MISD Classroom and Technology News

Volume I - Issue 4

Malakoff ISD Classroom Technology Update

This update will go out from time to time and will highlight new technology and show how other teachers in the district might be using technology to improve classroom instruction. This update is longer since I haven't sent one out since earlier in the semester. This edition contains some resources for the four core content areas at all grade levels. I hope you can find something to use in your classroom.

Summer Technology Training

Google Apps/Chromebooks

This summer the district is offering several training sessions on Google Apps for Education and how to better use our new Chromebooks in your school. The dates are below:

Intro to Google Apps/Chromebooks - June 20th - 21

Advanced Google Apps/Chromebooks - June 22nd

Intro to Google Apps/Chromebooks - Aug. 1-2nd

Advanced Google Apps/Chromebooks - Aug. 3rd

TASA on iTunes

TASA on iTunes U is a library of digital resource collections, organized by course, that make it easier for teachers to incorporate digital learning opportunities into their lessons. Teachers may access the collections — which number 62 as of fall 2015 — for free. Teaches will learn how to access these documents from an iPad, iPhone or computer and use the materials in class.

June 9th

July 29th

Tech Tool of the Month

New Polling Feature in Google Classroom

Several of you have started using Google Classroom on a regular basis to get information out to your students. Google Classroom has now added polling to its list of features. Polling your students will allow you to get quick information from your students. There are several ways to use polling in Google Classroom. Here are a few:

1. Post Exit Tickets - Use exit tickets to make sure students understand the main points of your lesson that day. You can see how the class as a whole understands a concept, and break it down to what each individual student understands based on their answer.

2. Help students self-monitor their work - Ask students if they are on track with their deadlines in your class. One teacher asked students if they are "on track", "a little off track" or "way off track" with your deadlines. When students answer "way off track", teachers can meet individually with those students and help them better organize their time

3. Guide Student Discussions - Kick off a class discussion with a poll to get things going. Sometimes students are not willing to share publicly at first, but asking them to complete a poll might get things going for a discussion.

4. Get immediate feedback from your lessons from students. Ask them what they enjoyed most, how much or how little they understood.

Update to Kahoot

Kahoot, which I've shared with you before, is a great way to play quiz games in class with your kids. It's fun and you can get some great information from your kids while playing. One of the biggest issues with Kahoot has been not having enough devices for all your students. Now Kahoot has released a new team mode. You can arrange your students in teams and each team can share a device. Team mode gives each team a few minutes to discuss each question before having to enter an answer. This is a great way to review for an exam or check for understanding after a lesson.

Tech Tools for Math Instruction

Great Chrome Apps for Math

Most of these games are for the elementary level, but a few work with higher grade levels as well. All of these games can be used on the Chromebooks or any computer that uses the Chrome Browser.

Math Arcade Games - Arcade type games that integrate math in them. Have fun and learn math at the same time.

Prodigy Math Game - Engaging math game that aligns with TEKS. Uses formative, diagnostic and summative assessments.

Splash Math - K-5 math skills. Uses animations, graphics and games to help students learn math skills in a fun interactive way.

Good Secondary Technology Math Tools

GroGebra - Brings interactive learning for all students. Includes spreadsheets, geometry, graphing, calculus, algebra and statistics all together in one place.

Kahn Academy - Kahn Academy has been mentioned before, but this is a great way for students to get extra practice and help learning math at all levels.

Mathground - This website has lots of information on secondary math and also has some games. Would be useful as a supplement to your instruction.

Good Technology Science Tools

The Lawrence Hall of Science - Provides a wide variety of resources to engage kids and students in learning science. It also offers ‘a comprehensive set of programs to help increase the quality and quantity of great science learning that kids get both in and out of school.’ As a teacher, you can use The Lawrence Hall of Science to look for activities and experiments to enrich your lesson plans. Use the tabs on the top of the website to easily browse through the materials it has.

Crash Course Kids - Provides scientific video content to introduce students to various concepts through animated lessons. This is a YouTube Channel.

It's Okay to Be Smart - Another YouTube channel that tackles a challenging question or concept related to biology, science, physics, space and earth.

Mystery Science - a great science resource for Elementary Teachers. Engages students with hands-on lessons in ready made teacher lesson plans. Great resource for grades 2-5.

Tech Tools for the English Language Arts Classroom

Expresso - Expresso helps improve writing by analyzing text and pointing out style issues. This is probably better for secondary writing, but might be useful for higher elementary grades as well.

Reading Rockets - A national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons and activities to help younger students read better.

ReadWriteThink - Many of you are probably already familiar with this website that has tools for all grade levels. Excellent resource for the ELA classroom.

Literature Map - A tool that makes finding authors for kids based on their likes and dislikes easier. When I played around with it, it seemed to have more YA and adult authors than children.

Quill - provides personalized, interactive writing and grammar activities. Students using Quill learn writing and grammar skills by writing sentences and proofreading passages. You can create a class in Quill and invite your student to join it using the generated code. Once they join it they will be able to access the worksheets you assign to them. Quill has recently released a new feature called activity packs.These are activities created in collaboration with teachers. Activity Packs are a simple way to assign a group of activities to students quickly. More time teaching, less time clicking.

Tech Tools for Social Studies

Historical Maps

Historical USGC Maps - great resource of historical maps to use in your instruction. The site offers over 90.000 maps grouped by date ranges. You simply type in the address or city name into the built-in search box and you will b able to access all the historical maps related to that location. You can share maps you find through URLs or download a digital copy of the original map to use for educational purposes.

University of Texas Historical Map Collection - UT Austin has curated a large collection of historical map websites.

Teaching with Primary Sources

Richard Byrne, offers 5 online activities he used when he was teaching social studies. These could also be used in an ELA class when doing research.

Set a 1 on 1 Technology Appointment

If you would like to set up an appointment with me, click here and fill out a form. I will contact you and set up a good time to come meet with you. I can help you with learning a new program, website or figure out a way to implement technology with a lesson you already have.