Monday, September 26, 2016

Help Students Stay Organized With The Google Classroom Stream

Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!
I'm writing all about blended classroom tips and tricks over the next few weeks--those really useful things I've "discovered" as I go hybrid (pen and paper blended with digital). So far, we've learned how to submit pen and paper work digitally with a Chromebook and how to take a poll in Google Classroom.

I'm loving blending my classes so far, but the most important thing when we're going back and forth between digital and pen and paper is that the students stay organized and know right where to find everything.

During the spring, I wrote about helping the students stay organized while blending by creating a printed three column table of contents (I have a free template for it HERE) and then having students create sub-folders in their Google Classroom folder for each unit.


Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!
Blended Classroom Table of Contents Sample: Notice the three columns that direct students to where they can find their resources for that unit.
Students creating all those sub-folders is no longer necessary thanks to a brand new Google classroom feature. Now, when we create an assignment in Google Classroom, we can categorize it under a specific topic. I do mine by units so that when students are reviewing, they can click on the unit on the left-hand side and see all of the assignments (and only the assignments) that are categorized under that topic.

Here's how it works:

Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!

Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!

Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!

Blended learning is made easier with a new categorization feature in Google Classroom! Now when you create assignments in Google Classroom, you can categorize them by topic. Then, when students are searching for a topic, they'll be able to see all of the assignments--and only those assignments--for that topic! Making your life easier one feature at a time!

This is convenient for end of unit and exam reviews. You can direct students to their Table of Contents for each unit so that they know whether to look in their paper notebooks or in Google Classroom for specific questions. In Classroom, they simply click on the unit they need, and it filters the assignments for them. No more creating sub-folders in DRIVE.

Do you have any blended classroom tips and tricks to share? Let me know in the comments!



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Monday, September 19, 2016

Poll Students with Google Classroom

Look no further for a new way to poll your students using technology! Google Classroom provides an excellent polling tool that you can use quickly and efficiently. Plus, it sets up the opportunity for you to encourage a discussion reflecting the results--were they what students expected? Why or why not?
Throughout this school year, as I discover things that I think are really cool or useful for the blended classroom (learn more about blended learning HERE), I'll write all about them. They may be things everybody else already knows, but they are novel to me, so I'm pretty excited. Lewis and Clark wrote all about things that were old hat to Sacajawea, but they wrote about them all the same.

So I'll be Clark here (Lewis, tragically, met his demise in a violent fashion--he's not one I want to identify with). Last week, I wrote about taking pictures of paper assignments and submitting them on a Chromebook (complicated at first and then surprisingly simple). Check it out HERE.

This week, I want to talk about polling in Google Classroom.

I love polling my classes. It's a great way to get the students engaged and a sneaky way to have them reflect. They are always interested in the final results.

Some of my favorite polls, using examples from each of the subjects I've ever taught, are:

-Who is the craziest Caesar in the Julian line? (World History)
A. Nero
B. Caligula
C. Tiberius

-What is the most arbitrary usage rule in the English language? (ELA)
A. Lay vs. Lie
B. Less vs. Few
C. Finished vs. Done

-Which personality disorder best describes Regina George in Mean Girls? (Psychology)
A. Borderline
B. Histrionic
C. Schizotypal

- Flash Mobs can best be explained by (Sociology)
A. Contagion Theory
B. Convergence Theory
C. Emergent Norm Theory

- Truman dropped the atomic bomb in order to (U.S. History)
A. Bring the war to a quick end.
B. Show the Soviets U.S. strength.
C. Punish the Japanese for Pearl Harbor.

Back in the day, my students would answer these polls on mini whiteboards. We already had these on our tables, so it was no effort. The results were more of a quick impression or a time-consuming count, though. Afterwards, we would discuss, debate, and compare our responses.

Then my school went Bring Your Own Technology, and we used the website polleverywhere.com to get analytics back right away. This is a good program, but it takes some effort to create an account and send the students there. We would discuss, debate, and compare our responses.

