Friday, December 2, 2016

Choosito for web searches and reading

 If you are one who requires students to do research and find that kids spend more time just googling their topics and not actually doing hard core research or, they come across items that exceed their reading level, take a look at Choosito.  While Choosito isn't 100% free, there are free components that can be used by anyone with an account.

I spent a little time investigating the site and was pleased with what I learned. I did a search for something generic and got a lot of results.  I modified my searches for different reading levels and received a lot of different levels of results.  It was exactly as anticipated.

I think this is a good source to refer students to use when they need research.  It's got a better response than google as there were no advertising coming back in the searches, and with google, it seems that those results are the most common.

Because of the leveled results, I think the site will be helpful for kids of all levels when it comes to research, despite the age of the students. Sometimes in researching, students find materials that are so above their level that analyzing them and using them for a successful paper is often a challenge.  This site helps alleviate that problem.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Quick assessments using Plickers

Are you looking for a way to quickly assess students and get an idea if they comprehend a topic or not?   Do you have a smartphone or tablet?  There is a free app called plickers that is used on the computer and a portable device.  Students have an assigned card with a graphic that is read by the device.  It records responses immediately to do a check for understanding.

I really feel this is a simple and easy way to do a check for understanding in a class.  The response is quick and immediate and the prep work isn't too intense.   You start off making a question and determining the correct answer.  Then you load the question into your plicker and share it with the students on the screen.  Kids hold up a card that is assigned to them and the responses appear on your device and are stored on the web.   I tested it with my class and it was so easy to use.

I can see this being used for not only a check for understanding or an exit ticket but also as a way to have kids to surveys.  You can create 4 potential topics and ask the kids to vote.  It's simple.  I like how fast the responses come back to you and how easy it is to use. I would recommend giving it a shot.  It's a great tool for the classroom.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Making digital worksheets with Edueto

I have started to dabble a bit in digital worksheets as ways to assess my students.  I have been trying to come up with some different ways to do things.  I noticed on the AASL Best Websites of 2016, a link for a free digital worksheet site called Edueto. I checked it out to see if it was something I would use and I believe it is.

The site has a library of publicly shared worksheets that are sorted by content, age, country and grade.  If you find one you like, you can copy it to your personal worksheet collection.  You can also make your own worksheets fairly easily. There are many options available for the worksheets you make, including math equations and fill in the blank. Even foreign language accents are available. There is a capability of making a class list and assigning work to the students and classes.

I felt this was a fairly easy site to use and I think it will make some of my daily work a little easier.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Using for Digital Worksheets

 I work in a school corporation that uses Canvas by Instructure as our learning management system.  I have been trying to find some different ways to create assignments that aren't the same ole same ole.   I was told by a colleague about a free worksheet generator site called   I decided to investigate and see if it worked for me and my students.  I would have to say, it is easy to use and meets my expectations.

First of all, it was very easy to create a free account.  I was able to use my google plus account to create it and link it directly to my school email.   The kids can also do that since we are a google school so the platform is more private and only linked to their school email and not personal emails.

I found the format of the site very similar to Smore, which is a newsletter creation site.  This site was set up very similar to Smore, just as easy to use.  I noticed there is an autograde option as well.  I love that.  If you are doing a multiple choice, matching or true false test, you can select this option and it will auto grade for you as soon as the kids are done with the assignment.  What a time saver!  That alone makes it worth it for me.

The program does offer several tutorials to explain how to use it.   I found it very simple.  You can embed the worksheet into your LMS and the kids can do everything right there, directly in the LMS and not on an external site. I love that capability.  When the kids go there the first time, they do have to link their account to their gmail, or make a personal account.  We are a google school so they linked via Google+ and it took them right to the worksheet.

I think this is a very easy site to use and once a worksheet is made, it can save a lot of time later.