Monday, March 14, 2016

Brain Breaks

We have reached the middle of March!  March is a long month causing the students to become more restless and unfocused.  A brain break and body stretch may help release some energy and re-focus on learning.  Check out some of these quick and easy resources for your class today!

Brain Breaks can be incorporated into your day.  Some opportunities are:
  • in the morning to energize your students
  • before or after an assessment
  • transitions
  • to refocus following recess  
  • yoga or dance movements                     

Some resources:
Just Dance Symbaloo - wide assortment of dance movements
Popsicle Stick Activities - randomly select a body movement
GoNoodle - Can be added to iPad as a shortcut or accessed through your computer - energizing and calming breaks for younger children (I can show you how to create an iPad shortcut.)
KooKoo Kanga Roo Music videos (YouTube) - all ages
Just Dance 3 - Dynamite - Taio Cruz - dance break for older children
20 Three Minute Brain Breaks includes a list of specific activities you can try.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Add-ons for Google Forms and Spreadsheets

Some people expressed an interest in using Google Forms for Parent Conference Sign Up.  I have attached two brief videos with step by step directions on how to create and share these forms.  Some teachers only want the choice eliminator option which is explained in the first video.  If you also want your parents to receive an email confirmation, please view the second video as well.

1.  To create the form with Choice Eliminator

2.  To send each parent an email response with their conference date using FormMule

Please let me know if you want any help.  I suggest you do a test run on the form before sending it to your parents - just to make sure it is exactly how you want it.  I am happy to be your guinea pig if you send me the link!

Google Forms

The Google Apps Suite is often compared to Microsoft Office.  While there are many comparable features, Google Forms is a real stand out.  The uses of Google Forms in your classroom are endless. Forms can be assessments, exit tickets, parent communication tools, surveys and much more.  Google automatically creates a Response Sheet within your Drive for each form.  All responses can be easily viewed live or at your convenience.  The wide assortment of add-ons personalizes your form (and response sheet) to meet your every need including self-correcting features such as Flubaroo or Super Quiz.
 Top Ten Google Form Uses

1.  Parent Conference Sign-ups (parents receive an email confirmation upon sign-up;  time slots can be removed once full; parents do NOT need a Google account)

2.  Assessments or Check-ins (digital assessments can include videos, images, multiple choice/select, drop down options, open response or grids - Great practice in preparation for upper level and standardized tests)

3.  Reteach/Retest Automation (Student's wrong response leads to a review video, then student tries question again)

4. Track Parent Contact or Student Behavior (bookmark your form to quickly record name, date and reason for contact or specific student behavior, spreadsheet provides documentation) 

5.  Flipped Lessons  (include a video on tomorrow's topic, students' responses demonstrate understanding or areas needing reinforcement)  Sample 

6.  Rubrics (grade student presentations as they give them - saving you time!)

7.  Data Collection and Analysis (Data summaries and charts available at the press of a button)

8.  Icebreakers (get to know your students), Student Feedback & Reflection Forms (feedback on field trips, units, learning experience or school climate) or Student Information Questionnaire (for parents to complete)

9.  Exit Ticket (share the form link and students can complete their exit ticket question improving student learning and teacher direction)

10.  Task or Project Sign Ups (sign up to bring a party item or students' can submit their research topic)

Stay tuned...Next Week......Top Add-ons for Google Forms