Got Questions?: A Quick Fix Inspired by my PLN

First, a huge shoutout to my #EduMatch family for helping me figure this one out.  Many thanks to you all for your amazing tips.

Update: One thing I forgot to add is that my class is taught in the computer lab, so this is more so a fix for classrooms that have access to technology (computer lab, 1:1, BYOD, etc.).  However, the steps focus heavily on Google Forms.  My friend in EduMatch (as stated below) had a great idea, that works well for schools with limited tech.

The Scenario:

I recently moved to teach at the high school level, and I must say, I am loving it!  The students are amazing, as are my coworkers, the administration, and the parents.  This is a wonderful experience.

Each of my six classes has its own culture.  The only constant is me, and even I try to adapt for each period.  Over these past four weeks, I’ve enjoyed learning about my students.  I have one particular period that is full of hard-working and sweet students, who tend to ask for a lot of help during independent time.

Questions are great!  I love them, but I would prefer that students help each other, because the best way to learn something is by teaching it.  Also, it often helps to learn from a peer.  Finally, there is only one of me, and about 30 of them, so sometimes it’s hard to keep straight who had a question, and in what order.  I know it must be frustrating to wait several minutes, and to be quite honest, my short-term memory isn’t the best, so people are occasionally skipped by mistake.

I posed this question in the #EduMatch Voxer group, and got some fantastic responses.  One of my fellow Edumatchers suggested that students put their names on the board, and that would solve my problem.  Someone else agreed, but said that some students may feel shy about doing so, and suggested QR codes going to a Google Form as a solution.  There was even an app proposed, similar to the system used at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  I downloaded it, but couldn’t figure out how to use it in the classroom, without creating paper tickets.

The Fix

Friday morning, I woke up inspired as it all came together.  All three of these suggestions had something to them, so I decided to synthesize them.  The result was a Google Form that I whipped up and beta tested in first period with upperclassmen.

Ms. Thomas, Help Me!

Here’s how I did it.

  1. Create a simple Google Form.
    1. If your school is GAFE, you can have it automatically collect the username of your students while they are signed into the domain.
    2. Make sure to put something along the lines of “ask 3 before you ask me,” or any variation of that in the description, as a gentle reminder that their classmates are also available to help.
  2. Add questions, such as “Your Name” (optional, if you already did 1.1), and “The Nature of Your Question.”  Feel free to add more if you wish.  I suggest the multiple choice format.  More on that later.
    1. I have three categories: about the assignment, need a pass, or other.
  3. Design it however you would like.  I didn’t do much with it, since it served a very basic purpose, and we were just trying it out.
  4. Copy the link and make it into a bit.ly with something easy to remember. (Mine is bit.ly/thomashelpme)
  5. Open the “View Responses” form.
  6. Apply conditional formatting to make every multiple choice option turn a different color.
    1. I picked multiple choice, because it is guaranteed to populate the responses exactly how you set it up, without being affected by punctuation, spacing, spelling, etc.
    2. Multiple choice is also great because students can add their own “Other” category, if it’s not listed as an option.  You can see at one glance what the student needs.
    3. Conditional formatting will allow you to take all the kids who don’t understand the assignment at once, and explain it to them.  This is a huge time-saver.
  7. Project the spreadsheet so that the students can all see it.  You may have to resize your window if you want to split your screen.  When students can see where they fall in the queue, they won’t get frustrated, because they will see that you are not ignoring them.

I’m so excited to try this out with the class in question.  I think it will go over well, as it has in my other classes.  The key will be to stick to protocol, but once we have it down, then it should work.  Please let me know if you have any tweaks or suggestions.

Week 1 Retrospective

Hello, friends!  I’ve been in high school (part two) for a full week now, and it’s better than I could ever have imagined.  Although it is a whole new ballgame, it takes elements from the two worlds that I’ve been living in for the past few years (middle school and professional learning), and splits them right down the middle.  I’ll keep this short and sweet, because I have to jet, but need to blog.  Here goes.

The Change

The opportunity to go to high school, after seven amazing years in my K-8 came along.  I realized that I had become good at what I did, but if I were to continue to grow, I’d need to try something new.  After making this creepily foreshadowing video nine days before I even knew about the opportunity:

I decided to go for it, with a little nudge from my PLN, as well as my family.

