The Coaches' Corner

October 14, 2016

Why we need coaches

"The biggest game-changer in education IS and EVER WILL be an educator."

-George Couros, keynote speaker ITEC

Tech Tip: Formative Assessment

I (Laura) attended two sessions on using technology for formative assessment at the ITEC conference on Monday. Below are a BUNCH of ideas you could use depending on your purpose. I'm also including a link to even more formative assessment ideas with some new uses for old strategies. If you're interested in ANY of these strategies, please contact a coach to let us know how we can support you with integrating technology in your classroom.


  • OneNote- Create an interactive classroom notebook, teacher can see students notes, teacher can embed PDFs, diagrams, etc.

  • Create a Back Channel during discussions using something like Today’s Meet to create a digital conversation while students are participating in another activity. For Example: While students watch a video, pick out highlights/questions and post on the back channel. It keeps students engaged and some may feel more comfortable participating without talking.

  • Use a discussion board in a Learning Management System (Schoology, Google Classroom, Canvas, etc) to take learning outside the room to respond to ideas from the classroom.


  • Lucid Chart or Coggle- graphic organizer tool- integrated with Google apps for ed.

  • GoFormative- interactive PDF worksheets, WhiteBoards, Google integrated

  • Google Drawing- use as a whiteboard- great for demonstrating understanding in math


  • Google Story Builder- type in a story then it creates a video

  • Google Form- 3 minute paper- in 3 minutes write demonstrating everything you understand about today’s learning goal. More writing intensive ticket out the door.

    • doesn’t have to be 3 minutes, but could pick other amounts of time.

Exit slip

  • Padlet- summarize information on a small “sticky note”. Posts virtually for the whole class to see. The teacher can move the sticky notes.

  • Mentimeter- ask open-ended questions, organizes thoughts, 2 free questions per day

  • Stormboard- option for educators for free, post sticky notes then vote and move stickys, chat feature, reports that can be pulled for work; may be a littler easier than Padlet.


  • Quizizz- the new Kahoot, can be made either interactive or at student pace, answer options are on st. screen,

  • Quizlet Live- puts kids in random group, interactive games using vocabulary flashcards you create, very interactive, fast paced

Video Activities

  • Let’s Recap- records a video of themselves explaining their learning, videos are displayed in small tiles for teacher to view, can compile a video to show the students

  • Edpuzzle- embed questions into Vimeo or Youtube videos, they HAVE to answer the question before the movie will continue

    • best to watch on their own with headphones

    • great sub plans

Non-verbal Check-in

  • GoSoapBox- similar to thumbs up/thumbs down, can minimize to the bottom of the screen, not Google integrated, meant for whole class--doesn’t give names


  • NearPod- make presentations interactive, st. join with a code, then T. is in full control of the st. device, embed questions

  • Wheeldecide- digital option of popsicle sticks

  • edulastic- quizzes students on mastery of content- Iowa Assessments may be posted

A week in review

Brenda, Nathan and Laura will be attended the ITEC conference on Monday. We learned many new strategies and plan to share them over the next few weeks in The Coaches' Corner.

Tuesday Brenda and Jenny attended the Instructional Coaches Network. Literacy was one of the focuses of the day. The elementary session concentrated on FAST Data and the FAST Bridge program. Vocabulary instruction was the topic for secondary teachers. Consult with either of these ladies for more information or strategies.

We completed level 1 of Cognitive Coaching on Thursday. It focused on: planning conversations, reflective conversations, paraphrasing and mediative questioning. We plan to model a reflective conversation at the October 28th in-service.

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Looking ahead

Next week we are beginning our second round of classroom observations. We are still focusing on effective classroom management strategies. You can expect different coaches observing than during the previous time.

We are in the District all week! Please check with our Google calendars, found on our TLC website, to schedule a time to work with a coach.

Contact us

Shannon Cline- Teacher Leadership and Mentor Coordinator

Wendy Bollhoefer- Instructional Coach

Laura Coller- Instructional Coach

Nathan Horgen- Instructional Coach

Brenda Mintun- Instructional Coach

Jennifer Nicholson- Instructional Coach

Visit Us:

Elementary School Coaching Office- room 118

Middle/High School Coaching Office- back of the MS library.