Friday, December 26, 2014

State Standards Reference Apps


Mastery Connect has developed an app for each of the 50 states. With this app you are able to easily have all of the standards for your state at your fingertips.

You can easily find these apps in your app store by searching "Mastery Connect" or by going to the Mastery Connect App Site.

Do you have an easy way to track standards in your classroom?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bird Brain Science - science meets the common core

BirdBrain Science is a website that allows you to provide your students with common core based science readings that you can differentiated based on their reading level.  Most articles will adjust anywhere from 3rd to 8th grade.  In addition, the students can have the articles read to them.  At the end there is a short quiz.  The quiz questions, types and length, vary depending on what grade level they were assigned.  At the end you can review reports of your students' program.

Below is a short video to explain the site a little more.

Follow this link to participate in a pilot to access this site for free.

What ways do you incorporate reading into your classroom?

This post is cross posted on my other blog Savvy Secondary Science 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Top Posts of November and What I've been up to


Below you can find a recap of the top posts of November.  This November was crazy and I attended 3 difference conferences/workshops.  Needless to say that I have so much new information to process.  I'll be talking about it in the upcoming posts.  One of the major themes that I took from this month of learning was to really think about what I want my students to learn with each assignment.  Yes, you want them to learn the content, but what is underlying skill that they can transfer to all areas of their life.  Something to think about!

Top Posts of November

  1. PowToon - Animated Videos (free upgrade to premium) 
  2. My Google Basics for Teaching Certificate
  3. StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!
  4. URL shorteners
  5. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  6. Google Basics for Teaching
  7. Hour of Code
  8. ClassDojo - manage student behavior
  9. how to use any phone (including "dumb" phones) to do research
  10. Top 10 Posts of October and what I've been up to

Monday, December 1, 2014

Google Tools and Tips for Teachers - Free Online Event


Google Tools and Tips for Teachers - Free Online Event

SimpleK12 is hosting a day of free webinars on Saturday, December 20th

I have been using the resources the SimpleK12 has to offer for several months now and I really like what they have to offer.  There are a variety of webinars and resources available to view.

This day of of webinars is focused around Google.  They will focus on:

• learning the quickest way to get started with Google tools

• improving your students' communication skills

• discovering how easy it is to create collaborative documents

• saving time with simpler more effective data collection
If you are interested please click here for more information and to register. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Google Basics for Teaching Certificate

Yay, I completed the Google Basics for Teaching course that I mentioned in a previous post.  I can't say that I really learned a lot from it, but I think it would be really good for those who are new to Google.  If you know anyone who fits into that category be sure to share the course with them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hour of Code

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In one week, 15 million students tried computer science!

Computer science was on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Disney. President Obama, Shakira and Ashton Kutcher all kicked off the Hour of Code with videos. Over 100 partners came together to support this movement.

This year, let's make it even bigger. I’m asking you to join in for the Hour of Code 2014 (I am!). Please get involved with an Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, 2014.

Get the word out. Host an event. Ask a local school to sign up. Or try the Hour of Code yourself -- everyone can benefit from learning the basics.

Help us reach 100 million students by the end of the year! Get started at http://hourofcode.com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Socrative - collect real time data on formative assessments

Socrative is something that I have used in the past and plan to use again in the future.  I really like it because it allows me to have students answer questions about a topic.  Then I can use the data from their answers to the questions to see where they are confused and what things I need to review more with them.

One of the things that I love about socrative is that it works on any device or browser so kids can answer questions on ipads, computers, phone or whatever they have.

Socrative just updated to their 2.0 version. Below is a video that explains it and this link will take you to the new user guide.


How to collect feedback and data from your students.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Top 10 Posts of October and what I've been up to

Sorry for the late recap of October, but this basically sums up what my month has been like.  I feel like I can never get ahead.  Do you every have those months?  My goal is to be super organized in November (already failing at that), especially because I am going to be out several times this month.  I have been using the app Any.do and have tried to put everything there with reminders of what needs to be done.  If you have any organization suggestions please send them my way!

