Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning

It’s all in the Hook!

Take a moment to think about your favorite movie or your favorite book. What happened in the opening scene or first chapter that captivated you, piqued your curiosity, touched you personally, or was just simply scary, suspenseful or just entertaining? Writers and directors get it. They know that the key to grabbing and keeping the audience quickly is the “hook”. In education, the hook -- or anticipatory set -- is a critical part of eliciting curiosity, establishing connections, and engaging students. Instead of beginning with, “Today we are going to learn about blah, blah, blah,” use a hook to frame students' thinking and pull them in.

One engaging tech tool is Classhook, a free video-based site that contains over a thousand short clips from popular movies and television shows. After determining the topic of an upcoming lesson, search Classhooks' extensive library for age-appropriate and relevant clips to hook your students. You can search by grade level, subject, and clip length. It is simple to create playlists, create bookmarks, and even add discussion questions to provoke a deeper level of thinking. Below are two examples to get you started.

Example 1: "I Love Lucy" clip to spark a lesson on persuasive writing.

Example 2: "Big Bang Theory" clip to show testing and verifying a hypothesis.

As a reminder - always watch every video in its entirety before showing to students.

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Teacher Tip - Keep Student Writing in Place When Creating a Copy

Sara Vogelpohl from Meadowthorpe Elementary recently shared a great suggestion in her third grade PLC (professional learning community) while discussing Google Classroom. When creating a Google doc that is to be assigned to each student, she provides the student with a specific place to type by creating a 1x1 table under each question. The students understand that the box will expand as they type and if they hold down the backspace key too long, the cursor stays in the box and doesn’t accidentally delete the teacher’s directions or questions.

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Don't Get the Copyright Cops On Your Teacher Trail

We're looking at you, teachers, and not your students this time. In a world that now includes goodies such as Teachers Pay Teachers or seemingly "free" digital content, it's no fun to think about copyright when you just want to use that perfect online activity. However, our digital world means that teachers MUST pay attention to the materials they're using and sharing with students -- now more than ever. Was permission given to use and/or duplicate these items? Do the resources follow the Fair Use doctrine for what can be used in the classroom?

Let's cut to the chase. Content owners are getting very aggressive about finding people who violate the terms of use, and that includes teachers. Take a moment and read this article to find out more information about why you must be especially careful about what you post online.

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STEM Day Opportunity for Students

Are your students and families looking for ways to get hands-on with STEM? Let them know about STEM Day on March 3, 2018 at Frederick Douglass High School. The free event is sponsored by FDHS and the UK College of Education and is open to anyone. Click here for more details.

Upcoming Technology Professional Learning Opportunities

As of March 1, 2018, the PD menu is moving to a new home inside My Learning Plan. FCPS staff can log in to and click on Activities, and District Catalog to see what is currently being offered. New opportunities are being added now, but to find technology specific ones, just search by Technology. Check out the video below to see how to find a training and register (or cancel a registration).

Want to suggest a new training topic? Let us know here.

Currently Posted Learning Opportunities

Let Google Forms Do the Work For You! Smart, Time-Saving Assessments

March 21, 2018 @ Northern Elem

3:15 - 4:45

Presenter: Jerry Broyles

Google Forms is definitely my favorite Google app! Learn the basics of Google Forms and Google sheets. Impress your friends by creating digital formative and summative assessments! Google Forms is also great to use for surveys and to collect student/parent information. We will learn about the various question types offered and use Google sheets to collect our responses. Google Forms offers a wide range of possibilities including multiple choice, dropdowns, short answer, and advanced branch logic and question skip logic. All are welcome!