Monday, April 14, 2014

Using Flubaroo to Grade Your Google Quizzes

Yesterday I showed how to create a form for primary students using Google forms. It is so easy to add pictures, video, page breaks, etc. to make quizzes and tests easy to navigate and understand, especially for little ones. But what good is all of this technology if it cant grade the quiz, right? Well there is an easy way to gather all kinds of data to help with assessment needs. The answer is called Flubaroo.

Flubaroo is a free tool to help quickly grade quizzes and assignments for the classroom. Flubaroo averages assessment scores, computes average score per question, flags the low scoring questions, and creates grade distribution graphs. The user also has the option to email each student their grade, provide the answer key, as well as send individualized feedback to each student. It is super easy to use and just takes second, yes I said seconds to grade! No more spending all night grading papers! If there is only access to one or two devices in the classroom then I would just have students rotate through to take the test. (Of course, I am speaking of elementary students.) However, if you are a middle or high school teacher then I would have students use their phones. You know they bring them and if it is against the rules to have them, my suggest is to talk to administration and show them this fabulous tool.

I created a video to show how easy it is to run the script once the form is made. However, once I made the video I realized it was a little obsolete. Yes, there is a new way to do this using the Add-ons that recently came out. So I added that video to the end of the first one. That way you can choose the version that works best for you. The update is at the 7 minute, 56 second mark of this video.

I absolutely love this add-on but believe it or not there is more! Yes, there is even more that you can do with your quizzes. Let me know if there is anything specific you would like to do with your quizzes and I'll see if I can figure it out for you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Creating Google Quizzes for Primary Students

I have been waiting for this part of our series since we started. GOOGLE DRIVE! This is by far my favorite part of using Google tools in the classroom. However, I had a hard time deciding which part of Drive I wanted to share. So I asked some of my Facebook followers what they would like to know more about with Google Drive. I had many ask about using Drive with primary students. So this post of the Teacher Training Bootcamp is to explain how to create quizzes in Google forms for younger students.

I have been investigating how to use Google forms for younger students for about a month now. A math coach asked how to make a quiz for kindergarten students with one question per page rather than students scrolling down the screen to go from question to question. Well at the time, I wasn't sure if there was a way to do this but I told her I'd find out. I've learned when it comes to Google, if there is a will there is a way and sure enough I found a solution! So here is a video of how to create a Google form for younger students using images and page breaks.

So what do you think? Isn't this easy peezy? I'm going to let you play with this idea today but I want you to come back tomorrow because I have another post scheduled to show you a simple way to grade the quizzes. But for now check out my other friends posts below to learn other tips and tricks for using Google Drive in the classroom. If you have a post you'd like to share link up with us!
  See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kahoot! Bright Idea for Interactive Student Responses

Today I am joining many of my favorite blogger friends and yours for the April edition of our Bright Ideas link up.  No products, just tons of BRIGHT IDEAS that can help you in the classroom.

Last month, I told you about the importance of teaching keyboarding skills to your students to help prepare them for the new computerized assessments. This month I wanted to introduce you to a new online resource that has not even been out but a couple of months. This tool is called Kahoot. Kahoot is a FREE game-based blended learning and classroom response system that can be used on any device with a web-browser. It allows the user to not only take quizzes, surveys, and discussions in the classroom but also create them.

The cool thing about the quizzes in Kahoot is that videos and images can be used as part of the question. I love that I can take clips from YouTube videos and add it to my quiz just by pasting the URL and setting the part of the video I want the students to see. It is very interactive and engaging so students will love reviewing for a test if this wonderful tool is on the agenda. Like this new tool and idea? Please pin my picture and share this bright idea with the world because I have also provided a video below to explain how to create a Kahoot for the classroom. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter for more helpful classroom tips. For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tips for Creating and Viewing Google Calendars

So excited to be bringing you more tips and tricks of what we have learned about using Google Apps in the classroom. This weeks Teacher Training Bootcamp is all about using Google calendar to help you stay on top of your game. I thought I would share with you tips for creating, viewing, and sharing  your Google calendars.

Google creates a primary calendar for all users including those that have a Google Apps school account but did you know that it is possible to create additional calendars to help organize the different parts of your life? A user can create as many secondary calendars as desired. Let me show you ways that I create different calendars to help me with my work with teachers and students as well as organize the personal aspects of my life.

I need different calendars because of the way my work is set up. For example, I use my primary calendar as the calendar to share with my supervisor. This way she knows where I will be during the day. I soon realized I needed to create secondary calendars for working with my model classroom teachers, as well as creating a calendar to keep up with what is happening in my personal life. These different calendars will not only allow me to see different information on my calendar, I can also set different privacy settings for the calendars.

So in this video, I am going to show you how to create three separate calendars to help you organize your life more efficiently.

Well what do you think? Could this be something that could help you in the classroom? Check out other great tips and tricks from my bootcamp friends below. If you have a post you would like to share with us about Google calendar you are welcome to link up too!  

Join us for our next linky April 13 where we will discuss Google Drive.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Are We Planning for Future Generations?