Top 10 Posts of October
  1. PowToon - Animated Videos (free upgrade to premium)
  2. StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!
  3. Google Basics for Teaching
  4. Big Blogger Giveaway
  5. virtual exit tickets and in class assessments
  6. Remind 101 Donors Choose Giveaway
  7. URL shorteners
  8. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  9. Educanon - insert questions into a video
  10. ChemThink

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Google Basics for Teaching

Google just announced that they are running a course called Google Basics for Teaching. This is a self-paced course where you will learn how to use Google tools in your teaching.  It is running from mid-November to mid-December.  You'll see videos, activities and complete a project.  At the end of the course you'll receive a certificate for your professional development records.


I'm excited to see what things Google has to share with us!  Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Big Blogger Giveaway

I'm so excited to participate in my first giveaway!! Check out all of the great bloggers participating and be sure to enter the rafflecopter below!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 27, 2014

Educanon - insert questions into a video

Educanon is a program that allows you have students watch videos and answer questions along the way.  You can insert questions into the video timeline so the video will pause while you check comprehension, test vocabulary, concept check etc.  You can use your own videos or add questions to any video from the internet - a TED Talk for example!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Teacher Learning Community by Simple K12


Do you want to ...

* Learn about the latest technologies helping other teachers excel?

* Join discussions with other educators about implementing new standards?

* Stay in tune with what matters most in today's schools?

* Feel up-to-speed on the "latest and greatest" strategies and tools?

If you answered YES to any of the above, join me inside this education resource: SimpleK12’s Teacher Learning Community.

Create a FREE Basic Membership Today.

SimpleK12, the leading provider of 21st century teacher professional development, brings the fun, energy, and excitement back into learning.

200,000+ educators from around the world have access to SimpleK12's PD resources, information, and training ... and you can too!

Take learning into your own hands and explore the fastest-growing social network and Professional Development community for educators...

I look forward to seeing you inside the Community!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Creating accounts when kids don't have their own e-mail addresses

Sometimes you need to make accounts for students and those accounts need e-mail addresses. The problem is that sometimes your kids are too young to have e-mail addresses. I found out about this hack a few years ago, but I'm just remembering to share it now. All you have to do is to add +1, +2, +3....to the end of your e-mail address. Then it is like the students have an e-mail address, but all messages go to your e-mail address.

For example, if you were teacher@gmail.com, then you could use teacher+1@gmail.com, teacher+2@gmail.com, etc. The site you are using sees this as a new e-mail address, but any e-mail sent to it goes to your e-mail address.

I know that this works on Google and believe that it works on Yahoo as well. This is a workaround so there are no guarantees that it will work every time.

Have you had success with this?


This post also appears on my blog Savvy Secondary Science

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Top 10 Posts of September and what I've been up to


Wow did September go by fast!  For the most part my school year is starting off great.  I have a greawt group of kids this year and things are jsut so much better than last year.  Personally I'm still having time management issues and feel like I am always behind on my grading.  How does everyone else manage keeping on top of paperwork?  I got a cute to-do list pad from Shutterfly, so hopefully that will help!

Top 10 Posts of October
  1. PowToon - Animated Videos (free upgrade to premium)
  2. Doctopus - easily share documents with students
  3. Making an Image Map with Google Images
  4. Attend a free virtual technology conference
  5. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  6. Remind 101 gave me a Badge!
  7. virtual exit tickets and in class assessments
  8. Join SimpleK12 for an Afternoon of Free Google Apps Webinars
  9. StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!
  10. SMIR.CH - how to use any phone (including "dumb" phones)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Edcamp Online returns

Edcamp Online returns again and I'm so excited!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Edcamp, it's a model of conference where no formal schedule is set up until the day of the event.  Being that this is an online event, there is going to be just one time slot for an online workshop.  It is a great chance for you to experiment with presenting if you are interested.  You can also just attend and listen to all of the great things others will be sharing.

If you are interested in learning more, visit their website.

What types of conference do you like to attend?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Join SimpleK12 for an Afternoon of Free Google Apps Webinars

SimpleK12 is hosting 4 free webinars on Google Apps.  The webinars are for people who are new to Google, but I'm sure everyone will be able to learn something! Click here to register.

The schedule of webinars are below. I hope to see you there!

