Tips and Tidbits

Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 Vol. 2

Make Thinking Visible

Other ways to add rigor and relevance to instruction is to use technology for the purpose of giving students voice, choice, and an authentic audience. Technology also allows teachers to get and give immediate feedback on learning. Below are two tools that could be used to give students voice and give teachers immediate feedback on student learning in order to adjust instruction.

Giving Voice: Explaining Thinking

Invite students to explain how they arrived at a solution or how to complete a procedure or steps in a process using the app Explain Everything. When we ask students to explain their thinking or reflect on what they know, they are required to review, rehearse and interact with the information multiple times.


A few options for the Explain Everything app might include:

  • Students can make their thinking visible when visualizing, inferring, or reflecting in reading.
  • Explain the steps in a mathematical procedure.
  • Explain and give life to drawings.
  • Record themselves reading their own writing.
  • Record themselves skip counting for the teacher to check for mastery.
  • Annotate over a piece of text and record their thought process or strategy use to understand the text.
  • See it, Say it, Spell it routine for spelling words or sight words.

Immediate Feedback

There are several digital tools available for teachers to gather immediate feedback. One tool that is easy to use and allows for real time questioning in the format of polling, multiple choice, short answer, or even drawing a response is Nearpod. Check it out if you'd like to capture student understanding through drawing or questioning and to collect student responses in one place.

A Few of My Favorite Web Resources

All Grade Levels

http://www.freetech4teachers.com: Great blog full of useful reviews and "how-to" resources for different technology tools.


http://www.teachthought.com: This site is dedicated to supporting educators and providing practical tips and solutions for effective instruction.


http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/: This blogger provides many quick tips and "how-to" resources for Google apps. She often shares ideas and shortcuts for using the apps with students in ways that are meaningful and helpful to teachers.

Primary Blogs

http://www.mrswideen.com: 1st/2nd grade teacher blogging about her use of the iPads in her classroom.


http://iteachwithipads.net: Kindergarten teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator.

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