I am so excited to be writing from the beautiful Destin, Florida. This is my spring break and my son's baseball team has come down here to play in a tournament. It's such a bittersweet trip because it is his senior year. Even though I have been through this once already with my daughter, I have to admit it is never easy when a child grows up. I spent so much time preparing my children to face the world, that I forgot to prepare myself.

One thing that I have enjoyed doing the past couple of days has been walking on the beach. Hearing the waves crashing on the shore, watching the birds running around in the sand looking for food, and observing the dolphins swim together in the water was breathtaking. Unfortunately, it was short-lived because as I continued my walk, I noticed there was a lot of trash on the beach, especially plastics! It made me think about an article I had read to a group of students called, "Studying the Mysterious Plastisphere at Sea." The article talks about a new ecosystem that is forming called the Plastisphere. This article is part of a unit that I wrote called "Save the Planet". Students are learning the importance of taking care of the environment. The essential questions are "Why is it important to take care of the environment?" and "What are steps you can take to care of the environment?" I decided this would be a great opportunity to create a video about this serious problem. So I started taking pictures and video. (Yes, even on vacation I think about school...I can't help myself.)

I found this quote today that I thought really hit home with my experience the past couple of days. Preparing my children for their future has involved many things, but I'm not sure that taking care of the environment has been one of them. I know it's not too late to start and maybe this can be a good beginning. I'll be sure to post when I finish my video, but until then let's spread the word by pinning the picture below. If we all work together, we can surely make our Earth a better place for future generations.

What are ways you are teaching students to save the planet? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Using Google Voice in the Classroom

I am so excited about my first ever blog series! I have had so many teachers request to learn more about Google Apps for Education (GAFE) so I decided to start a series to teach what I have learned about Google tools. It has been AMAZING how this project has spread! What started as a simple question, to a few of my blogging friends, turned into a special alliance with Nancy Alvarez of Teaching with Nancy to form the Teacher Training Bootcamp. With so many educators dedicated to learning more of what Google has to offer, you are sure to gain valuable information to assist students  and better organize yourself in the classroom. For our first post, you will learn tips and tricks for using Gmail in the classroom.

You may or may not know about a special feature in Gmail that allows a teacher to send and receive instant messages with teachers, students, and other people in the school or district right from the inbox. The cool thing about this feature is Gmail can save chats in order to search for them later, reply to an email with a chat and have Gmail save the conversation. However, chat is just one of the options that will make life easier in the classroom.  Communicating face to face with Gmail contacts using voice, video chat and Hangouts is now easier than ever. In order to get these great tools to enhance the chat experience, download the video chat plugin. Once the plugin is downloaded, a user can begin chatting with other contact users that have downloaded the plugin too. 

But wait...these tools are super cool but there is something even better that can be found in the chat feature and can be downloaded here. Did you know that Google provide users a phone number for FREE with Google Voice? One of the hardest decisions that a teacher has to make when communicating with parents and colleagues is whether or not to give out a personal telephone number. Well now with Google Voice this alleviates this problem. A teacher can give out a Google Voice number to parents and link it straight to his or her smartphone or computer. Not only that but the correspondence with parents can be documented right in the Gmail account. You can also download the app on your iPhone or Android device. Here is how it works:


Well what do you think? Could this be something that could help you in the classroom? Check out other great tips and tricks from my bootcamp friends below. If you have a post you would like to share with us about Gmail you are welcome to link up too!  

Join us for our next linky March 30 where we will discuss Google Calendar.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Preparing for the Test: Are Your Students Ready?

Today I am joining many of my favorite blogger friends and yours for a fun blog hop. No products, just tons of BRIGHT IDEAS that can help you in the classroom.

In my state, we have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Our state's consortium is PARCC and there is a lot of talk about preparing our students for taking computerized tests. This year many of our schools are having to take the field test in April. So our district decided to have students take common assessments on the computer. We learned very quickly that our students are not prepared for taking the tests. Not because of the content, but because of the students' lack of computer skills. 

I polled teachers on my Facebook page and found that many of you across the nation have to teach computer skills on your own without the help of a technology teacher in the computer lab or classroom. So I thought I'd provide you with easy ways to prepare students for using technology for the "test".

My Bright Idea for the month of March - Teach your students keyboarding skills, even in Kindergarten! Yes, I said Kindergarten. Here is a picture of a Kindergarten classroom using Dance Mat Typing in the computer lab to learn keyboarding skills. Not only is this great for keyboarding but also letter identification.

So if you have not started teaching your students keyboarding, check out some of these great sites. Here are some of my favorite FREE tools.  

Do you know of any other great free keyboarding sites?

If you love this idea, please choose a picture to pin and share this bright idea with the world. Since this is a blog hop you are not done yet. Head on over to Leigh from The Applicious Teacher where you can learn a some fabulous classroom management tips.

If you don't want to follow the hop in sequential order you can check out the Bright Ideas in one place by checking out the buttons below. This way you can choose what you want to read about so have fun!