Now that we're 1:1 and use Chromebooks, my students are in google Classroom everyday. Last week, I "discovered" a feature that would allow me to take a poll right in Google Classroom. No effort. No redirection to a new site. No taking the time to count or just using impressions.

Here's how it works:

Look no further for a new way to poll your students using technology! Google Classroom provides an excellent polling tool that you can use quickly and efficiently. Plus, it sets up the opportunity for you to encourage a discussion reflecting the results--were they what students expected? Why or why not?

Look no further for a new way to poll your students using technology! Google Classroom provides an excellent polling tool that you can use quickly and efficiently. Plus, it sets up the opportunity for you to encourage a discussion reflecting the results--were they what students expected? Why or why not?

Look no further for a new way to poll your students using technology! Google Classroom provides an excellent polling tool that you can use quickly and efficiently. Plus, it sets up the opportunity for you to encourage a discussion reflecting the results--were they what students expected? Why or why not?
 Look no further for a new way to poll your students using technology! Google Classroom provides an excellent polling tool that you can use quickly and efficiently. Plus, it sets up the opportunity for you to encourage a discussion reflecting the results--were they what students expected? Why or why not?

It's as simple as that. The students get to see the class results immediately. And afterwards, we still discuss, debate, and compare our responses.

Do you use polls in your classroom? If so, how? If not, do you think you might like to try? Leave a comment below and let me know.


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Monday, September 12, 2016

Submitting Pen and Paper Work Digitally With a Chromebook

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!
I've been back at school for over a month now, and we have officially gone 1:1. Each one of my students has her own Chromebook. No more fighting over technology carts on my hall. No more changing plans at the last second because the technology cart must be used for a "higher" purpose.

It is bliss--well, not quite bliss, but it is nice not to have to worry about having the necessary technology to implement my lessons.

But even though I started blending early (mixing digital with traditional instruction), many kinks still arise, and I still have a lot to learn. That's what this latest series is about. Hopefully, we can all learn from my mistakes with The Blended Classroom Tips and Tricks.

For the next few weeks, I'll be blogging about helpful things I am (often painfully) learning along the way in my school's 1:1 journey. So here it is:

The Blended Classroom Tips and Tricks #1: Submit Pen and Paper Work With a Chromebook

I've written in the past about how I intend to create a digital and paper "hybrid" (or blended) class. I think pulling a digital all or nothing is a mistake because certain things work best on paper and certain things work best digitally. And forcing a really great pen and paper assignment into the digital realm makes no sense to me. I've already written about it HERE. So I love it that Google Classroom offers an option to turn in pen and paper work digitally simply by snapping a picture of the completed assignment.

What I didn't anticipate when I wrote about submitting pen and paper work digitally in Google Classroom as we merrily used our IPAD cart was doing it on Chromebooks, my county's 1:1 device of choice.

On an IPAD, it is super simple--you click "ADD" in Google Classroom, and the IPAD gives you the option to take a picture.

The Chromebooks are not so simple. The first time I asked my students to do it, they were all hopelessly confused, and so I made a tutorial that I'm about to share with you now. Once students get used to it, it's simple, but don't approach it without clear guidelines for them. Hands will shoot up. Chaos will break out. Chromebooks will go flying. Trust me--I write from experience.

So here are the 11 Steps (that's right--11) to submitting pen and paper work digitally on a Chromebook.

Step 1:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 2:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 3:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 4:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 5:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 6:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 7:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 8:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 9:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 10:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Step 11:

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!

Download the free printable cheat sheet to share with your students, and feel free to share the film tutorial below, as well. 

It's totally possible to still have your students complete pen-and-paper assignments while simultaneously using technology. If you use Chromebooks at your school, then this is a tutorial I've created for you to have your students turn in their written assignments to Google Classroom using a Chromebook. It's not as challenging as you might think, although it seems tricky at first!
Print it HERE!


I'll be back next week to discuss more blended classroom tips and tricks that a month of trial and error has taught me!

Are you 1:1 yet? What tips and tricks do you have to share? Be sure to leave a comment below to let me know!




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