• Going Google: The Quick Start Guide to Getting Started with Google Tools
-Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @ 1:00 PM EDT

• Save Time and Make Your Job Easier with Google Spreadsheets and Forms
-Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @ 2:00 PM EDT

• 10 Tips & Ideas for Using Google Plus with Learners
-Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @ 3:00 PM EDT

• Google Search Strategies You Probably Don't Know, But Wish You Did!
-Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @ 4:00 PM EDT

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Making an Image Map with Google Images

I recently learned how to make image maps while watching my new obsession, The Google Educast.  Bascially making an image map allows you to take a picture and turn it into a bunch of clickable links depending on where you click.  For example, the picture in the video below has created links such that each person is a link to their Google+ page.

This video shows you step by step how to do this.

How do you think you can use this in your classroom?  Clickable parts of the microscope perhaps?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Attend a free virtual technology conference

You may not be familiar with FETC, but it's an annual technology conference held in Florida in January.  If you are in the area (or can convince your administration to let you go) it's a great conference to go to.  Most of us, me included, can not get to Florida for this conference, but we are in luck this year.  FETC is having a free virtual conference this October.  I'm particulary excited because two of favorite edubloggers, Brad Waid and Drew Minock from Two Guys and Some iPads, will be speaking there.

What professional development conferences do you like to go to?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Top 10 Post of August and What I've been up to

How was everyone's August?  It's September and by now I'm sure we are all back to school.  I purposely didn't say back to work, because I know that many of us work through the summer (I like to say that I just work from home).  I did have some fun though as I was able to visit some friends on Cape Cod and took my annual trip to Wildwood with a fantastic group of family and friends.  I hope that you had a chance to recharge and that you are ready to go with your new group of kids!

Top 10 Posts of August
  1. PowToon - Animated Videos (free upgrade to premium for free)
  2. Free Online Graph Paper
  3. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  4. ExitTicket.org How-To
  5. Fabulous Freebies!
  6. virtual exit tickets and in class assessments
  7. Using geographical maps in the classroom
  8. Top 10 Posts of July and what I've been up to
  9. SMIR.CH - how to use any phone (including "dumb" phones) to do research)
  10. Creative Commons and Sharing your work

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PowToon - Animated Videos (free upgrade to premium)


I have mentioned PowToon before, but in case you missed it PowToon is a way to create short animated videos.  It's a really simple way to introduce things to your students or at a presentation.  Well PowToon has been generous enough to give away a free upgrade to their premium version plus accounts for all of your students.  All you have to do is go to their site and either create an account or sign in with your existing account.  The code to use is: ToonUp5M.
This won't last for long, so hurry up and sign up today!

This post also appears of my Science Blog - Savvy Secondary Science

Monday, August 25, 2014

ExitTicket.org How-To

I previously wrote about ExitTicket as a great way to assess your students and get some good data.  While it's a great resource it can be a little overwhelming if you try to figure it out on your own.  Luckily ExitTicket wants to help you figure it out and they have teamed up with Certified Ed Tech to do that.  They have created a course to help you learn how to best navigate their site.  It's not a long course and might be good to do before school starts.

How do you learn new technology?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fabulous Freebies!

Let me start off by saying I know that this is not super techy, but I have share when I find great free stuff!

I know as teachers we are always looking for free things for our classroom.  I want to introduce you to Teachers Pay Teacher.  I know you might be thinking, you said free and this has the word pay in it.  Yes, there are many items that you can buy, but there are also many items that you can get for free.  I encourage you to go to the site and sign up and get to downloading some free materials.  Below are some of my favorite freebies!




Where do you find awesome resources for your classroom?

This post also appears on my other blog Savvy Secondary Science


Creative Commons and Sharing your work

Are you sharing your work on the internet or want to use work shared on the internet?  Copyright is important but tricky.  Creative Commons has been doing it best to make it easier for people.  Here is an infographic to help you understand a little bit better.

If you want more information this document will help you also.

Do you share your work online?  What rights do you give the viewer?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ClassDojo Messenger

ClassDojo is something that I have posted about before, but they have a new update called Messenger.  It's an Android and iOS app that allows you to easily message parents.  It is important to note that it is private, so you never share contact information.

With the new ClassDojo Messenger app, you can:
  • Easily engage parents by instantly sending updates home
  • Privately message 1-on-1 with a parent, or Broadcast to all parents in your class!
  • Share photos of wonderful moments from the classroom :)
  • Know who’s read your messages with ‘Read receipts’
It sounds like it's similar to Remind, but allows you to send messages to individual parents not just all parents.  If you haven't checked out ClassDojo, take a look at it and this new messenger app.