First Week with Staff

When I arrived at the first day back for staff, I was immediately struck by the happy realization that I left one familial environment, only to join another.  This was a huge relief, as I was going through major anxiety the night before, as evidenced by this blog post I wrote to process what was going on (lol…hey, we’re all human).

The entire staff was so welcoming, and I was happy to see many familiar faces: parents of former students, spouses of former co-workers, people who I’d been following on Twitter for years, and folks I had met through county workshops and conferences like ISTE.  I probably knew a good third of the folks there already, so this helped a lot.

My team was also on point.  I learned so much from them in the first few days, and am continuing to learn.  It was from our department chair that I got my first explanation of how 3D printers work, something I’ve wanted to learn forever and a day.  Everyone on the team brings the heat in his or her own way, and I’m so proud to be part of this.

The atmosphere was very high-energy and supportive, but it was still a major change for me.  At one point I started to doubt myself a little bit.  However, our final assembly of the week was all about how important we all are to students, and about moonshot thinking.  After watching an inspirational video and hearing the principal’s speech, I felt renewed and ready for Monday.

Time to Meet the Students

Sunday night, surprisingly I slept like a baby.  I woke up early to work out, which I incorporated into my daily routine before school (we have to be there at 9 a.m.).  I found that it helps me focus, and I’m in an overall better mood.

Monday was Freshman Orientation, and they stayed in each class for about 30 minutes to meet all of their teachers from both days (block scheduling).  In our class, we introduced ourselves, then played a game of Kahoot to go over expectations.  In it, there were questions specific to the course itself, the school culture, and random trivia about me to keep them on their toes.

The day went by fast.  Tuesday was the real first day, with the freshmen and upperclassmen at school.

Day One

Since we are on block scheduling, we have A Days and B Days.  So, this will be a culmination of both days.  I teach three different classes, but the first five days of each class is roughly the same.

Warm-Up

The students did a survey that I whipped up on Google Forms, which included info about their strengths, goals, and an anonymous gamer tag for our leaderboard.  When they were done, they signed up for EverFi Ignition, a free self-paced digital citizenship resource, and began completing the activities.

Class Time

After warm-up, I told students how important storytelling is, and how we each have a story and something to bring to the table.  I challenged them to prepare a presentation of no more than five minutes about themselves to introduce themselves to the class, and modeled what this could look like through an ignite(ish) speech of my own.

Afterwards, we played Kahoot again, because most students were not present on Monday.  Lastly, we went over class expectations.  On the last slide, there was a link to an activity, which we didn’t get to until Day Two.

Day Two

Warm-Up:

On the second day of class, students began the day with their EverFi warm-up, except for those who hadn’t yet completed the survey.  On Friday (B-Day #2), students were invited to vote for their favorite class more from the 3rd period A-Day class.  We have a new class showcased every day, and the public is invited to vote as well.

Class Overview:

I explained the routine to students, that we would reconvene after warm-ups to go over the leaderboard, as well as any relevant announcements.  By this time, I had updated the leaderboard with their pseudonyms and points earned on Day One, so then I told them about the items they could “purchase” with their points in the Swag Shop.

Next, we moved on to the Class Activity for the day, Balloon Cars!  (The site where the activity is described is hyperlinked on the last slide of Day One’s course overview.)  This was a great group work activity where the kids were able to get out of their seats and work together on the design process.

Some groups got it on the first try, and many more had to try and try again. Overall, it was a great learning experience.  I was really touched when groups who had success split off to help their classmates experience the same success.

In some classes, we were able to get started setting up reflective blogs via Blogger (thanks to the EduMatch crew for the sugestion).  In others, we jotted down notes for later blogging.

Homework

I’m not very big on homework, especially in a class pretty much rooted in PBL.  However, I am a huge proponent of flipping.  My school happens to have a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, so this will make flipping easy.  In addition, most students do have cell phones.  I took full advantage of this knowledge to craft my first 360 degree flipped video via my Ricoh Theta camera, to show students what is possible:

FYI, this video may not work properly in some browsers, but I had lots of success on my phone in the YouTube app, as well as on the YouTube site itself, where there is a directional control pad located in the top left of the window.

Reflections

I know I promised to be short and sweet, but I got carried away.  Here are a few take-aways that will drive me into next week:

  1. Find some comfortable shoes.  I’m not feeling heels.
  2. Stick to the model of one reading/writing day and one lab day.  This will help get students ready for the college model.
  3. Implement “Figure It Out” Fridays, where we all get together to…well…figure something out lol.
  4. Get the blogs up and running ASAP, so that students can reflect and comment on each other’s musings.

