Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June Show and Tell Tuesday

Summer seems likes its just getting started but its already June 21st! Time is flying by and I've been pretty busy this summer. I'm excited to link up with Forever in Fifth Grade for my first ever Show and Tell Tuesday. 
I've spent most of my summer so far at county fairs here in Kentucky. My husband drag races ATV's and it seems like every night I find myself at a different county fair. Recently we took our child  dog, Ruger, to a race and he loved it from he trailer, but the closer we got to the track the less he seemed to enjoy himself. 
I had been wanting to go to the Zoo for awhile since the Louisville Zoo recently had a baby gorilla, and lets face it they are the best. We went with a group of our friends to visit the baby gorilla and it was HOT that day. A lot of the animals were not that active because it was so hot, but we did get to see several of the gorillas and even the baby! 
The baby gorillas mother died giving birth, so the zookeepers have been taking extra steps to make sure the baby gorilla lives. If you look closely you can see the baby laying on the chest of the zookeeper. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Google Classroom Partners

A few weeks ago I talked to you about some of Google's new partners. One of my favorites was OpenEd.com, you can read more about that here.  I've been checking back to the Google Partner website that lists all of their new classroom partners and each week there are more and more awesome website that have partnered with google.

Today I've been looking at one of the newest partners, Actively Learn. When I first started to explore this website, I will tell you the truth, I wasn't that impressed. It seemed to be another website with a small database of free reading sources, and an even bigger resource off paid resources, but the more I began to dig around the more I began to like Actively Learn. 
When you first get logged on, and you can one click log on with Google, you are first taken to the workspace. This is where you can add assignments, upload your own content and collaborate with other teachers. Basically, this seems to be where you will prepare all of your lessons before you push them out to students. 

Actively Learn has provided a sample document for you to play around with. On this document there is a short tutorial video to show you how to use the website tools. You are able to highlight any part of the text that you wish, add comments, questions and even videos. This could be a great way for you to differentiate texts for students in your classroom. By previewing a text before assigning it to students you will be able to identify the most difficult parts of the text and provide additional information in the form of videos and pictures. 

You will also be able to add questions throughout the text to assess students understanding. I love that you are able to choose between short answer,  multiple choice and a poll. Another great feature of this website is that you can assign the common core standards to your questions, so your students, parents and even principal will know exactly what is being assessed. 

And finally, the BEST part (at least to me) is that you are able to upload internet articles, Google Docs, PDFs and even create quizzes. My school bought us subscriptions to Scholastic Story Works (you can read more about how I use that resource here) and I struggled how to use this resource with Google Classroom because my students were unable to annotate the text as they read in the way that I wanted them to. Now, Actively Learn has solved my problem! 

Since Storyworks allows you to save the articles and stories as PDFs to your computer, you can now upload them to Actively Learn and students can add notes, which in turn allows them to annotate while they are reading. You can even organize your thoughts with categories such as thoughts, main idea, text structure and so on. 

One last AMAZING perk about this resource is that students are able to highlight text and have it read to them (WOW!) and even translated into another language. 

Even though there are some wonderful pros for Actively Learn, there are also some cons. I did not see anywhere to import your Google Classroom roster, it looks like students have to sign up for Actively Learn using a code similar to Google Classroom. Also, there are some free resources already uploaded to the website, but a lot of the great rescues look to be paid. 

Overall, Actively Learn seems to be a great addition to my Google Classroom toolkit. I'm sure there are many more uses for this website that I haven't uncovered yet. Have you found any great websites to use with Google Classroom? I would LOVE to hear about them. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2 for Tuesday

Summer is here and so is 2 for Tuesday! I am super pumped to be linking up with Chalk One Up for the Teacher this week with two great products on sale! 

The follow two products are going to be 20% off until tomorrow because I'm a little late getting my 2 for Tuesday going today! 

My leadership notebook was just updated today! It will be on sale for $4.00. My students love being able to track their own pre and post data, set goals for themselves and reflect on their goals. 

Leadership is a big deal at my school, and each teacher has a motivational quote hanging outside of their door to inspire teachers and students to be the best leader they can be. These 12 leadership quote posters are on sale for $2.80!

Don't forget that you can find all 2 for Tuesday sale items on TPT by searching #2forTuesday. Happy shopping! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Google Classroom Partners

Summer break is finally here!! It is a teachers favorite time of the year. I love having time to actually relax for once and spend time with my dog family. 
Since I've been on summer break I've been reading some about Google's new API partners (I actually have no idea what that means, but I do know it makes things a lot easier for me!) so I decided to take a look and see if there were any new partners that would help me when school starts again. I found this helpful website, here, that listed all of Google Classroom's most recent partners and spend some time looking into the ones that I had not heard of before. 

The first one, and I think to be the most useful to me was OpenEd.com this website seemed to be great for teachers who are already implementing self paced learning or who are like me and wanting to try next year. Next year one of my goals is to begin doing self based learning for some of my students in math, and this website seems to be just what I am looking for to get started. 

Teachers are able to search through a database of videos, assessments, quizzes, lesson plans and games in a variety of ways. I really love that you are able to search by specific Common Core Standards in Reading and Math. This website seems to have lots of videos and resources for all subject areas and grade levels as well. 

I really like that this database uses many other resources such as National Geographic and Kahn Academy so I could it see it saving me time from searching each individual resource. 

In the assignments tab teachers are able to assign specific students different lessons and since OpenEd is a partner with Google Classroom all of the assignments are easy to push out to students through Google Classroom. 

In the mastery chart tab you are able to see which students have completed specific assignments, videos or lessons and how they did on those lessons. Then, if a student is having trouble mastering a concept you can pick videos for them to watch for extra help, or even pull them in a small group based off of their needs. It seems that this tab would be very beneficial to see which students are on task or off task during work time as well. 

Finally, in the roster tab students can join by using a specific class code, similar to Google Classroom or they can be uploaded straight from Google Classroom.

I love the many different ways this resource can be used in the classroom, and as an added bonus everything from assignments to rosters will work seamlessly with Google Classroom. Check back soon for more Google Classroom Parters!