Tech Tips You'll Love

September 2015

This year, the goal for TTYL is to provide you with technology based resources that will support the endeavors already taking place at UCS. The resources provided will help you achieve the goals set for our District Improvement Plan, begin to incorporate Project Based Learning, foster collaboration between students (between staff members too!) and integrate Google Apps For Education where appropriate.

Real World Problem Solving and Mathematical Practices- Not Just For Math!

One of the best ways to engage kids in solving real world problems while incorporating the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practices (click here for the 8 practices) is to teach them to code. Coding is a cross-curricular activity that strengthens a person's ability to think logically, problem solve and perservere.

Think coding is just for math and tech classes? Students can use coding to show the lifecycle of an animal, add lyrics and animation to music, creat interactive maps, show the events of a story or novel, create math-based games and more. Click here to see some examples created by students using Tynker. Students will benefit from coding in all subject areas!

Ready to give coding a try? Start with There are activities for every age and ability level (and great directions for teachers!) also has great resources but only part of them are free.

Coding and Common Core Mathematical Practices by Tynker

Coding and Common Core Mathematical Practices

Marzano's 9

1. Identifying similarities and differences

What the research says: Students should compare, classify, and create metaphors, analogies and non-linguistic or graphic representations

How it looks in the classroom: Thinking Maps, T-charts, Venn diagrams, classifying, analogies, cause and effect links, compare and contrast organizers

Technology Resources:

Study Island

For grades 3-8, Study Island Benchmark Tests are being used as a Student Performance Indicator. Study Island has gone through lots of updates and changes over the years. Below are the top 4 enhancements that Study Island has acquired over the summer.

1. Enhanced User Interface for Study Island Benchmarks and Edmentum Test Packs

Our redesigned user interface is specifically constructed to more closely align with next-generation assessment formats, giving your students confidence as they get closer to end-of-year assessments. Enhancements that you will see include updates to the overall navigation, question layout, audio tools, learner testing tools, and rubrics.

2. Brand-New Interim Benchmark Assessments [Coming in August]

We are thrilled to release brand-new, state-specific and national Study Island Benchmarks and Edmentum Test Packs later this summer! Our assessments are developed from each state’s testing requirements as well as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We ensure that our item types mimic state tests and CCSS assessments through: constructed response items that follow the length and difficulty set by state and CCSS assessments, new video and audio technology-enhanced item types that support listening and speaking standards, and multipart questions that include technology-enhanced items.

3. New State-Specific Study Island Content and Brand-New Technology-Enhanced Item Types [Coming July through October]

This summer, we will be releasing brand-new math, ELA, science, or social studies content for Study Island in 10 states! We will also be releasing 1,300 new technology-enhanced items for math and an additional 1,300 new items for ELA. By the end of FY15, Study Island will include over 6,400 technology-enhanced items. Plus, we will also be releasing four brand-new item types in our interim benchmark solutions: drawing items, multipart items, video items, and audio items.

4. Study Island Group Session [Coming in August]

We are eager to announce a brand-new group session feature in Study Island! Students can submit real-time responses to interactive, technology-enhanced questions. These unique practice sessions will allow you to connect with your students in teacher-led, standards-based practice and learning, keeping students engaged, while also tracking their progress in real time toward standards mastery.

Promoting Positive Behavior

There are many great sites and apps available to help track and monitor classroom behavior. Many of these programs also include a positive reward system for students. Here are a few to try out.

Class Dojo


TeacherKit- Great for secondary teachers

Parent Participation

Parent involvement is an essential part of helping students succeed. Good communication cuts down on absences, behavior incidents and promotes a positive home/school relationship.

Looking for an easy and effective way to communicate with your parents? Try Remind. Remind allows you to send parents texts to any device through an anonymous set up. This free communication tool keeps all information private- parents/students will not see your information and you will not see theirs. Remind allows you to schedule reminders ahead of time, attach files, receive stamps as participants respond to announcements and send voice announcements.

Random Tech Tip!

How to Convert an Image of Text into an Editable Google Doc
"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." Albert Einstein