I’d love to hear what everyone else has going on the first week of school.  Please drop a comment below.  Thanks for reading!

Final Assignment: The Giver

Things definitely happen for a reason.  It seems like all the stars are aligning at once…hopefully we can pull off this end-of-the-year project.

The Giver

Photo credit: Tara Siuk, Flickr
Photo credit: Tara Siuk, Flickr

I’ve been teaching middle school English for nearly four years now.  My first year in the position, I was fortunate enough to inherit a rather large classroom library.  One of the books caught my attention, since we had so many copies: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.  I knew that I could never possibly read every book that we had in the library, so the idea passed.

As the years went by, we introduced initiatives such as 1:1 class sets of iPads, mobile labs, and BYOD.  I found myself relying less and less on our classroom library, and getting more and more techy.  Tools such as Actively Learn provided digital copies of many of the same books, as well as several others, so there was never a time when we ran out of copies.  Plus, organizing the classroom library was time-consuming, and generally a pain.  So, I didn’t put up much of a fuss about passing on our classroom library to a new teacher who inherited my room this year.

(Sidenote: I now recognize the value of a balance of media, both digital and print.)

Interestingly enough, “The Giver” resurfaced somehow in conversation a few months ago, most likely with other English teachers in my PLN.  As opposed to picking up a copy in the classroom across the hall, I decided to download it in the Kindle app on my iPhone.  It took me a long time to get to it, but I’m glad that I finally did.

I’m not going to ruin the book for you, but let me just say that if you haven’t read it, you probably won’t be disappointed.  I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games. This book addresses similar themes, but I do believe it came first.  I really enjoyed it, in that it has even more ethical considerations about dystopian societies.

Yesterday, I was pleased to see that it was made into a movie and available for rent from Redbox.  I literally just finished watching it…haven’t cried or thought so much from a movie in a long time.  Even though I know most of what would happen already, it was magical to see it unfold in front of my eyes.

My Students

The school year is winding down, and my students will soon leave for high school.  It is a bittersweet occasion…I really wanted to teach this particular group of eighth graders, because it felt like everything was coming full circle.  In our K-8 French immersion school, students began taking English class in second grade.  For many of them, I was their first English teacher when I came in 2008, so I really wanted to also be their last here.

In addition, over the years, I have worn many hats at the school.  I have taught this group of incredible young people in some capacity for at least five years, if not more.  As a result, we have formed an incredibly strong bond, that feels more like a family than anything else.  Truth be told, I am having a hard time letting them go, but that’s a blog post for another time.

Anyway, another thing that makes this group unique is their ability to dig deep and have rich discussions.  This year, we have addressed topics, with wisdom ranging well beyond their years: systematic injustice, abuses of power, media bias, medical ethics, euthanasia, and more. I have never witnessed such a level of maturity and passion.  They have taught me just as much as I have taught them.

I always tend to ramble when I talk about my kids…I will attempt to get back on track.

The Grand Finale

In these last days of school, we will not have a lot of class time together, as there are various end-of-the-year celebrations, trips, and other activities.  In our curriculum, we are wrapping up the unit on Drama (their final projects are due June 1), and beginning Author’s Study.  To be quite honest, in these past four years of teaching middle school English, I have rarely even skimmed the surface of the final unit, particularly because the students get carried away with Drama, and I let them (hee!).

This year will be different.

I already promised my students that their Drama project would be their last assessment grade.  However, I never said it would be their last project.  After watching “The Giver,” the skies opened up, the angels started singing, and my plan smacked me upside the head.

After the final SRI test on Tuesday and Wednesday, we are going to watch The Giver together, to kick off our author’s study of Lois Lowry.  As we do, the students will reflect by blogging about many of the themes in the movie (prompts TBD).  This viewing/blogging process will take approximately three class days (quite possibly our last three class days).

That right there could be the end…”have a nice summer, don’t forget to visit,” etc.  But for us, it will only be the beginning.

I really want to learn with my students, and read the other three books of the series.  Thanks to my PLN, I now know how effective a Voxer book study can be.  I’m very excited to use a this model with my students, especially now that group admins have more control.

Our book study will go on indefinitely, open to whomever in the class who would like to join.  Hopefully students will take me up on the offer, as I think it will achieve multiple goals.  This will allow them to remain in contact, even after they leave the school.  In addition, and most importantly, we will continue to learn together.  My hope is that when we finish the series, students will recommend other books that we can read.

