Faculty Spotlight: Karen Flanagan & Mike Grant

Teacher(s) name(s):Karen Flanagan and Mike Grant

Subject: 6th Grade Math

Specific topic being taught:  Decimal Math

Learning Goal: Students should learn the basic concepts of decimal arithmetic before coming to class.

Technology used: edpuzzle.com website

Description: We worked on an action research project investigating the use of the Flipped Classroom model. One aspect of the Flipped Classroom model is the use of videos for homework to introduce topics to students so they are ready to get right to work in the classroom. We used edpuzzle.com for this purpose. Edpuzzle allowed us to use pre-existing videos from YouTube, trim the start and stop times, and add questions throughout the video to make sure the students were paying attention. The software has a class management aspect that allowed us to see if students watched the videos, how many times they watched them, and how they answered the questions.

Pros: Can Check homework status before the students even get to class and see what questions they got wrong.

Frontloading students with basic instruction helped the class time go smoothly with less repeated instruction.

Cons: It does take some time find quality videos or make your own.

It can be tough to manage when students don’t do their homework and aren’t as well prepared. They may have to watch the videos during class and miss out on in-class work.

Would you use this technology tool again? Yes, maybe weekly rather than every night.

Is there anything you would do differently next time?

Make more time to find the videos and formulate the assessment questions.

Teacher Tech Spotlight – Jenny Coeur

We promise every spotlight won’t be on using Google Slides – but what a wonderful way to see the same technology used in two different grades. Our next Tech Tip will be some great resources for Google Slide Templates that help teach effective presentation design (and look great too.) Thank you, Jenny!

Teacher(s) name(s):  Jenny Coeur

Subject: Third Grade

Specific topic being taught: Myths of the First Thanksgiving – Plymouth Colony’s Harvest Feast (Social Studies)

Learning Goal: To synthesize information learned from our unit about the first harvest feast in Plymouth Colony, focusing on common myths or assumptions about what took place in 1621.  To become familiar with Google Slides and basic functions (typing a title, typing in a text box, changing text color and background, inserting/resizing/moving a photo found from the search feature).  To practice clear writing and oral presentation skills with the intent of sharing the slides during the K-3 Thanksgiving Common Time.

Technology used: Google Slides and Google accounts in the Marshall computer lab; digital projector for the Common Time presentation.  Classwork with plimoth.org’s Thanksgiving Interactive activity preceded the Slideshow work.  https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/thanksgiving-interactive-you-are-historian

Description: I set up a blank Google Slide show (in my Drive) with 11 slides, one for a title page and one slide for each student in my class.  I set up the Slides as editable, and put a shareable link on my class website so that my kids could get to it easily.  Each student suggested a myth/fact about the first harvest feast remembered from our earlier work and was assigned a slide number, and over the course of a few periods in the Marshall lab, created a slide for it.  They were asked to create a title, to write a small paragraph with full sentences explaining the myth/fact with clear detail, and then were shown how to change the text color and background if desired.  The final step was inserting a picture from the search feature.  I did the final tweaks/editing as well as the title page.  Each student read his/her slide aloud at the Common Time before Thanksgiving break.

Pros: The kids were very excited about using Google Slides, which was new to them.  They were excited to type, to pick colors and pictures, and to know that we would project this slideshow as a presentation instead of making paper posters.  The project really nicely tied together our typing, technology, and social studies work, and it helped make the presentation prep easier, too!

Cons: Because you can’t remove the slide thumbnails from the left side of the page, because this was a shared file, and because third graders are still gaining coordination on the computer, some slides did get deleted accidently.  However, the handy history feature allowed us to go “back in time” and find the missing pieces, though it did require the kids to re-do a few things.

Would you use this technology tool again?  Definitely! It was a great addition to the curriculum and a good use of time.  I’m happy to add this to my kids’ list of tech tools.

Is there anything you would do differently next time? I may consider having the kids make a slide in their own accounts and then share the slides with me to be compiled.  However, I do like the ease of having them all work in one document, and I think it was a cool introduction to the collaborative features of the Google suite.

You can find the finished Slideshow HERE, or in the Social Studies section: http://mrscoeur.weebly.com/web-resources.html