I’m not a fan of memorizing content so flashcards don’t usually have a place in my classroom. Recently we were working with area, surface area & volume in Geometry and you do need to use these formulas. I told students they didn’t need to memorize them but they did need to be able to recognize which one you should use. My students were really struggling with this. I turned to the internet to find some flashcards sites where I could enter images. You either had to pay for that particular service or the website was not very user-friendly. I finally turned to Google Slides, where I should have started, and quickly made some there. I created a notecard image in Google Drawing and then added the flip transition. I am sharing the template as well as the area and surface area flashcards for you to use. Enjoy.
This post has been in draft format for quite some time. Not because I didn’t have a lot to say (this post is crazy long) but because by writing it I feel like my Innovator Academy time comes to an end. I loved spending 3 days with people who share a similar vision and drive to make education better. We encouraged, supported & challenged (and continue to) each other and made connections and friendships that we can always call on. At the end of the 3 days I could say, “I am a Google Innovator,” but those words will never be able to describe the experience.
The Innovator Journey:
On the morning of Oct 5 I got up at 3:15 and headed to KCI. I had a connecting flight in Detroit, and that was the last stop where I had data. I was a little uneasy about landing in Toronto and making my way to the hotel. Luckily, Brian, a fellow innovator, had noticed that we were arriving around the same time and had arranged a ride with Andy, another innovator who lives just north of Toronto. Andy picked us up (after we figured out which terminal we were actually in) and drove us to downtown Toronto.
We arrived at the Hotel and got checked in. I was starving and thankfully Brian and Andy were willing to humor me and search for food. Andy was the only one with data (Brian and I could only use wifi) so he was directing us to a burger place. When we got there, a Poutinerie sign was behind it. We had talked about poutine in our GHO so, of course, we had to eat there. Andy messaged the group and more Innovators showed up. For a group of people who had never met before, we had conversations like we had been life long friends.
After a quick stop at a pop-up Luke’s coffee shop (thanks to Rachel), it was time to head back to the hotel so we could go to Google.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very excited. When we arrived at Google, we were greeted with balloons and a table with name tags. We were early because we were all excited.
We all grabbed our name tags and were taken upstairs. After visiting with each other, our coaches and program managers introduced themselves and then our Canadian friends had a hilarious dance introduction for us.
We found our groups and headed to our BreakOut rooms. Our fearless coach was Jeff Humphries and since he planned the Breakout, we go to do it first. The JAMMRS (our group name) broke out, of course :-), and then we went to share our own personal Breakouts. This was one of my favorite times, getting to know our group members through their clues and stories. Andy and Marcus ended up having the same answer to two different riddles. It was an amazing moment.
We ate a terrific meal together and hung out on the balcony while we discussed our group cheer and song for graduation. Some decided to go out after we returned to the hotel, but I had been up since 3:15 so I CRASHED.
The next morning we met for breakfast and then hit the ground running. We had so many amazing Sparks and Sprints through out the day to motivate us, inspire us, and focus us with our Innovator project. Our coaches were fantastic as they each brought their own unique gifts with them. We had amazing team building activities that also had an application to our project. Juggling was one of my favorites even though I never mastered it.
We used more sticky notes that I could imagine thanks to Les McBeth and the design thinking process. It really helped me focus my thoughts for my project.
All of our coaches were amazing. It was great to meet and sketchnote with Sylvia Duckworth. Donnie Piercey made me laugh with his awkward muffins. Rafranz Davis helped me create my story and Sandra Chow gave me very helpful feedback on my project and encouraged me every day. Jeff Humphries was the best group leader (maybe I’m a bit biased) and kept our slightly ADD group on track. I didn’t work much with Afzal, but he was an encouraging presence. Our group leaders, Michelle, Wendy, Mark & Becky, were funny and amazing and I loved getting to know them.
When it was over, I was exhausted, my brain hurt a little, and I was sad to be leaving this new family. We are still connecting through GHO and Slack. We are still encouraging each other. I have followed my new family on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and G+. I know I can call on any of these people and they would help. I can’t wait to see how this fantastic group of people change the face of education and I am honored to be counted as one of them.
I AM A GOOGLE INNOVATOR!
Students left my building yesterday for summer. I have last day teacher stuff today then I leave for summer too. This is the first time in 16 years that I haven’t taught summer school, so this summer will look a little different for me. I read a tweet last night (couldn’t find it today of course to give credit) that said start planning for August in May. That’s my goal. I’m putting my list of things to accomplish on this blog to hold myself accountable. We’ll see how well I did come August.
