Friday, October 31, 2014

Diction-fairy

Appropriately so, Ms. Stack's Halloween costume is book-related this year. Here she is in the stacks.
Ms. Stack as a Diction-fairy.
* Only one book was hurt in the production of this costume. Inspiration from here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky Reading

Something for everyone!
What do you consider scary? Zombies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, serial killers? We have something to haunt everyone in our spooky reading section. Take a look for yourself and check out one today.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

BYOD explodes into Mepham!

Image Source
As you have seen from the previous posts, BYOD has exploded into Mepham! Since the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District's Board of Education approved the Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) / Mobile Learning Device (MLD) Policy at the beginning of this year, students and teachers alike have truly embraced this new opportunity to enhance instruction in the classrooms.

We first have to thank our amazing IT department, because without the many updates to our network over the summer, BYOD simply would not have been possible. The high schools were outfitted with new Cisco wi-fi and the middle schools with Alcatel-Lucent. Now all schools in the district are completely wi-fi enabled.

Some examples of the amazing work can be found here:
Doceri
Kahoot
QR Codes

Friday, October 24, 2014

QR Codes in the Classroom

We have talked about QR codes before on this blog, here and here. In a recent Lunch and Learn, teachers were trained by our Technology Integration Mentors, Ms. Schuliaz, Ms. Stack (that's me!), and Ms. Tschan on BYOD and QR codes in the classroom. Math teacher, Ms. O'Hagan, attended this workshop and created two different QR codes for her algebra and calculus classes. Now hanging in her classroom are QR codes that when scanned by a QR code reader (a free app from your app store) on a smart phone will take students directly to the homework page of her website through an Internet browser. What a great idea!

Ms. O'Hagan's homework QR codes.
Our students now see QR codes all over the high school; on flyers in the cafeteria which take users to the voting form for Homecoming Queen and King to Mr. Grozzkreuz and Mr. Stein's Armenian Genocide Museum in the main foyer which allows users to hear a voice of the Genocide. These QR codes are teacher and student-generated.
QR Codes hang in the cafeteria. 
Student-generated QR code. 
How will you use QR codes in your classroom?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Doceri

Doceri for iPad
Mepham Math Teacher, Ms. McClenahan, has been using Doceri this year to flip her classroom. Ms. McClenahan teaches Geometry and Algebra 2/Trigonometry. She recently signed up for Edmodo and had all of her students join her online classroom. Tina is creating her own videos on her iPad that teach the content using Doceri. Next, she posts these videos to Edmodo and has the students view the content the night before for homework. Students take notes and identify any questions. Students can view the videos as many times as they like and until they understand the concept being taught. In class the next day, students answer each others questions, for a more student-centered environment. Students work at their own pace practicing examples. As a do-now, Ms. McClenahan posts polls (similar to exit cards or tickets) to see the level of understanding the students have and then she can adjust her lesson plans accordingly and go over the concepts that are stumping students. How to the students like it? THEY LOVE IT. In fact, Ms. McClenahan is getting a ton of positive feedback from students and parents alike.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kahoot!

Kahoot is a FREE game-based classroom response system. Users can create online quizzes and surveys. Recently, I had the privilege to observe Chemistry teacher, Mr. Lee Mattes, as he used Kahoot's online quiz in his classroom as review for an upcoming test.  

Mr. Mattes created the online quiz in only a few minutes. It is user-friendly and he was even able to import pictures and videos into the quiz itself. Quizzes are multiple choice questions. He then began the quiz from his laptop while displaying it up on his white screen using a projector. 

The first question of the quiz is multiple choice with four options. 
He set each question to have a time-limit of 30 seconds (but could have given students up to 120 seconds to answer each question).  Students go to Kahoot.it from any web browser and enter a 5 digit code otherwise known as the "game pin" associated with the quiz. Next, students type in a nickname. The teacher can see the number of players before he/she begins the quiz. 

Students answer the questions from smart phones, tablets or laptops.
While I was walking around observing, I saw that EVERY student was on task and truly engaged. Students were competitive with each other and themselves, wanting to improve their scores. Students are awarded points for correct answers and the timeliness of their answer.
The students do not see the question on their device, only the four buttons.
At the end of each question, the teacher displays real-time data. The number of correct and incorrect answers are displayed for class discussion. This gives the teacher the feedback he/she needs to go over concepts that the students are struggling with and data on which incorrect answer they are selecting. 
Real-time data.
Students also get real-time feedback. They see which questions they are struggling with and can use those questions to go and get extra-help. 
Students see instantaneously if they answered correctly or incorrectly. 
There are many applications for any classroom. Using Kahoot as an 'exit quiz' or a 'do now' can supply a teacher with a wealth of information. Teachers can also download the results. How do you use Kahoot in your classroom?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Google Classroom



It's here! Google Classroom is a new product in Google Apps for Education, which all of the teachers at Mepham High School have access to and can begin using to create an online classroom. Google Classroom, which is similar to Edmodo and Microsoft's OneNote Class Notebook Creator, lets teachers communicate with their classes and easily share assignments, materials, and messages. According to Google's Website, "Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized. Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom."

Ms. Stack will be providing the teachers at Mepham High School an opportunity to create his/her own Google Classroom during a Lunch & Learn in the school library. Date: Sometime in November. Stay tuned for updates.