Fingers crossed.

#PostYourDrafts: Rant on Testing

This rant on testing is two years old.  To put it in context, I wrote this one morning when I was fed up, around the time when PARCC first hit many districts around the country.  I still feel the same way, and hope to see it become less of a time and energy suck.  The post may be a little stale, but unfortunately still relevant.  For your viewing pleasure, I #postmydraft.


Yesterday, in one of my Voxer groups, there was a heated discussion on standardized testing.  It was a discussion, not a debate, because nobody was advocating for the insane amount of testing currently going on in our schools.  Come to think of it, I’ve never met an educator who has said, “now now, guys, all this testing is really awesome!  Here’s why!”  *crickets*  Remember, we are the professionals, and often the adults who spend the most waking hours with children.  We teachers know what we are talking about; but I have yet to meet an educator who thinks all of this testing is reasonable.

Testing does have a place; this is not it.

Formative assessment on a classroom level is very helpful to see where students currently stand, and how to best meet their needs.  Even the occasional summative standardized test can serve a constructive purpose, to see how much students have grown over the course of a school year.  However, according to the New York Times, states such as Florida may devote 60 to 80 of the 180 school day calendar to testing.  This is an extreme, and thankfully most of us are not in this situation; however, I feel for the teachers and students of Florida.  Even losing a third of that time is a whole month of school.  Imagine what can be taught in one month…this could be an entire instructional unit.

If we must have standardized tests, can we at least get it right?  To me, the ideal standardized test would be short, sweet, formative, and low-risk for all stakeholders, as many factors can influence a student’s score.  For example, I’ve heard of students who traditionally scored high proficient fall to basic on an end-of-year test, perhaps because they were not feeling well that day.  This has a huge potential for negative implications, perhaps even relegating students to low tracks.  Even worse, I wonder how these scarlet letters of testing affect their self-image.  This kills me.

Why is there this war on our students?  I would say because of money, but that’s a whole different post.  Why aren’t the professionals being trusted to make the important decisions?  I hope to explore this topic more in a follow-up post.  I invite you to weigh in below.

Day 11 – Thank You :)

Whoops, I dropped the ball and forgot to post yesterday.  I’ll write two posts today.  This one will be really short, because I’m getting set up for class.

This post is dedicated to everyone who makes the world a better place.  I really want to thank all of my family, friends, students, PLN, school family, and just everybody for all of the birthday love.  It really made me smile, and I’m so fortunate to have all of you in my life.  You mean the world to me.  It gets me choked up sometimes to think of how lucky I am to be blessed with so much awesomeness around me.  Thank you for continually inspiring me.  Words aren’t nearly enough, but at least it’s something.  Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Day 10 Bonus! Meet the “Family”

My students are so funny.

We are at a K-8 school, so I have known my eighth graders since my first year, when they were in second grade.  They used to be so little and adorable, now they are big and adorable.  Most of them seriously tower over me (despite evidence to the contrary, I’m not very tall).

GTA Atlanta.  Photo credit: Danny Silva.
GTA Atlanta. Photo credit: Danny Silva.  I was standing on a chair.

Anyway, since we are a French immersion program, my students began taking English class in second grade.  I was the first English teacher many of them had, and will be their last one at the school.

Throughout the years, I have become super-close to these amazing kids and their families.  Our school is truly a family in many ways.

Last year, the “family” took a very humorous turn.  At a middle school basketball tournament (6th grade vs. 7th grade vs. 8th grade), I was joking with one of the seventh graders (now in 8th), and told her that she acted like a grandma.  She insisted from that moment on, that I refer to her as “Grandma,” so she has been Grandma ever since.

Once the word got out, a sixth grader wanted me to call her Grandma as well.  That makes two grandmas.

Grandma #1 extended the family by telling me that she has a “sister,” not her real sister, mind you, who is in third grade or something.  Grandma 1’s “sister” is another girl in her grade.  She has insisted I refer to her as Great Auntie.

Grandma #2 has a “daughter,” who is, ironically, a few months older than she is.  This is Mommy.  So Mommy and Grandma #2 are 12.  Stay with me, people.

I won’t go through the rest of the family history, but I now have a few uncles, some brothers, a sister, a Great Grandma, a Great Grandma Auntie, and a neighbor…lol, that last one had me scratching my head.  It’s hard to keep them straight, so I refer to them all collectively as “old people,” when I can’t remember.

