Saturday, August 25, 2012

Creating a classroom supply or wishlist online

One of the things I created this summer was an online supply and wishlist for the upcoming school year.  I know there are a ton of websites out there that do this, but I came across TeacherLists.  I have to admit that one of the reasons I decided to try it is that they were giving away classroom supplies to any teacher who created a list.
This is one of the reasons why I mention it now.  Anyone who creates a list online now will get two boxes of tissues and a roll of paper towels for their classroom if they put Bounty and Puffs on their list.  In addition to that, another current promotion is that you will received a container Wet Ones or Mr Clean magic eraser when you include these items on your list. They are always changing the giveaways depending on their sponsors, so you really check it out.

This is the first year that I created a wishlist for my classroom.  I thought that this site would be a good way to ask parents for items without seeming too push.

Do you have supply or wish lists for your classroom?  What do you do to ask parents for items?

Win a free subscription to PlanbookEdu

Update: I just found out that this contest has now ended. :-(  I would still suggest checking out PlanbookEdu however if you are looking for a free online planbook.

I mentioned in a previous post of mine how I used PlanbookEdu last year as my planbook.  Now I want to give you a push to try it yourself.  The Caffeinated Teacher (another blog that I read) is runing a contest to giveaway 3 premium subscriptions to PlanbookEdu.  I hope you'll check it out!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Something for all science teachers

This is not a piece of technology to use with the students, but it is something that will help both you and them.  I am currently taking the Flinn Scientific Safety Course and I really recommend it to all science teachers.  Please note: I am not affiliated with Flinn in anyway (I'm not a affiliated with any of the resources I talk about). 
Even as someone who majored in the sciences and have multiple degrees in science teaching I have never had a class specifically on lab safety.  Everything I know I picked up through my own experiences in the lab.  This course helped fill in the gaps and refresh my memory on things.  Plus it's free!  You can even take this class for credit as a certificate will print out at the end.  Just ask your district if they'll count it as in-service credit.
You can even watch sections on a specific topic if you just want a refresher is a specific area.

What do you do in your classroom regarding lab safety?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Triptico - a little app that does a lot

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Triptico, but you should all check it out.  It's a little desktop app developed by a teacher in England and it has some really good points to it. 
Once of the things that I use it for the most is the Random Student Generator.  All you have to do is upload your student list and it's there for the whole year.  Basically this feature is like pulling Popsicle sticks, without having to actually have the sticks.  You can set it so that it goes through the whole class without any repeats or that it randomly chooses students and may repeat.  In addition, it can instantly choose a student or show a couple of names first as a fake out (the kids like that because they don't know if it's going to stop on their name or continue to another).
Another one will make groups for you and yet another will keep score if you are playing a game with 2-4 teams. 
You can really do a lot with this app.  Word magnets is great because you can put a bunch of words up on the board and the students need to sort them into groups.  There are a few features for various different timers.  There is also a matching game and word or picture spinner.  I could go on and on and describe every feature, but that would be boring for you the read.  I think the best way is to experience it yourself.  Download it now and check out what it has to offer!

Do you have any other apps or programs that you really like? I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Instantly grade multiple choice tests and quizzes

I recently tried out the website GradeCam and I have to say that I love it!!  It's so simple and works very easily.  First you print out the bubble sheet.  Each student is assigned a number and you have print out the sheets with the number pre-filled in if you want.  Second you give it to the students to fill out.  Third you use the camera on your computer to scan the sheet and it automatically grade it!

I really like the fact that I can give instant feedback to the students and that it gives you feed back on not just which questions students got wrong, but also how many students choose the other answers.  The other nice thing is that you have a digital record of the students' answers, which is nice if you are one who hands back tests for students to keep.

Some people have been concerned about the camera issue, but you do have a few options.  If you computer has a built in camera you can use that.  Document cameras also work.  I even have a simple digital microscope that is basically a camera that works as well.

I do have the mention that there are several pricing plans for this website.  There is a free version that allows you to give 10 question tests and then several other plans with features such as multiple versions of a test and tests up to 100 questions.

Here is a video that gives an overview of GradeCam.

As with everything it's something that you need to try yourself, but I like the idea of this even for quick in class formative assessment.  Have you used this or something like it?  What are your thoughts?