How to you record classroom behavior?  What is your easy way to keep parents in the loop?




Monday, August 11, 2014

Using geographical maps in the classroom

Introducing the Free, Self-Paced, Open, Online Course:

Developing Project Based Instructional Units Utilizing ArcGIS Online


The purpose of this 5-part, self-paced course is to guide teachers to develop project based instructional units in which students analyze spatial data. Having students examine data, and patterns, and make claims using spatial data as evidence promotes learning within content areas and complements research on how students learn.


Technical Skills
  • Build experience with ArcGIS online as a tool for creating and analyzing spatial data
  • Discover the power of using spatial data to communicate ideas
  • Gather and prepare spatial data for teaching and learning

Instructional Skills
  • Learn about how students learn
  • Develop lessons using a project based instructional framework
  • Manage student-centered learning
  • Create lessons that require students to analyze spatial data and practice 21st century skills
Assessment Skills
  • Design an appropriate assessment of student learning and conceptual understanding that requires students to utilize spatial data to communicate ideas
  • Align assessments with learning goals
  •  Examine student work to guide development of quality assessments that measure student learning

Developed as part of the Examining Your Environment through the Power of Data (EYEPOD) Project funded by the National Science Foundation's Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. Award DRL #0929846.







Monday, August 4, 2014

Top 10 Posts of July and what I've been up to

Here are the top 10 posts of July.  Check them out if you haven't yet!

  1. Free Online Graph Paper
  2. Increase to OneDrive free storage
  3. My Online Planbook
  4. Remind 101 gave me a Badge!
  5. virtual exit tickets and in class assessments
  6. Online Planbooks
  7. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  8. SMIR.CH - how to use any phone (including "dumb" phones to do research
  9. My 100th Post and TeacherCast University
  10. DOTGO - search the web only using text messaging



I've been taking my summer "break" a little easier this year (I had a really rough school year), but am still focusing on school stuff.  I've been trying to make more blog posts here (please let me know if there is something that you are curious about) and updating a lot of my school files for next year.  For the first time in a long while I will not be teaching a new course next year!  I am still teaching 3 different preps, but at least it nothing new to prep for.  I've taken a few professional development courses as well and have been looking into ways to learn to code (that's right...geeky girl here!).

What have you been up to during your time off from school?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My 100th Post and TeacherCast University

WOW---this is my 100th Post!!!!  I'm glad to have all of you followers out there and hope that you'll spread the word about my blog so that I can share with others.

I love sharing with other teachers and TeacherCast University loves to as well.  They offer a few classes (all of what are FREE) on things like using Remind with your classes, green screening and iPads in the classroom.  You get a professional development certificate when your done so you might even be able to get your district to give you some credit for these classes.

Other than this blog ;-), where do you look for professional development?


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Increase to OneDrive free storage

I previously wrote about OneDrive as being an alternative to GoogleDrive and Dropbox and now OneDrive has gotten a bit more competitive.  They now offer 15GB of storage space (just as much as Google Drive) and almost 8 times as much as DropBox.

Microsoft is working to become competitive with GoogleDrive.  OneDrive offers a similar experience as Google Drive in that there is a web based editor for things like documents and spreadsheets.  While I still like Google Drive better, I never say no to free storage.

What do you use for your online storage?




Sunday, July 20, 2014

EarthViewer App - take a look into Earth's past

I came across this app called EarthViewer.  It's a free app for Android and iOS and as soon as I found out about it I downloaded it on my class's ipad.  This app helps to answer questions such as: "What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? What was the climate like in the deep past?"

EarthViewer is an interactive tool for exploring the science of Earth's deep history. From molten mass to snowball earth, EarthViewer lets you see continents grow and shift as you scroll through billions of years. Additional layers let you and your students explore changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day length, and solar luminosity over deep time.

What cool apps have you used in your class?

Monday, July 14, 2014

DOTGO - search the web only using text messaging

DOTGO is a mobile publishing technology built to serve interactive content through text messaging.

To reach a supported domain that ends in .COM through text messaging, compose a new text message to the phone number DOTCOM (368266), and send the domain name in the body of the message.

For example, text wikipedia.com to the phone number DOTCOM (368266).

To reach a supported domain that ends in .NET through text messaging, send the text message to DOTNET (368638). To reach a supported domain that ends in .ORG through text messaging, send the text message to DOTORG (368674).