All this is to set up the punchline for the big laugh of the night.  I received an email notification, that an Edmodo post had come in.  Here is the screenshot (name blurred out).

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 8.00.55 PM

Day 10 – Clubbin’

Today, we took the SRI.  Nothing to report.  Almost everybody finished.  Most of Third Period got through it a little too quickly for my taste.  I asked them if they checked their work and they assured me they did.  A lot of kids said it was “easy.”  The scores will speak for themselves.

In Fourth Period, the kids took a little longer.  For some reason, this made me feel a little better.  I think (hope) they were careful.  There are about five students who need more time tomororrow, which is fine.

The big excitement for the kids today was turning in their club pre-authorization forms.  I lead five different technology clubs for the students.  That may sound like a lot, but really, it’s helping everybody in the long run.  The kids learn some cool skills that they can bust out later in life, and I get some help and don’t lose my mind.  These are our five clubs:

  1. A/V: Sets up and breaks down equipment, and runs the sound board during chorus concerts and plays.
  2. Photography:  Captures special moments at our school through photos and videos.
  3. Morning Announcements: Produces and edits our morning announcements in the school, via Google Sites (see video below).
  4. Yearbook Committee: Open to eighth graders only.  My right hand, helping me plan fundraisers and design the school yearbook.
  5. Repair Squad: Helps teachers with basic troubleshooting.  Also designs websites, logos, etc. for our special events.

The eighth graders have first dibs.  They are super-excited, because they paid their dues last year and took all the sloppy seconds.  Poor seventh graders, last year there were no sixth grade slots left for them.  This year, I’ll try to keep this in mind, and save a few spots for the underclassmen (and underclasswomen lol).  Most groups will have seven slots, four for eighth graders, two for seventh, and one for sixth.  This will be first come, first-served.  With Yearbook, though, all seven slots will be filled with eighth graders.

One year, we even had a Music Production squad.  The eighth graders of two years ago were incredibly musical, and a student approached me with that idea, so we did it.  Last year, I was stretched really thin, especially coaching basketball.  Plus, the students were more into sports than anything else, so it worked out.  One seventh grader asked me to do a Drama Club, but I really couldn’t fit it into the schedule.  Maybe we’ll try it this year.  We might try a Ted-Ed Club later in the year, since I’m freed up a little bit, but I don’t want to bite off too much.

Anyway, I was bombarded by students for signatures, ever since the papers came out.  When they turned in their pre-authorization forms with all of the teacher signatures, I passed out permission slips for them and their parents to sign.  Hopefully we will get clubs underway shortly.  The sooner, the better.

On another note, I explained to students about the self-assessment for the collaborative work that I talked about yesterday.  I actually developed a Google Form, and asked students to fill it in tonight.  The evening is still young, so we shall see what they report back to me.  So far, a couple of students have filled it out, and the comments are very fair.  One said to divide the points for his/her group evenly, and that the assignment was challenging, but s/he appreciated the teamwork dynamic.  Another assigned points based on contribution, and had similar feedback about the process.

One last thing…as a team, we came up with a way to hold people responsible for checking out the shared iPads via QR Codes linking to a Google Form.  I played with the customization.  Here it is.

Tomorrow: Genius Day, because it’s my birthday and we’ll be smart if we want to!  Woohooooo!!!  Adios.

Day 9 – Fumble Recovery

Last Friday, I assigned a collaborative assignment to be completed in class by my students via Google Classroom.  None of them finished it, so I assigned it for homework.  None of them finished it then, either.

Today in class, we had an honest discussion about why the work wasn’t done.  I told them that it was a no-blame situation, and that we would brainstorm ways to make things run more smoothly in the future.

Students provided the following reasons, among others:

  1. They are not used to the technology.
  2. They are not used to working in groups.
  3. It was hard having group homework on a weekend.

They were totally right.  It is still the beginning of the year, and I have completely uprooted my previous practice of having them work solo.  And to be quite honest, it really wasn’t fair of me to assign group work on a weekend, particularly at the beginning of the year.  If I were in the class, I probably definitely would have dropped the ball, too.  

So, I told them that we all learned something, and that we would cut each other some slack this first time.  I gave them an extra day to work on the assignment in class with no penalty, and said that I’d try not to assign weekend homework (especially group work) anymore.  