- Start planning more conceptual/hands-on lessons
- Find and make some 3-Act math lesson
- Have practice choices so students always have a choice (thanks @alicekeeler)
- Make #hyperdocs to support my flipped classroom
- rethink HOW I do flipped classroom
- Create more digital #BreakoutEDU to introduce or support learning concepts.
- Coordinate our #SJSDEdWeek
- Present at #elevateEDU
- Meet with some schools to help the utilize tech FOR learning
- attend #iste2106 (WOOT!)
- Finish reading: The Classroom Chef
- Reread: Teach Like A Pirate, Ditch That Textbook, Drive, The Innovator’s Mindset, Fair Isn’t Always Equal
- Read: On Your Mark, Learn Like A Pirate, Hacking Assessment
- Enjoy my kids
- Make a few quilts
- Paint my bathroom
Wow, that’s a long list. Everything (except for the last 3) on that list stems from my reflection over this year and how I can improve learning for students.
- Standards Based Learning was a huge success. Student’s mindset towards learning improved SO much, we had more success than ever before (and our students still came to us way below grade level). And as a side note – state scores did go up.
- I continued the student data tracking and reflection piece and saw student ownership of their learning increase significantly.
- I increased the amount of activities for students, some tech some not, and saw engagement increase.
- I stopped giving homework and started allowing students to practice when they needed and how much they needed. Students started asking for more than I would ever have given them.
- We convinced admin to allow us to continue working on semester 1 standards through semester 2 and had an additional 20 students pass.
I call this year a success and look forward to 2016-2017!
They let me guest moderate a #DitchBook twitter chat last Thursday on #BreakoutEDU. It was A-Mazing! Matt Miller (@jmattmiller), author of Ditch That Textbook, has a tremendous chat at 9 PM each Thursday. The DitchBook team is very supportive and welcomed a newbie like me in without a blink of an eye. Karly Moura (@karlymoura) was so patient and supportive and co-moderated with me to make the experience wonderful. I do hope they will let me do it again sometime.
I love #BreakoutEDU for the problem-solving qualities and for encouraging perseverance. I have a Breakout box that I made. I purchased a wooden treasure chest at Michael’s and my wonderful husband but a locking hasp on it. I purchased all of my locks at Amazon or Wal-Mart, but Lowe’s and Home Depot have many to choose from also. A really awesome Date Lock was shared on #DitchBook that I need to add to my collection.
As I prepared for the chat, I knew I wanted our group to experience a digital Breakout. I had participated in a chat where we got to do one created in Google Forms and it was fun. But then I stumbled upon (thanks Sean Fahey @seanfahey another awesome #DitchBook team member) some digital breakouts created in Google Sites. THIS was what I wanted. So I set out to figure out how to do it. I’m going to share the process below. Talk about Google App Smashing! This uses Sites, Forms, Drawing & YouTube.
Look through the one I created or the links above to see how everything works before you read the tutorial below. Digital Breakout Data Cruncher
You will want to write your story and have an idea (or a list) of the links and resources that you will use. Being prepared ahead of time will make the process go more quickly.
Sites: If you plan to make a lot of these, you could have one digital BreakoutEDU site and each Breakout would be a new page within your site. That what I plan to do next, I just didn’t think through it this first time, just jumped in feet first (as usual).
You want to set up your page with one column and insert a table with 2 columns. If you choose the site layout with two columns, it won’t leave enough room for your image. You will insert the Google Form into the left column and your Google Drawing in the right column when they are complete.
Drawing: Now you need to create your Drawing with invisible hotspots. Make sure you use images with Creative Commons License to modify and give credit as per the CC License. Once you have your image, create a shape on top of the image. Set the outline and fill to transparent. You can click on the invisible image and insert a link to the resource you want to use. Repeat this process for all the links in your Breakout.
Forms: Next you need to create the Form so participants can enter their answers. I started by inserting a video into the form with a countdown timer. BreakoutEDU has a timer you can use that’s 45 minutes, the typical breakout time, but I wanted 15 minutes for the chat so I selected one from YouTube. Next you want to set your locks. You need to validate the answer so it will only unlock with the CORRECT answer. Here is a link to a youtube video from the digital BreakoutEDU experts Justin Birckbichler (@Mr_B_Teacher) and Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) explaining how to set your locks to validate.
