Honking with Sarah Chen
Developing the skills to refine your work begins early! Mikaela, a kindergartener, is editing her work and using a sight word dictionary provided in Showbie to check her spelling.
Giving students tools to help in that process while building independence also boosts their confidence and gives you more time to work individually with students.
JF: How much time did you invest in preparing students access this resource independently?
SC: We visited this resource about seven times as a class before students were able to access mostly on their own. Some students still ask but their student community is able to assist them.
JF: How frequently do you replace that resource with additional words?
SC: The sight words list is not updated and is only the list of words that students should be able to spell by the end of kindergarten. We do have other word lists in Showbie that they access and that is updated monthly. The other word lists tend to be season or project based like a list of holiday words, or most recently adjectives that describe people.
JF: What has been a significant benefit from providing this resource digitally?
SC: The writing process is a lot faster for students now. The process of getting their folder, finding the page, locating the word - all of that is much faster and requires less transition between their work and the resource with the use of Showbie.
Starting off on the right foot...
...which is actually your left foot if you were ever in a marching band.
Teachers have to be the luckiest people on earth - we are afforded so many opportunities to start "a new year". It comes with each birthday, each August, each January 1st, and potentially even on a random Wednesday. This August born new year is very welcome to me as it is the first new school year in the past four that hasn't found me in a new school.
When everything is new it is hard to decide what changes will make things better. You are in both observation and "hey - let's just try this for a while and see how it goes" mode. To say that the difference between this new year and the past three has been night and day would be an understatement.
So cheers to this new year with greater familiarity, stronger relationships, and a clearer vision of what starting on the right foot means (with our actual left foot).
Just a Minute Monday: markup
Marking up and on photos provides so many opportunities and now is easier than ever. Check out these three different methods.
1) Go native: Markup
In Photos open an image and tap on Settings (three lines in top right) then tap on More (circle with three dots in middle right) and then MarkUp. You can draw and type to your heart's content. It even has a little zoom bubble!
2) Add an app: Skitch
Skitch is an annotation app that works with photos in addition to websites and other media forms. Just install from Self Service (Essential) and then enable in Photos. In Photos open an image and tap on Settings (three lines in top right) then tap on More (circle with three dots in middle right) and then tap on More (the white square with three dots) and turn Skitch on. Now select Skitch. You can zoom, add arrows and shapes, highlight, draw, AND pixilate (if you need to blur a face).
3) Work in an app: Showbie
Showbie is our workflow platform in the district and makes the share of "things" between teacher and student much easier. The teacher of a class can add a photo and send each kid their own copy to mark on, type, AND add voice notes too. No more work in emails! **Both Markup and Skitch can be used on an image that is then shared via Showbie**
Just a Monday Minute: images
US Copyright laws are complicated and hard to navigate and it isn't always clear when it is ok to use something even for educational purposes! This can present challenges for students when looking for images. I like to steer kids towards one of two options:
1) Take your own.
2) Use Public Domain and Creative Commons images! The New York Public Library just uploaded nearly 200,000 images and have made them free to use. This is great - if you happen to be looking for photographs of Ohio used cart lots in the 1930's. Another resource is a couple of clicks away when searching Google Images.
hAPPy Friday: Thinking Blocks
While not as exciting or as creative as previous featured apps, Thinking Blocks is a solid suite of math apps that step students through solving word problems. With Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication/Division, and Fractions currently in Self Service, students can practice a wide range of word problems at a variety of scaffolded skill levels.
Check out the App Integration Snap Shot or just download from the Math section of Self Service.
Forest Trail EdTech, explorer, adventurer, entrepreneur, maker, farmer, teacher.