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.



Are you looking for a new way to assess your students, allow them to express themselves, and generate discussion? Take a look at flipgrid.com. It allows you to use simple video recordings to ask questions and collect answers. It is very popular among foreign language teachers.
Here is a quick video introducing Flipgrid! Let Mike and Molly know if you want to try it out!

Listenwise: Harness the Power of Listening

Wish there was an easy way to search for short NPR segments to use in class? It turns out, there is a program for that – Listenwise! The founder of Listenwise is Monica Brady-Myeroff (25-year public radio journalist at WBUR) and she started this company to help make it easy for teachers to use NPR materials in middle and high school classrooms.

I will be talking to a sales representative regarding the cost of the premium version. It would be very helpful for me to hear your impressions of the resource and whether or not you might use it in the future.

Here is just a teaser of some of the segments available:

Calculating a carbon footprint

Fidel Castro’s long legacy

Lessons from Hadrian

How sugar changes the brain

“Listenwise is an award-winning listening skills platform. We harness the power of listening to advance literacy and learning in all students. Our collection of podcasts and public radio keeps teaching connected to the real world and builds student listening skills at the same time.”

Why try this?

  • Good listeners become good readers. Improve listening comprehension skills.
  • The power of current events to start discussions about topics being studied
  • Real voices for real issues
  • In addition to larger collection, daily current events and questions

How does it work?

    Free version

  • Visit the site using any common browser (Chrome, Safari or Firefox)
  • Search for topics & choose a segment.
  • Subject streams for browsing include social studies, science & ELA
  • Stream the audio in class or use the link to assign it for homework
  • Each segment includes listening comprehension questions and listening organizers that can be printed and turned in.

   Premium version

The premium version is where some nice bells and whistles come in, especially for differentiating instruction and ELL support. Some features include interactive transcripts, auto-corrected comprehension quizzes and ELL supports.

Watch the tour via the link below to learn more.

Tour of the premium benefits

  • Interactive transcripts
  • Auto-corrected comprehension quizzes
  • ELL supports (speed, vocabulary, transcripts, etc.)

Thank you!



mr-teddys-picnicGoogle Docs is a wonderful, collaborative tool for creating text documents. There are ways to add images and other graphic design elements, but it remains limited for creating really attractive visual images. If you have a project you want to take to the next level of design, you may want to try Lucidpress.

This user-friendly desktop publishing software is great for making posters, fliers, newsletters, and social media posts. It has a wealth of templates, even a whole section dedicated to educators (reading logs, exit tickets, KWL chart templates).

Using your Applewild Google ID, you have free access to a full-featured version of this program. Check it out at Lucidpress.com.

The Teddy Bear Picnic postcard was quick and easy to create. Lucidpress was also used to create the 6th Grade Art Exhibit brochure. If you want to see that or other examples, just reach out to Mike or Molly.

Updated Google Sites

Is it time for a refresh on your website??

Google Sites has been completely re-written and is much simpler to use than the old version. Here is a link to a short video I found online about the new interface.
https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=rSvnWUiCiFc

Jake and Micaela have both used the new version to create their teacher site. Here is a link to their sites if you want to see what the results can look like.
https://sites.google.com/ applewild.org/4thgrade
https://sites.google.com/ applewild.org/schrader
If you are interested in learning more about the new Google Sites, we will try to cover it during Wednesday’sTechnophiles meeting and if enough teachers are interested and would like to have a workshop, we can schedule a meeting to specifically cover it (like the Social Media sessions from the fall). .


Strategic Searching

strategic-search Strategic searching is one of the important skills built into the Information Literacy Curriculum. Modeling strategic search skills for students is a great way to help reinforce those search skills between research projects. If you are worried about trying this in front of students, please remember – watching you edit and improve an ineffective search strategy is as important a lesson as whatever topic you are presenting. If you are still feeling reticent, talk to me and I can help identify a library based database that would be a good fit for your search. For a guide, CommonSense Media uses the SEARCH Model to define the steps of strategic searching, and has a curriculum you can download. All of the steps are valuable, but the tips in “A” – apply search strategies – can get rusty when you don’t use them often. Here are a few helpful reminders:

Boolean Operators: These can be used searching online or in any of our school databases. When searching in Google, the word “NOT” is replaced by the minus sign (Washington -DC).

Phrase Searching: Use quotation marks around search terms with multiple words (“World Trade Organization” or “Thomas Aquinas”)

Advanced Searching/Limiters: Show students how to take advantage of any advanced searching options. You can find them on most of the search engines and they can be very helpful in limiting your results by certain categories (e.g. date or type of result).

If you are just searching online in Google, here is a helpful infographic that describes some of the ways you can customize your search: Download PDF Version 







Are you thinking of flipping your classroom or using blended learning? Here is a great tool to help you add some videos with built in assessment to your lessons.

EDpuzzle is a free website that will let you take either videos you make yourself or videos you find on the internet and edit them to just the parts you want and add some assessment questions to make sure the students are watching and understanding them.

Here is a link to a great review of the website. http://www.edudemic.com/edpuzzle-review-easy-use-tool-lets-teachers-quickly-turn-online-video-lessons/

Check out the review or come to one of the next Technophiles meetings when Mike and Molly will demo it for you.