I also wanted a reward for breaking out, so I created a badge in Google Drawing, downloaded it as a .png and put the link to the image in the confirmation page.
Once your drawing and form are complete, embed them into your site. Test the game and have many others test the game to make sure it does what you intend. Once you’ve beta tested, share it with the world (or at least your class) and let them have fun.
I came up with the process on my own, but the experts mentioned above, Justin and Mari, have a page with resources to make your own. I didn’t find that page until after I’d worked through the process. I did link to two of their videos above but there are many more nuggets of goodness on their page.
If you make a digital BreakoutEDU, please share on our crowdsourced Padlet and/or send the link on Twitter with the #DitchBook hashtag and we can beta-test for you.
I’m sitting here watching my Algebra 1 students take the EOC, hoping that I’ve prepared them for the questions they will encounter on the test. I don’t like that we can’t see the questions to know if we have taught them the right stuff or asked the questions the right way.
One thing I do to get them ready is to have them practice graphing electronically. I created performance event type questions in Google Slides. They practice labeling each axis, dragging the dots to the grid and using the line tool to draw a line. Hopefully our practice will pay off!
I know students want to do well and teachers want to prepare them well. It’s more challenging when you have no idea what the questions will be. Good luck Algebra 1 troopers!
I’ve shared two of my performance events below. They are set to view only so make a copy. If you use it and find them helpful, please let me know.
I don’t give vocabulary assignments very often. I usually teach it as we go in context of the lesson. Every now and then front-loading vocabulary will make lessons flow more smoothly. That’s the case with our circle unit. I can’t take credit for creating this project, but I really do like it. Students have to look up the words then create a picture with circles and label each one. Once I begin the lessons on this they are already familiar with the vocab. One student ask me today if we could do this more often, “Anytime you can color in math, it’s a good day.” We actually color in Geometry often, so I guess he has a lot of good days 🙂 I’ve listed a few examples below and then attached the Slides I gave them with more examples. Use it freely and, if you want to, let me know if you do. I love it when others can benefit from something I already do.
I try not to just promote apps and websites but I found a gem for anyone wanting to create their own math content. You know how pre-created material have those fancy official looking graphs? With arrows at both ends! GraphFree.com is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Scatter plots for line of fit practice, one and two variable inequalities, any function… they all look good.
Why do I create my own content? I differentiate instruction in my classroom and I’m always needing more practice for standards. This site has been amazing for creating these resources. I’ve used them in Google docs and slide activities too. The image quality is great.
I didn’t show it on the graphs below, but you can label and number each axis. It’s very versatile.
If you try it out and like it, let me know!
To reinforce the formula for the volume of a cone, I have my students create a cone and cylinder with the same radius and height, I pop a huge bag of popcorn, then we see if 3 cones full of popcorn will fill their cylinder. I could have my students google the process of making a cone with a specific height but it takes awhile so I give them the process. If you have a few days to spend on it, having them come up with the process would be a great way to add rigor to the project. I’ve added my note sheet at the bottom that includes the process and reflection.
Through #MTBoS I found a video from (insert name here when I find it again) talking about using Google in the classroom. I’m always looking for ideas I haven’t thought of before. Most of the video was reinforcement for what I already do but he did have a foldable (please comment if this is yours so I can credit you) created in Google Slides. I loved it.
I combined this foldable with a QR scavenger hunt to reinforce question prompts in quadratic word problems. This was a thinking activity for the students. They don’t usually like thinking activities. They did enjoy the QR part and I could tell by the discussions at the tables that thinking was happening. In the end, they had a resource to use while working their practice problems.
Below are the links to my files. They are set to read only so you’ll have to make a copy to use them. You will also want to make your own QR codes so students are pulling these images from your Drive. I used the goo.gl extension in my Chrome browser.
If you use this idea please leave a comment or send me a tweet. I love to get ideas from others too!
I found this project a few years ago and I’ve had the students create them on paper. The products are always very impressive and students love the project. The original link can be found here. This year I wanted the students to create online using Google Docs and Draw. It was a little bit of a learning curve, but I like that the student used the transformation tools built into Google Docs. I’ve posted a few examples below and also my updated version of the original project I linked to above. It really helps the students visualize transformations and helps them use this vocabulary in context of their situation.