Once you have made the domain request to DOTCOM, DOTORG or DOTNET you will receive a one time message (1 msg/request) back with information on the site if the SMS website is available through DOTGO. You'll also receive within the response one time message news or information about the site, including how to opt in to on-going subscription alerts (30 msgs/mo) where available. DOTGO will notify you if the site is not available.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

virtual exit tickets and in class assessments

Exit Ticket is a new website/app that I discovered.  It is a way for you to virtually assess your students.  You can use it as an do now/bell ringer, mid-class checks for understanding or exit tickets.  I know there are many programs out there that do similar things, but I really like ExitTicket because of all of the features that you get in the free version.  The thing that I love the most is that the free version allows you to track individual students!  Yes, the students do need to create accounts, but you can collect a lot of data.

There are so many great things that you can do with it.  They have created a toolkit for teachers to help them implement ExitTicket in their classroom.

What do you use for quick informal assessment?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Top 10 Post of May and what I've been up to


The month of May has been a crazy month for me.  It's was out last full month with the students and they are itching to get out (almost as much as the teachers are).  This has truly been a challenging year for me and I learned a lot about myself as a teacher.  I identified some strengths and weaknesses and know what I need to work on for next year.  Still two weeks left with students and two more weeks of finals and teacher only days but I'm looking forward to the summer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Remind 101 Donors Choose Giveaway

If you know me, you know I love a good giveaway (I'm always looking for free stuff for my classroom!).  Remind 101 is going strong with Teacher Appreciation Month and is having a great giveaway.  You can win a $250 Donors Choose gift card.  If you aren't familiar with Donors Choose, it's a site where donors crowd fund a project for your classroom.  Check out Donors Choose and Remind 101 and enter the giveaway!

Monday, May 5, 2014

An Easy How to For inserting tables in a Word Document

I've come to realize that a majority of my students don't know how to inset tables into a Microsoft Word document or a Google Doc.  I've created two short videos to share with my students and I'm sure many of your students could benefit from them as well.  Feel free to share them!

What other things did you think your students knew how to do and then realized that they didn't?


How to Insert a Table in Microsoft Word - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgiOpM44q04

 


How to Insert a Table in Google Docs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u92g_9Tp4OQ

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Top 10 Posts of April and What I've been up to




Happy May!  I hope all of the April showers brought you all some May flowers.  April was a great month.  I was fortunate enough to go to the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) National Conference.  It was so fantastic!  If you have never been I recommend that you see if you can go at least once.  For each time slot there were about 5-8 sessions that I wanted to attended.  I got some fantastic resources and met some awesome people.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Educational Technology on Pinterest

Have you jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon?  I have and even though many people use it to sell their stuff, you can find some good resources on it.  This year I've been experimenting with flipped and blended learning and came across this collection of Pinterest Boards that go along with that.  There are also some boards on Educational Technology.

What is one of your go to site for new resources? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

NMLSTA Boston 2014 Share-A-Thon Presenter Handouts

As promised I am sharing some awesome resources I came across at the NSTA conference.  I went to a National Middle Level Science Teachers Association share-a-thon and there were some great things that people were doing.

NMLSTA and the presenters were nice enough to share their resources in the a shared Dropbox folder.

While you don't need a dropbox account to view the files, if you want to make a copy to save in your own dropbox you can get an account here. 

What is one of your favorite places to find new resources for your classroom?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

StickR TrackR

I have a lot of technology in the classroom and love to share it with the kids.  They don't always put things back where they are supposed to (and sometimes accidentally walk away with them)

I just learned about a neat little sticker that allows you to track things (similar to find my iPad, but for anything!).  It's called TrackR and you can get on a list to get one for free.

The wireless coin sized StickR TrackR device attaches to commonly misplaced items. Using an iPhone or Android app, you can quickly locate your lost or misplaced items in seconds by causing the item to ring, using the app's hot & cold sensor, or via the last known GPS coordinates. Watch the Video Below to Learn More.



How do you keep track of stuff in your classroom?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Google for Education

If you have been reading my blog or seen any of my presentations you might know that I obsessed with Google (both in and out of the classroom).  Google really wants to support it's educators.  They have developed some certificates that you can earn.  Some are basic exams and some are more extensive certifications.  One of the basic ones, that is also offered for free, is the Google for Education Basics Exam.  If you are looking to learn more about Google Apps or just want to brush up I recommend you checking it out.

