LMS Tiger Times

September 2015

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Welcome to the new Leander Middle School Tiger Times! Every month staff members will receive a newsletter featuring cool web tools, Google highlights, technology integration ideas and important information from Christine and Chris.

Cool Web Tools to Try!

Challenge (optional, but you could win a prize)

Use one of the suggested web tools in your classroom. Complete this form letting us know which suggested web tool you used and a brief description of how the tool was integrated in your class.

One lucky person will be chosen at random to receive a set of laminated Plicker cards.

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Google Corner: Classroom

Here are the latest updates to Google Classroom:

  • Teachers can now ask questions & restrict students from seeing each other’s responses.

  • Teachers can reuse a post.

  • Teachers can move a post to the top of the stream.

In the coming weeks:

  • Google Calendar will integrate with Classroom - every assignment you post in Classroom will create an entry on a corresponding Google Calendar, which will be a great way for parents to keep informed.

  • You will soon be able to insert a Google Form directly from Drive into Classroom.

Check out this Google Classroom tutorial for more information.

Google Classroom Integration Ideas

The new 'Create a Question' feature in Google Classroom allows the teacher to restrict students from seeing each other's responses, as well as give them permission to edit their response upon submission. Unlike adding comments to an announcement, this feature automatically marks the student as done once they answer. This is a great way to see which students have and have not answered.

Some suggested ways to use:

  • Student feedback on lessons
  • Exit / Out-the-Door tickets
    • Give 3 words that describe what you tool from this lesson
    • What was clear? What was fuzzy?
    • What will you remember about today's lesson? Who will you tell?
  • Practice constructed responses
  • Watch a video and give summary of information learned
  • Open reflection and goal setting

Check out this resource for help and additional suggestions.

Christine's Corner

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone for your willingness to embrace the tech journey. I've see some exciting ways people are moving forward with Google Classroom.

Chris' Corner

I'm not just saying this. LMS has the BEST teachers in the district. I'm tempted to claim, "universe," but I don't want to be faced with accusations of biased exaggeration, even though the claim is probably true. What makes the teachers here so impressive stems from one common understanding of two paired notions: all students deserve great teachers, and being a great teacher is hard work. As a result, we are all understandably exhausted; nevertheless, incredible movement towards building relationships with our students continues to happen everywhere. As you know, one of our most important tasks is to challenge and motivate our "kids" to take risks, but this won't happen--especially for our students who need our attention the most--if we haven't put forth the effort building the necessary trust. Those of us reading Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain have been introduced to the powerful concept of a "warm demander." Students do not learn under a state of fear or threat of embarrassment. And what's one of the best ways to build trust with students? Pull small groups and have a friendly chat. Find out what your students like, who they are, and what struggles they have encountered. Doing it in a personal way, in a more intimate setting like a small group, will pay instructional dividends for the entire year.

Although we will continue to have discussions about SGI (small group instruction) in department meetings and in PD throughout the year, please remember the resources available at our LMS SGI page. And even though I may often look busy running from place to place, I happily drop everything when I get the opportunity to directly support teachers. Helping out those who inspire me every day is a pretty good gig.

Tech Integration Assistance

Kelly is ready to help. She is here every Monday and Wednesday and you can find her in the library classroom or email her at kelly.fitzgerald@leanderisd.org