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Friday
Jun102016

Remix & Re-Imagine Summer PD!

Brew up your own relevant, personalized learning over the summer months! Here a few ways to feed your brain and refuel this summer through making connections to ideas, networks and communities around your own needs and interests!

Remix & Re-Imagine Your Summer PD

Summer Learning Resource Compilation for Students 

Tuesday
Jun072016

Chromebooks: Connecting the Dots

Looking ahead to implementing Google Apps for Education in 2016-17 at @HISD_MIMS, these slides are designed to make the case for Chromebook as THE device to support classroom GAFE integration.

The Chromebook Classsroom: When Less is More!
Monday
Apr112016

Coggle Mindmap: Houston Google Summit

Mindmapping is such a useful strategy to visually represent ideas and the connections between them. This is one I created with a tool called Coggle from informative Google Classroom Sessions I attended at the Houston Google Summit. After a quick log in with my Google account, it was an intuitive process for me to begin mapping out ideas as I understood them. The keyboard shortcut list located at bottom of the Coggle window [green question mark icon] made generating and modifying ideas, branches and nodes much easier and immediately I could make quick fixes & adjustments.

The Coggle interface is simple, clean and easy which is exactly what we all need (students especially!) to begin creating concept and idea maps. Coggles are shareable and collaborative too. Just like Google Apps, revision history is captured. images drag & drop, auto-saving is ongoing and collaborators can be added to build mindmaps in partnerships and teams!

The color wheel can be a bit glitchy though, because only the inner wheel is available in the freemium version with the outer ring part of the premium. A wrong click there sends you off your Coggle map!

Some key takeaways regarding Google Classroom from the Houston Google Summit...

1. Streamlined process of creating assignments and customizing options for students to interact with them: Google Classroom has capability to auto-create copies for students [when settings are made by teachers] so they are ready to create, edit, submit and receive feedback. Google Classroom's organization of students' classes and workflow through GAFE is simplified for ease of use for them and for me as teacher just as soon as students join with class code! Currently Google Classroom access is disabled in Houston ISD's GAFE domain and I hope this changes soon!

2. Grading Options Maximize the Feedback Loop: Grading Add-ons like JoeZoo, Autocrat & Orange Slice (Rubric Add-ons); VideoNot.es for grading presentations & Kaizena for embedding voice comments within student work.
 
3. Awesome Houston Google Summit Sessions: Google Classroom: The Game Changer [Alicia Merrifield] Oh the Places You'll Go with Google Classroom [Charlele Culpepper & Charlotte Rogers]  Grading in Google Classroom [Emily Meisel] Adding Code to Your Classroom with Chromebooks [Jamie Jackson] Tips & Tools for Chromebooks in PK-2 [Christie Bray Burns]
Monday
Mar282016

Take Students Where the School Bus Can't! 

Though real-world field trips are invaluable experiences, logistics of time, cost or distance aren't always aligned in our favor. Students can make critical connections between themselves, their learning, and the wide-ranging historical, cultural, and scientific environments through inquiry-based virtual learning experiences. They can explore oceans that cover almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface without getting wet and fly through the night sky to explore the life span of a star or the terrain of Mars. The exploration of Historic MomentsCulture, Science & Technology are just a few in the an array of vast potential possiblities for exploration and discovery!

Discover artworks, collections and stories from around the the world in extraordinary detail before with the Google Cultural Institute. The site is divided into three areas: Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders. Google World Wonders brings modern and ancient world heritage sites online using Street View and other Google technologies.

'From the archaeological areas of Pompeii to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Google’s World Wonders Project aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world. By using our Street View technology, Google has a unique opportunity to make world heritage sites available to users across the globe.'

A few hightlights among many to point out--Ford's Theater, the Great Barrier Reef (swim under water in street view), and Wonders of Machu Picchu.

Explore online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history. Explore Historic Moments, Cultural Figures, Science & Technology, and other categories to browse through photos, videos, manuscripts and documents on a wide range of topics. See reflections Inspired by the Gettysburg AddressCivil Rights Photography, and Top Pieces at Naturalis.

Google Map Trek on over to GalapagosVenice, the Grand Canyon. Climb in Nepal or Yosemite. Explore Google Ocean Street View, which now allows us to explore the oceans covering 70 percent of Earth’s surface, all without getting wet. Google's Street View cameras have captured underwater creatures -- view sea turtleshumpback whalesgreat white sharks and the giant sunfish

Google Earth creates the ability to fly to and from anywhere on Earth It is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program! Learn more at Google Earth Learn  and  See 3-D Buildings in Google Earth

With Google Expeditions VR Program: Announcing Expeditions: taking students places a school bus can’t go

Read more (detailed Flyer)...

Sunday
Mar272016

What's New in Think Through Math in 2016?

TEA’s Student Success Initiative was approved mid-year which has secured funding for Think Through Math to Texas schools for students in grades 3-8 (extending until August 2017). TTM provides students with online adaptive instruction that adjusts to students’ unique skill level and delivers rigorous practice, motivational tools, and access to live, state credentialed teachers. 

What’s new in TTM 2016?

[Notes collected from a recent webinar & my updated TTM resource training site & Flyer]

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT

  • Both ‘Helps’ must be used before accessing Live teacher

  • New 'Think-It-Through Math' animations

  • Grades 3-4 have incorporated new ‘Introductory Lessons’

  • Overview of Interactive Item Types [drag/drop, fill in blank, sorting]

ADAPTIVE LEARNING

  • STAAR cumulative review every 10 or so lessons to keep skills fresh as year progresses [requested by teachers]

  • Booster Pack Lessons [testing in below 3 grade levels below to address learning gaps to build foundational skills & confidence]

  • Benchmark Tests: This new assessment feature provides a ‘Quantile Measure’ applied to both students and math concepts. This indicates student’s readiness level for instruction.
    [Dates for mid-year implementation March 15-April 30 and May 15-June 18]

  • Benchmark Reports: Data will be updated to include test data in table format, instructional math levels, lessons per week and lesson pass rates in TTM.


STUDENT MOTIVATION

  • Avatars: Newly designed & iPad compatible

  • Contests: STEM Everyday! March Math Madness!

  • Classroom Giving: Monthly focus around specific charities