The Prophet

A Newsletter for Catholic Educators - April 2016

Join us on our path...

As we celebrate our risen Lord and the Easter season.


In this Issue!

  • Trending.........................................................Kahoot!
  • Catholic Identity and Beyond......................The Risen Lord
  • Tech Tools......................................................Seesaw: A Powerful Tech Tool
  • Mustard Seed................................................Divine Mercy, All Year Long
  • Twitter Tips



-Lynn Holverson, All Saints School, Cedar Rapids, IA

With technology a natural part of many classrooms, the question is regularly posed...How can I use it to show what the students know? Well, there are many ways to use technology as a quality assessment tool but this month my focus is on Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a game based learning tool to be used on any device in any subject, and IT'S FREE! It features 3 different options for use in the classroom.

One component, Quiz, is the one I have used most frequently. In this mode, teachers and students create questions on any topic, then players (in my classroom- the students), answer the questions in real-time while peers do the same. As a teacher you can control the number of answer choices (from 2-4) and the time allowed to answer can be set from 5 seconds to 2 minutes.

As players answer questions, the results can be displayed on a large screen. This can be a useful tool as a motivator for some students, a great way to assess individual students, track student learning and help teachers adjust their teaching.

Kahoot also provides 2 other options: Discussion and Survey.

Discussion provides students with a teacher created question, picture or video for further dicussion.

Survey is similar to Quiz, except there are no right or wrong answers. It is truly a survey of participants.

All 3 aspects of Kahoot! have a place in the classroom setting, but as an assessment tool I find the Quiz segment has become a valuable tool, when used well, that can truly improve learning in a classroom.

To learn more about Kahoot! check out the link :


Catholic Identity and Beyond.....

-Dr. Philip Drey, Xavier High School, Cedar Rapids, IA

About 1600 years ago, St. Augustine of Hippo declared: “We are Easter people and alleluia is our song!” The cornerstone of our Catholic faith was, is, and always will be the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those glorious words of Augustine and our continued belief in the resurrected Lord speak to each of us and to each of our schools. On that first Easter Sunday morning, Jesus not only was wonderfully alive, but he also continues to live among us today. As the readings from the Acts of the Apostles will remind us, the resurrected Lord transformed his followers and everyone he met in a most vivid manner. Their persistent quest of furthering the “Good News” of Jesus Christ filled their lives. As Catholic educators, we continue this same quest today in each of our classrooms, filling the lives of our students with Jesus’ message. The Catholic identity of our schools rests on the foundation of this message. As we move further into the Easter season, may the spirit and enthusiasm of Jesus’ early followers fill your life, your classroom, and your school so that your students may meet the risen Lord and become transformed each and every day.


Tech Tools

Seesaw: A Powerful Tech Tool

- Mindy Cairney, Grant Wood AEA, Cedar Rapids, IA

I never knew how much pressure I was under as a teacher until I wasn't teaching anymore. Being responsible not only for the smooth sailing of day-to-day instruction, but also for collecting evidence of growth and learning, providing feedback, and then sharing it with parents and students was almost too much for me to handle. I found that using a Learning Management System (LMS) helped me check off all these boxes.
There's a new kid in town that not only checks off boxes, but does it in a big way.
Seesaw: The Learning Journal is an academic powerhouse that packs a powerful punch.

Here’s a quick overview.

Digital learning journal
App and web-based
Artifacts are multimedia: audio, videos, photos, notes, and drawings
Parents, teachers, students may comment with text or audio on artifacts
Parents can view journal through a parent app, sends notifications of new post
QR Code and text code for login of young students, email for older students
Compatible with any app that supports sharing/exporting a photo, video, PDF or link

Seesaw goes a step further with classroom blogs. It has opened the door for online communication for even the youngest of students. Each artifact students enter into their learning journal can be published to the classroom blog. This classroom blog can be password protected or public. Any viewer can add a comment, which is approved by the teacher before posting.

But Seesaw’s true knock-out punch is giving classrooms the ability to follow other classroom blogs without ever leaving the safety of Seesaw. Sharing blogs with other classrooms gives students the opportunity to interact with and provide feedback for students in different places and of different cultures. Blogging provides an authentic audience for online publishing.

Being a teacher is a hard, but very rewarding job. Seesaw can be the tool that helps you manage the learning environment, as well help students share and reflect on learning throughout the year.


The Mustard Seed....tiny bits to help you grow

Divine Mercy....throughout the year.

- Stephanie Roberts, All Saints School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

We are almost halfway through the Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis declared at the beginning of the new church year. He was encouraging faithful people to know God’s mercy and show that mercy to the world through our words and actions. On the Divine Mercy website they shared a simple way to share in this devotion using three easy steps:

“The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC:

A - Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C - Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.”

The Divine Mercy website is a great resource to discover the history about the message, other devotions, and how you can share all of this with your students during this Year of Mercy.


Twitter Tips

Twitter opens up your classroom and lets the world see inside. You might not feel like you have anything to share, but you might be surprised! It might be amazing to someone else. Each tweet allows for 140 characters. Make those characters count and share something from your classroom! Use a hashtag to put it in the correct category.

Try one of these:


#edtech (Educational Technology)

#digcit (Digital Citizenship)

#iaedchat (Iowa Education Chat)

These don't fit your tweet? There are many, many more found here!

Obvious to you. Amazing to others. - by Derek Sivers


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