Where do you go for technology professional development?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mayim Bialik's NSTA Keynote Presentation

I was lucky enough to go the NSTA Boston National Conference.  I saw and learned about some fantastic things.  One thing that I missed however was Mayim Bialik's Keynote Presentation.  She was talking on Thursday and I wasn't able to get to the conference until Friday.  You may know her from Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, but many people don't realized that she has a PhD in Neuroscience.

Below is her talk about the teacher that inspired her and answers to questions from the audience.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

What I've been up to and the top 10 posts of March


This past weekend I was at the National Science Teachers Association conference in Boston.  There were so many create sessions and I came away with so much.  I'll be sure to share any technology related tips I learned.  John Bergman was there giving a talk about Flipped Learning and by the time I got to the session it was full and they wouldn't let me in.  I'm a little bummed about it, but I was told I would be able to access the materials that he shared.

  1. Plagiarism Tracker
  2. Free Online Graph Paper
  3. PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows
  4. Hello Bronx/Westchester STANYS
  5. Flubaroo - automatically grade online assignments
  6. Twitter as Professional Development
  7. Remind 101 gave me a Badge!
  8. Science Comics
  9. Dumbphones in the classroom
  10. Sharing Resources with Google Docs

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hello Bronx/Westchester STANYS

Today I gave a presentation to the lovely people at the Bronx/Westchester STANYS (Science Teachers Association of NYS) conference.  It was great, but I had so much to say what I ran out of time.  I am posting my presentation here and well on as my presentations page for all to see.  As always, please send me any questions that you have!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Twitter as Professional Development

Twitter is a great resource for learning new things and share what you know in education. Here is a great podcast that goes over how to use Twitter as a resource.



You can also participate in Twitter chats. Here is a link that shares various PLN (personal learning networks) twitter hashtags.


What are your favorite sources for pd?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Flubaroo - automatically grade online assignments

Have you heard about the new add-ons for Google Drive?  They make using Google Drive in your classroom so much easier.  One of those fantastic add-on is Flubaroo.  I've mentioned them before, but I have to say it again because it's so much better!

Flubaroo allows you to create an assignment in Google Forms and then automatically grade it.  With the advancements of Google Forms (such as the ability to add in images), it's really become a great resource.  Not only does Flubaroo automatically grade the assignments, it puts the answers in a second spreadsheet so you don't mess up the original.  In addition it will e-mail the students their grade and there is an option to also include the questions, with their answers and the correct answers.

Take a look at this short video to learn more and look at the user guide.




Have you tried Google Drive for online assignments?  What do you think? Do you have something else that you love?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dumbphones in the classroom

Continuing on with the theme of what I learned at the NYSCATE conference I have to share with you a presentation about Dumbphones in the Classroom from the LadyGeeks.  They are two ladies who love learning about technology and sharing what they know.  They are always trying out new apps and tools and sharing their reactions.  I encourage you to check out not only their Dumbphone presentation but to check out their site as well (they often do podcasts talking about various topics.)

Where do you look for teaching ideas?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

how to use any phone (including "dumb" phones) to do research

One of the great things that I learned about this past weekend at the NYSCATE conference that I went to was SMIR.CH.  SMIR.CH is a way for students to do research all through texting!  I think this is just so great because while many of my students have cell phones only about 1/3 of them have smartphones.  So even with "dumb phones" student can search sites like Google.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Science Comics



This is not super techy, but I came across website of science comics that I wanted to share.  Sciencetoons are cute one panel comics about a range of topics.  They cover a range of topics, but I think the chemistry ones are just great.  Check them out and enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Remind 101 gave me a Badge!

Remind101

I know I've talked about Remind 101 before, but I really becoming obsessed with it.  I use it to send out reminders to my Science and Yearbook clubs.  It's been great for the yearbook club especially because anytime I think of something I want to tell them I just send them a Remind101 message.  If I feel like I'm sending too many at one or it's not a good time to send one I will set a reminder so that Remind 101 sends the text later.  I guess I've been using it so much because I just received a message that I've sent 100 texts and received a badge to display! 

How do you communicate with your students?