Third Period took the assignment very seriously.  Every now and then, I had to tell a few people to focus, but for the most part, they were extremely diligent.  One student even discovered the sharing feature on Google Drive to help them work faster, and more efficiently.  At that moment, she became the hero of the class.

Fourth Period, since there are more students, there was a little more confusion.  Most of them got the work done, but I noticed that one of the groups was very slow to start.  I had to constantly come by their table to cue them to begin.  They claimed they had it under control, but by the end, they were panicked and rushing like I knew they would be.  One member volunteered to come up for lunch and finish the assignment.  This raised a red flag to me.  I asked if anyone else was coming with him, but he volunteered to come up alone.

When he came up, he was very loyal to his team.  I asked him if he was doing all the work (which I could tell that he was).  He told me that other group members had contributed; however, I had witnessed them being off-task.  He wasn’t able to finish the entire assignment during lunch time.  

I went to the students’ Fifth Period class and had a quick conversation in the hall with the captain, and told him that everyone on his team needs to pull their own weight.  I asked him to reinforce that to the squad, and gave him a heads up about this awesome grading system that I learned about this weekend.  In it, group members self-assess for the most fair result.  I think I’ll create a Google Form to help facilitate this process.  If anybody has a script, that would work even better.  Can you even do scripts on forms?  #PLN, I may need backup 😀

In the meantime, fumble…recovered!!!

Day 8 – Genius Hour for MEEEEEE

Today I had my own 20% time. This year, I’m teaching half of the school day, and the other half, I serve kind of as an Instructional Coach for tech integration in our building.  I’ve structured it so that Monday-Thursday, I am at my colleagues’ disposal.  My buddy Dr. Will gave me the fantastic idea to use SimplyBook.Me to help me keep my sanity…er, I mean to schedule professional learning sessions.

Fridays are my days.  Oh, I’m a poet and don’t even know it.  But anyway, I am claiming this one day of the week to handle everything that I want to do.  I have three hours of professional learning with…myself lol.

Today, my project was to fix all of the laptops in the mobile lab that could be saved, in order to use them with my classes.  Prior to that, we had issues with some error message popping up.  It said something along the lines of, “no logon servers are available,” or some infuriating garbage similar to that.  I was able to save all but two by hardwiring them to the school Internet, logging on, then shutting down.

Third and fourth periods were cool.  The kids were a little amped, I’m guessing because it’s Friday.  Also, there were some major changes to the leaderboard since yesterday.  Two players hit 50 points today.  I’m going to need to slow up on giving out points, or make items in The Item Shop a little more expensive.  Good thing they have a lot of options, or things could get chaotic.

One major takeaway that I learned from ELA class today is to save all of the high-energy fun stuff for the end of class.  I allowed them to play each other’s Zondle games right after our warm-up with Edmodo’s Snapshot.

I’ll come back to Zondle in a second, but I just have to say that two of my kids are now meeting last week’s standard (8.RI.10), which I threw back in the mix just for fun.  Last week, not a single solitary kid scored “meets standard.”  The funny thing is that 8.RI.10 was only in the curriculum once last week, and the students are supposed to hit that mastery level at the end of the year.  I think all of the Actively Learn warm-ups are helping.  We also did 8.RI.1, which we did work on this week, although not much.  Five students have hit the mastery level there.  I’m expecting better next week.

As for Zondle, the students were so hype to play each other’s games.  I was walking around, looking over shoulders, and I found some of the games were on things like cell division.  Ha!  Not exactly what I was going for, but I’m glad it’s academic.  Next week, I will be very clear with them that they should be using academic vocabulary words while in my class.

We then used Google Classroom and the online textbook for a group classwork assignment.  Both periods ran out of time, so I assigned the rest as homework.  We are going to have to work on the collaborative teamwork thing.  It will go more smoothly as the year goes on.

For sixth period, Technology, we played Kahoot to review digital citizenship.  This was a final activity, before I give them my blessing and set them loose on their gamified journey in Tech class.  Speaking of that, I will work on the challenge board this weekend.

Kahoot, for those of you who don’t know, is a website that is very similar to bar trivia, but it’s educational.  That’s probably the best way I can describe it.  Thanks to my buddy Carla‘s awesome idea, we used Kahoot as a way to educate parents on new tech developments in our county, including GAFE and BYOD, yesterday at BTSN.  The parents had a great time, and this planted the seed for today’s activity with the students.

By the way, the seventh graders totally called me out today on not giving them their Xbox party last year.  D’oh!