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 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 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 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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Letters About Literature

Image Source
At Mepham High School, we like to give our students many opportunities to showcase their talents. One way we do this is through writing contests, like Mepham's Literary Magazine Fragments and PTA's Reflections. Letters About Literature is another wonderful contest that we are encouraging all of our students to participate in. It is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12.

From the Letters about Literature Website: 
"Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels... Here are the Rules and Guidelines." 

Submission deadlines to the Library of Congress national program for high school students is:
December 15, 2014

For more information, please see our English Department Chairperson, Marie Netto in the Learning Center (Room 203).

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Explore the Arts! Participate in the Parent Teacher Association's (PTA) Reflections. This year's theme is: "The world would be a better place if..."

  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts 
Deadline for entries: Friday, November 7, 2014

All participants who make it to the first round of judging, or beyond, be recognized at February’s PTA meeting where they will receive a Reflection’s pin and certificate. 

For more information, please contact Rosemarie Corless at (516) 852-6867 or Betsy Lashin (516) 826-6402. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lunch and Learn: BYOD

Made with Smore

TEACHERS: Join your technology integration mentors, Ms. Schuliaz, Ms. Stack, and Ms. Tschan, in the school library (Room 300) on Thursday, October 16th during periods 1-9. We will cover the district's new BYOD policy, QR Codes in your classroom and give you a Google Docs refresher. Bring your breakfast, lunch and snacks. These 40-minute lunch and learns are held throughout the day to accommodate teacher schedules. We hope to see you there!