Friday, March 7, 2014

PowToon Slides - Animated Slide Shows

PowToon has a new service that will allow you to make animated Presentations (Kind of like Powerpoint and Prezi but SO much cooler) in half the time it takes you to make a regular presentation.
This is really big. They have named this " Project Slides" (Still looking for a final name for it).

They are very very excited about Slides and to celebrate the launch they decided that the most appropriate thing to do would be to thank all you teachers for your support over the last two years by giving ALL teachers access to PowToon Slides EDU for free.

So PowToon as you know it, continues as usual. PowToon slides will run as a separate product for now and will have a free version as well as a premium version.

How to get PowToon Slides for free
The slides Premium version will be automatically available to all premium users (Including EDU users). To celebrate the launch, Slides for EDU will be available Completely free during 2014 for all Teachers anywhere.

There are two ways you can get PowToon slides for free:

1. If you already have a PowToon for EDU account (That means a PowToon Teacher, Student or Classroom account), or if you purchase a PowToon for EDU account now. You will automatically be notified when it's available.

OR

2. If you signup to be notified when it's available here. and you will be notified when its available for you.

Any Teacher, Anywhere can get the new PowToon slides for EDU completely free!

Are you a PowToon user?  How do you like to spruce up your presentation?




Sunday, March 2, 2014

What I've been up to and the Top 10 Posts of February

This weekend I had the fortune of going to the NYSCATE Hudson Valley Region Conference.  NYSCATE is the the New York division of ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education).  I learned some great stuff and was blown away at what some other teachers are doing.  As always, I am going to be sharing with you all that I have learned.  I just love going to conferences, don't you?

Top 10 Posts of February
  1. Sharing Resources with Google Docs
  2. Bill Nye Worksheets
  3. Problem Attic - NYS Regents Questions Test and Worksheets
  4. ReadWorks - reading meets science (and other subjects)
  5. Top 10 Posts of January
  6. use Google as a timer
  7. Two More Ways to Find Me
  8. OneDrive - another choice for cloud storage
  9. What is a CSV file?
  10. Win a Computer Lab for your classroom!

Friday, February 21, 2014

use Google as a timer

Did you know that the Google search box can be used as a timer.  All you need you need to do is type in "set time for ___" filling in the blank with how long you want the timer to run for.  Press the start button and go about your business.  Make sure your leave the tab open with the timer in it and that they sound on your computer is one.  Once the time is up the timer will beep.
Watch this short video to see how it work.

 
What fun timers do you use in your classroom?  During what activities is a timer most valuable?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

OneDrive - another choice for cloud storage

Update:  The extra 20GB is no longer active.

Many are you are probably familiar with Google Drive and Dropbox, but you may not be familiar with Microsoft OneDrive.   This service was formally called SkyDrive, but has been revamped.  I was given a link to share that will allow a friend to get an extra 20GB.  I'm not sure how many people can use it, but give it a try!

This might also be helpful for your students so they don't need to worry about bringing in a flash drive every time they are working on projects.

To give a sense of how it compares to Google Drive and Dropbox, take a look at the information below.

Free Storage: Dropbox - 2GB, OneDrive - 7GB, GoogleDrive - 15GB (includes your e-mails)
Apps:  All 3 have apps for iPhone and Droid, but OneDrive also includes apps for Windows Phone and XBox
Collaboration: All 3 allow you to share files with others, but GoogleDrive and OneDrive also allow you to edit the document right from your browser.

What is your cloud storage service of choice?  Or are you like me and have them all?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Win a Computer Lab for your classroom!

If you haven't heard, Discovery Education is running a contest until May 3rd where the grand prize winner will get a wireless computer lab set-up for their classroom.  There are a lot of other prizes as well such a computers, projectors and document cameras.  You can enter every day and I encourage you to do so!  Go ahead, enter now!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Two More Ways to Find Me

As I am home for my second snow day in a row (leading up to a one week break), I am getting a bit of cabin fever.  The past two days have been bad so I haven't left my house.  I figured that this would be a great time to work on my blog a bit.  I created two more way for you to connect with me.  You can now find The Tech Savvy Science Teacher on Google Plus and YouTube!

How to generate student reports in eSchool Data

My school started using eSchool Data as our data management software last year and we are all still trying to figure out all of the features that go along with it.  One of things that I have figured out is how to create individual grade reports.  Many teachers in my school have found this helpful and I wanted to share it with you as well.   I had to block some things out to protect student security, so if you have any questions please let me know.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

StudyBlue Pro - give it a try!

