the student identifier.  Using this label enables parents, or the teacher, to click on the label and bring up all the posts written by a particular student.

Everyone in class knows who wrote it.  Whoever is Winnie The Pooh, their parents also know it.  Yet it’s a safe a secure way of not posting personal information about students online.

Maybe in high school students want to establish a positive digital footprint, therefore they want to have their names associated with school activities.  For elementary school and middle school, using a creative student identifier can be a positive safe method of sharing stories with the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Students Writing Classroom Blog Posts

One of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) student standards focuses on communication and collaboration; that students must communicate, interact, and publish with peers and experts using a variety of digital tools.  

What do you have students doing in your classroom to meet this standard?  One suggestion could be to have students write posts to a classroom blog.

Often times teachers are so busy during a jam packed day, they don’t have time to sit and write a blog post of classroom  happenings.  Thus, it becomes another after school extra added onto the full plate taken home each evening.

Solution is simple, let the students be blog authors.  

You can share rights with student accounts so they can become blog authors, but with this method you will need to change these rights each year.

An easier method to consider would be to have students email their blog posts into the blog.  As a student composes an email, the subject of the email is the title of the post, and the content of the message is the post itself.  Images can be included in the post.

Blogger settings have email options, providing you with the email address in which to send the post.  Many teachers prefer to have the option set on draft mode so they can preview the post before publishing.

By doing this students simply email in their post, the teacher proof reads the content, then publishes when ready.  

Have a designated blog author for the week.  Choose at random a few authors each week.  Have students write blog posts at least once every two weeks as a task they need to complete.  

Students will be motivated authors regardless of how you implement.  And you will be sharing stories of classroom happenings beyond the Friday folders that are sent home.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flashcards and Jeopardy Board from Google Spreadsheets is a free online resource that will easily turn Google Spreadsheets into a set of online flashcards, or an online Jeopardy game.

Once you complete the steps to create your online content, it becomes dynamic in nature. As you change the contents of the spreadsheet, including adding or removing rows, the online flashcards or gameboard also changes.

This enables a teacher to maintain one Google Spreadsheet, and then use the same link they have bookmarked for flashcard review or a Jeopardy game.  This link can be a QR code on a wall, or simply bookmarked for easy access.

Have students create their own sets of online flashcards or Jeopardy game boards, and share with each their peers. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Effective Instruction for Smarter Balance


Four Things About My Journey
United States Grouping

Today's Objective - Each participant will experience Smarter Balance Testing environment to better understand what students will need in order to be successful, then create lessons/resources to be used with their classroom as soon as tomorrow.

Penguin, Emu, Roadrunner Continuum

DOK Level 1, 2, or 3?
Folder of DOK resources

Oaks Portal for Students - take practice tests as a guest


Classroom Mingle

Resources to assist teachers in creating practice for students

Skills Needed

Evaluation and PDU - please send Joe or Heidi an email if you need your PDU's.

Did you find any great resources that you would like to share?  We will add them to the resource list !

Thanks for joining us today!