Lots of elementary teachers use ClassDojo in their class to help track positive behavior. A lively debate exists around ClassDojo and it's reliance on extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards. That debate aside, I wanted to share a recently announced (thanks Richard Byrne) video series from the folks at ClassDojo on Growth Mindset that seems promising. This video series is geared toward younger students and helps explain how challenging tasks and perseverance can help strengthen our brains and make us more resilient as learners. The first video from this 5 part series was released today, with additional episodes to be released each week. Each video includes a discussion guide to help teachers facilitate conversations around Growth Mindset. I could see these resources fitting in well with PBIS initiatives and schools that use Leader in Me.
How often does this happen? You try to log in to Gmail or Google Drive, but someone else is already logged in. As hard as you try, you cannot clear his or her login information. Need a quick solution? Try this keyboard combination: Ctrl, Shift, Delete (press all three keys at the same time). This brings up the "Clear browsing data" window. All you need to obliterate is the past hour. Then, click the "Clear browsing data" button at the bottom and try to log in again. Your login screen should be cleared out and ready to go.
There are a lot of good keyboard shortcuts for Google, but if you share a computer with another person, or multiple people, this is one to keep posted to your wall, file cabinet or desk, for easy access, because you will need it again. The reason why we recommend the keyboard shortcut is because, otherwise, you would have to click on the Google Chrome Settings button, go to Settings, then click on "Show advanced settings," then scroll down to Privacy, then click on Clear browsing data and, finally, click the Clear browsing data button. A keyboard shortcut is much faster and does the very same thing. Give this tip a try and you are guaranteed to breathe a sigh of relief.
If you are hoping to have students do more digital writing based on a writer's workshop model using Google Classroom and Google Drive I recommend looking at the following suggestions for setting up a writer's notebook student template using Google Slides rather than using Google Docs. In the video and slide presentation I discuss the advantages of Google Slides' layout options, the slide preview window, and revision and annotation options using the the shape tool. This resource includes a step-by-step video tutorial, slide presentation, and printable guide. You can also use my Writer's Notebook template as a starting point.
Printable step-by-Step Guide - Click here
Over the past few years, many teachers have become enamored with the use of Google Forms to create a quick online quiz or formative assessment. However, when it came to grading that assessment quickly, there was something missing, and the speedy process fell apart. Then came Flubaroo, which has since become one of the most popular Google Forms add-ons ever made. What is Flubaroo, you ask? Well, if you haven't yet heard of this fantastic time-saving add-on, please read on and watch the video tutorial below for a three-minute walk-through on how you can grade as many Google Forms assessments as you want, and do it much quicker than the time it took to create the form.
Flubaroo is an automated way to take all of the submissions your Google Form has received and grade them all at once against the Answer Key that you created. So, you must take the quiz or assessment yourself first, then submit it and, after you install the Flubaroo add-on, you will run through the Flubaroo step-by-step setup and tell it which submission is the answer key (your submission). Finally, Flubaroo does what it does best. It grades all of the student quizzes in one pass, and within less than a minute you have the student scores, which are graded. Scores below 70%, for example, are highlighted in red.
A new tab in your Google Sheet is automatically created called "Grades." This is where all of your graded submissions appear. Once you enable the Flubaroo add-on within your Google Form, then you have access to all of its capability. The next step is that you can e-mail the grades to your students. Click on the Add-ons menu from within the Google Sheet, then click Flubaroo>>Email Grades. The message to your student(s) is optional, and so is the option to include the list of questions and scores. Click "Continue" to complete the process.
If Flubaroo is the first Google add-on you have used, it is a perfect example of how powerful these additional scripts for Google can be, enabling a host of additional powerful features that weren't previously available. Give this one and try and see just how quickly you can speed up the grading of your online assessments. You may even want to try some additional add-ons in the future.
A lot can happen in a year! Would you agree? Things we anticipated and prepared for, things we predicted and planned, things we never thought possible, things that surprised and delighted, and things we hoped would happen...and did!
It was exactly a year ago that I interviewed for the SIS Coordinator position. With much excitement, I accepted the challenge and began the Skyward journey at the end of January. It is hard to believe, but shortly before Thanksgiving break, we made it through the very last training session. We have a few more large projects to do regarding our grading history, then we can officially say we have completed the conversion!
As I look back on this year, I see huge accomplishments and lots of laughs, but mostly I see people. Amazing people. Courageous people. Funny people. Generous people. Committed people...and I just want to say thank you! Thank you for your patience as we worked through using Skyward for the first time. Thank you for staying positive in the midst of change. Thank you for forging ahead into new territory. Thank you for the honest feedback. Thank you for encouraging your co-workers and thank you for encouraging me. The uplifting notes, the random candy or chocolate in an inter-office envelope, or the surprise bottle of coconut sunset lotion meant more than you will ever know!
But the journey is not over! Now is the time to evaluate and a chance to plan for next school year. What is going well? What do you need more training on? What is on your wish list? This is YOUR system and we want it to work for you and support your daily work going forward. Your feedback is needed and appreciated, so be on the lookout for some quick surveys in the coming weeks that will help us plan our Skyward future.
Through the end of the year, we will wrap up the conversion and will begin the cycle again. In the meantime, remember that your building trainers are available to help. In addition, I have listed some resources here that you may find useful:
SkyDoc - Skyward Documentation (This is the Skyward help feature.)
From any Skyward screen, click the "?" in the upper right hand corner, then SkyDoc. The system will take you to the help documentation for the screen you are on. You can also use the search feature to look for information on other specific keywords. You can access SkyDoc here (you must be logged in to Skyward to view).
skyhub (This is an internal Google site for FAQ's, quick tips and tutorials produced specifically for our district.)
Content is added regularly, so feel free to email me any documentation that you have created. I would be happy to post it to share with others! You can access skyhub here (you must be logged in to your PHASD gmail to view.)
IT Helpdesk (This is the place to go when you need help and were unable to find an answer through your building trainer or by using SkyDoc or skyhub.)
The IT Helpdesk is at RESA. There are different teams available to help depending on the issue. The Helpdesk staff primarily re-sets passwords for staff and students, creates Universal Login IDs, gmails and assigns helpdesk tickets to the appropriate team. This includes the SIS Team takes, which takes care of ALL Skyward issues (with the exception ofsecurity or setup configurations which are assigned to the district SIS Coordinator). Because there are over a dozen people available to help at RESA, this is by far the quickest way for you to get the help you need. You can contact the IT Helpdesk in several ways: http://helpdesk.phasd.us (preferred method) / firstname.lastname@example.org / (810) 455-1006
Again, thank you for being an amazing team. I wish you much success and many laughs in 2016!
Port Huron Instructional technology Department