I've mentioned StudyBlue before, but I wanted to share this opportunity that I just found out about.  StudyBlue is now giving away 1 month of their Pro Version for free when you sign up through this link.  After the one month, you'll transfer to the free version is also great!  I use the free version with my class and the kids love it.  I encourage everyone to check out it!  This is something that I encourage for all things.  I always check out a site and play around for it a bit before I decide if I want to use it.  You can't always see if it will work for you just be reading something online.

What are your favorite sites to use with your students?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What is a CSV file?

You may have seen websites or other program that ask for class lists as for them in the format of a CSV file.  What is a CSV file you may ask?  CSV is similar to excel file, but the behind the scenes information is a little different.  CSV stands for Comma Separated Values.  It couldn't be easier to create a CSV file and I've included a video below to help you out!



Are there any other things that you are interested in?  What can I make a video of that will help you out?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sharing Resources with Google Docs

A number of years ago I created some shared folders in Google Drive for the different science and levels.  I want to share them with you now.  I would love to have you share some items in one or more of these folders as well.  If you are interested, please send me an e-mail and I will add you as a contributor.



Do you have a favorite go to site for resources?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Top 10 Posts of January

Top 10 Post of January

  1. ReadWorks - reading meets science (and other subjects)
  2. I'm on Facebook
  3. ClassDojo - manage student behavior
  4. Creating a easy Works Cited Page
  5. Follow me on Bloglovin
  6. URL shorteners
  7. Problem Attic - NYS Regents Questions Test and Worksheets
  8. Google Resources
  9. Bill Nye Worksheets
  10. PhET Science Simulations

I hope your 2014 is going well.  I am very excited about taking this blog to the next level and I really need to you in order to do that.  What are you looking for?  Do you need a step by step tutorial on something or a suggestion for a certain program?  Let me know!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm on Facebook

With the redesign of my blog, I decided to give my Facebook page a go too.  Head on over to my page and give me a like!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Follow me on Bloglovin

I know that many people use Bloglovin to follow the blogs they read, so I wanted to make things easy for those who do.  So, here's your link:  Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you use another RSS reader, check out my post about that.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

ReadWorks - reading meets science (and other subjects)

I was looking for some short readings to use with my 8th grade Earth Science class as I wanted them to have something short to do in the beginning of the period.  Our superintendent is really pushing literacy so I thought it would be a good idea.  In my search for short readings with questions along with them I came across ReadWorks.  It's a free research-based reading comprehension curriculum.  Don't get scared off by me saying curriculum.  I just take the pieces that I need and ignore the rest (I mean I am first and foremost a science teacher!)
 
Where do you find science readings for your class?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Creating a easy Works Cited Page

If your school is anything like mine the Common Core wave is just being dumped onto you.  Along with that comes a lot of writing.  If you are having students do research then you might be asking them to submit a Works Cited page.  Here are 3 sites that easily allow your students to create these pages.
  1. EasyBib - this sites allows you to just type in the name of a book or enter a website address and gives you MLA citation (other versions are also available, but not on the free site).
  2. Citation Machine - this site is a little less robust than the last.  It is really only good for citing books, but gives you the option of using MLA or APA citations.
  3. BibMe - this one is my favorite because it is the most robust.  It gives you the option to cite just about anything that you need, plus you have the options to use MLA, APA or Chicago formats.
If you are also concerned about plagiarism take a look at this site to help with that.

What does the common core look like in your classroom?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

ClassDojo - manage student behavior


I have a particularly bad class this year.  It's just the one period that I have after lunch, but they drive me crazy.  I have starting using ClassDojo because it's an easy way for me to record the behavior in the classroom.  Students and parents have access to these records so they can see how they are behaving.

ClassDojo gives me the option of updating behavior instantaneously using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and can be displayed via computer, projector, or interactive whiteboard. The availability of data engages students and helps actively shape behavior, thus creating a more positive learning environment in the classroom.

ClassDojo also automatically generates behavior reports that I can send home to parents or share with students. These reports have given parents and students insight into the classroom that hadn’t been previously available. I believe that providing students with feedback has allowed learning to flourish in my classroom, increasing students’ positive behavior and intrinsic motivation.

What do you do to track classroom behavior?