Name the School Object…

Are you looking to do something different to avoid those “blank face gaze”. Send the students out on a mission to capture photos of everyday objects in the classroom or throughout the school. Set a time limit for returning to their seat. Once students are back in seats provide them with a link to a Google Forms where they will upload the images. Now open the folder and click on the Chrome Driveslides extension, and boom a slide deck of images is created. Brainstorm with the students how you may use the images to support the content area.

Example ideas:

  • Spanish Class:
    • Create a custom vocabulary
    • Write a story about the image
    • Add an audio recording explaining what the image is.
      • Vocaroo is an easy to use audio recorder
        • Allows you to save audio files to your drive
  • Math:
    • Create math word problems involving the images
    • Look for shapes
    • Find the area and perimeter of objects in the image
  • ELA:
    • Write a school adventure illustrated story
    • Describe an image and it’s usage
    • Create school how to tutorials using the images

Please share an idea in comment area…

Tweaking Questions & Collecting Data…

Thanks to the NJ Ed Tech Team Google Summit  I’m now a proud owner of a Google Home. After playing with the Google Home for a few weeks I started to think about the value an inexpensive tech tool like this could have in a learning environment.

My husband and I noticed the Google Home has a hard time answering “Open Ended Questions”. Due to this one is forced to learn how to ask  “direct questions” to receive answers. It is amazing how quickly question formation changes in avoidance of hearing “I don’t know the answer” or “but I’m learning new things everyday.” 

Google Home

Once this artificial intelligence device started answering  the questions it was easy to understand how it could assist us.  The Google Home can provide the time of day, not only at home but anywhere in the world. It tells about the weather in one’s area, remembers a shopping list, solves math problems, answers factual questions, plays music, looks up recipe ingredients and etc… It can even play trivia games! This helps to hone our knowledge banks for factual information. I have mentioned just a handful of the interactive capabilities a Google Home may provide.

So you may be thinking how might this be used in the classroom? One of my goals is to support students with becoming independent participants within a classroom community. Everyone needs assistance at different times in their life. When a child explores and asks questions to discover answers their communication and critical thinking skills are nurtured.  This sets an environment where the Google Home may be used to provide a correct answer.  A Teacher would jump upon the opportunity to facilitate a classroom discussion about the answer.  This fosters an environment where student esteems are built rather than destroyed. Learning isn’t about spitting out facts but understanding the relationships of the factual information.

One way this may be used in an elementary classroom is though the tracking of daily weather. This is a common routine for most kindergarten classrooms. The student will still look out the window and share observations about what they see. After the information is added to a Google Sheet the student may ask the Google Home about today’s weather for the school’s location. This information may be added to the Google Sheet as well. A quick classroom discussion may occur if the Google Assistant provides a different answer than the physical observation.

This same lesson may be built upon for upper grade levels. It is one way to collect data which could be transferred into scientific or math discussions. This not only hones communication, and critical thinking skills but adds the reinforcement of using data for solving problems. The Google Home is a relatively inexpensive tool which allows the teacher to integrate technology in supportive ways for whole class usage.

STEP 1: Creating Math Animated Image

During the summer I discovered an “Older” screencast program called LICEcap. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac Laptops. The program creates simple animated images. This program is very limited with its options but works well for creating quick demos without sound.

I like the simplicity and found by smashing this program with Google Slides amazing action can happen when creating animated gifs. This is the program I used to create the animated math equation in the Google Forms Math Support.

How to use LICEcap

  • First download from CNET:LICEcap
  • Followed by installing
  • I keep LICEcap in my task bar or toolbar for easy access
  • Click LICEcap
  •              Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 4.03.33 PM
  • Position it on the screen
  • Name the File
  • Add a location to save the file
  • Click Record
  • Click Stop or the x when recording is completed

Now I bet you are wondering what to do next? Next you would go to a Whiteboard Online website such as Ziteboard or Web Whiteboard to use for writing the Math Equation. Open the whiteboard site followed by opening and positioning the LICEcap program to record. It’s really that SIMPLE.

Blog LICEcap.gif

Look Out for STEP 2a: Creating the Google Form

RELATED POSTS:

  1. STEP 2a: Creating the Google Form
  2. Google Form Math Support Explained

 

Students Build with Chrome~Oh! Yeah!!!

Looking for an easy way to engage students in math, social studies, science or perhaps ELA? Why not release the students creative and critical thinking skills juices with  “Build with Chrome” ?  This can start in the early years with something simple like asking the student to create a rectangle. Then discussing as a group what makes rectangles different from other shapes.

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A screen capture is taken of the creation and inserted into a Google Drawings, Slides or ? Once the image is inserted into a Google Doc the student can write a question along with the answer.

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Why not provide a challenge for the student and ask them if they can create a building seen in Egypt? Let them know a second screenshot will be taken. However this time they have to write sharing factual information about the building they created.

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The beauty of this idea is the teacher can take it to many different learning levels and use in a variety of content areas.

NOTE: Real life hand-on building items can be used in this project. It is absolutely fine to use a digital photo of classroom projects. Teacher doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel. Smartphones or Tablets are awesome “Tech Tools” for capturing images.

How would you use this to support learning in your classroom?

Please share your ideas in the comment area

THANKS!

Google Forms Supports Spelling Mastery

Recently I discovered the “Hoover Text” and Data Validation Features in a Google Forms. Right away I thought, “How can these features be used to support content mastery?” I came up with this Google Form idea to promote students independents as they learn to spell.

The Hoover Text feature allows one to add a clue if the students are having a hard time spelling the suggested word. In addition the “Data Validation” can help by limiting the letters for the spelling words to the exact amount of characters needed. In the below sample the spelling of cat provided an opportunity to use the text validation tool. Instead of limiting the characters I set the form for preventing a common spelling mistake from occuring. When Google Forms is used in a manner like this it provides opportunities for 100% Mastery.

I believe when a child works independently discovering their errors, and fixing them it supports the student with internalizing what they are learning. This is one reason why 100% Mastery is beneficial for the learning process. It also supports the benefits a student gains from the “Power of Positive Reinforcement.”

Google Forms Spelling Mastery Sample

Please click here if you would like a copy of the template

Using Hoover Text

  1. Insert an image
  2. Click the More Actions Icon (3 vertical dots)
  3. Check Hoover Text
  4. Type Text

Google Forms Hoover Text.gif

Google Forms Data Validation

Data Validation provides a wide variety of uses and instructions. Due to this I’m going to refer you to the Doc’s Editor Help Center Article for instruction on how to use. Please go to the Validate Answers in your Form for further instruction.