Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Team Drives

You may have noticed a new feature in your Google Drive, the "Team Drive."  The Team Drive is a collaborative space to create and share files with any group of people within the Westwood Public Schools Domain.  You may want to set up a "Team" of your grade level teachers within your building or maybe you want to collaborate with the entire grade level across the district.  Any invited member of the team will have access to the documents, slides, etc. that are created within that team drive.  Members can have full access, editing or commenting access or view only.  You can also add, remove, or manage members at any time.  This is similar to having a shared folder within Google Drive.  The benefit of the Team Drive is if any member of the team leaves, no files are lost, as the files belong to the team - not an individual.

Check out this video for a quick overview.  (video by Shawn Beard)

Just Read Extension

Many teachers use websites for researching, sharing passages with students etc.  The Just Read Chrome extension strips away the excess ads, information, graphics from web pages - so you only see the passage and images.  By streamlining the page, your students will be better focused on the task.  Once the web page is open, select the blue icon with the open book in the top right corner of their Chrome Window.

Before using the Just Read Extension

After using the Just Read Extension

As you can see, the after screen is much cleaner and less distracting!  To add this extension, click here and select 'Add to Chrome.'  It's that easy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Activities

Looking for some fun interactive Thanksgiving activities?  Check out these great resources!

Review parts of speech and write a Mad Lib Thanksgiving Story with National Geographic Kids (Thanksgiving themed and history videos also available)

Learn about life as a Pilgrim by listening to or reading this book or taking a Virtual Field Trip with Scholastic.  The site also includes a Thanksgiving Readers Theater, taking a tour on the Mayflower learn about daily life of the pilgrims (including comparing and contrasting housing, clothes, food, chores, school, and games), webquest about The Thanksgiving Feasta vocabulary quiza printable Thanksgiving fact hunt, and much more!


Thanksgiving AdditionSubtraction or Multiplication Games

Do you have any great holiday resources to share with our colleagues?

Have a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving Day!  I hope you have safe travels, lots of laughs and make memories with your family and friends.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Exit Tickets for Stemscopes

During our science professional development, many teachers mentioned that Plickers would fit well with our Stemscopes unit.   Ever wonder......did my students leave with a solid understanding of today's skill?  Upon reflection, you may ask do I need to reteach to the whole class, switch up my approach or review with a small group of students?  Exit tickets provide quick, reliable data as to the needs of your students and the next steps for you.

Plickers is a quick and easy tool which requires only one iPad or a smartphone.  Students hold up a card indicating their response to a multiple choice or true/false question.  With a quick scan of your students, answers are collected. The teacher can view which students responded correctly and which may need intervention.  Students cannot see each other's responses.  However, a graph of the responses can be projected with the press of one button.  This not only informs your teaching but can also lead to a dynamic, in the moment conversation about misconceptions.

Since we are having a common experience, it might be helpful to share potential questions by your grade level on the attached Google Spreadsheet.  (Plicker quizzes cannot be shared at this time.  But they are hoping to have this feature added by the end of the school year.)

Please use this spreadsheet to share suggested questions for the Physical Science Unit.  There is a sheet for each grade.

Please let me know if you need any assistance.

Interactive Activitites

Google Drawing or Slides can be used to create an interactive template.  Interactive activities will provide a visual and tactile activity to engage and support your students.  Teachers or students can adjust the graphics to solve math problems, create a music staff or categorize shapes!  The possibilities are endless.  Identify parts of speech, seasons sorterphases of the moon or geometry or science terms, categorize by attributes, we can create anything!

Share on Google Classroom, (Make a copy for each student) to have students complete an interactive assignment for homework or during class!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Math Resource

Meeting the needs of all of your students and the various skill levels can be quite challenging.  Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers have tons of ideas, teaching strategies and lessons available, some free, others available for a small fee.  The Howard County Public School Math Site is a FREE resource available to Westwood Public School teachers - thanks to Beth Cormier!

The Howard County Site includes lessons, exit tickets, assessments, extension activities and much more.  The site includes resources for kindergarten through grade 5.  Primary Routines, sample videos of teachers, journal questions, math flashcards, everything you need at your fingertips!  Problem-solving samples, assessments and answer keys, all ready to go!

Take some time to explore the Howard County Site today!  It will save you time and effort when planning your lessons.  

Word Problem Samples

Exit Tickets