I’ve recently seen a large uptick in visits to my Google Jamboard post, as well as people sharing Jamboard templates and ideas on social media. One person who is particularly creative and prolific in creating Jamboards is @GiftedTawk, and I’ve been curating as many as I can from her Twitter feed. Whether you are looking for graphic organizers to use with Jamboard (or Padlet, or even Slides) like these from @ergoEDU or mindbending creativity and logic challenges like this pentomino Jamboard from @GiftedTawk, you are sure to find something ready-made for your class in this list. There are also some tips on the list, such as how to embed a Jamboard in Seesaw, and how to “freeze” your background on Jamboard so it doesn’t get moved accidentally. A few Halloween Jamboards are in there, just in case you are looking for some last-minute activities for this week. (I’ve also put them in my “Halloween During a Pandemic” Wakelet.)
For a “live” updated list of Google Jamboard Templates and Ideas, click here. If you have any others that I should add to the list, let me know!
UPDATE 10/16/2020: If you want to add a Screencastify video to Google Slides, be sure to look at this post from Eric Curts for tips on how to use the Add-On!
Many teachers have become familiar with with screen recording tools, such as Screencastify, in the last 6 months. Of course, the main way Screencastify is being used is to, in essence, flip the classroom – allowing the teacher to record lessons that can be archived for students to view asynchronously. But there are a couple of other neat features of Screencastify that you might want to check out.
First of all, as Jake Miller points out in the embedded Tweet below, Screencastify can be used to make GIFs:
And if you have no idea on why you would need to use GIFs in an educational context, Jake has 19 suggestions for you here.
A relatively new feature of Screencastify is called, “Submit.” To me, this is Screencastify’s answer to Flipgrid. With Submit, you can create an assignment for students to make a video, either with their webcam or by sharing the screen, and submit it with a click to a Google Drive folder that has been automatically created for you. You can decide if you want students to view other videos, just their own, or none of them. For more information on how this free tool works, you can watch this video. (Thanks to @Robert_Kalman for sharing this on Twitter!)
Still have no ideas for using Screencastify outside of flipping lessons? Matt Miller, as always, has you covered. See more ways this versatile tool can support learning here.
Today I am posting about a product that technically would never had made it on this blog if I didn’t break some rules sometimes. First of all, it’s a tool for making worksheets. Yuck. I know worksheets are a necessary evil sometimes, but they are way, way overused to give students busy work. Secondly, to get the most out of this tool, you will need to pay for a subscription. I try to recommend free tools because I know teachers pay for too much already out of their pockets.
This subscription ($35.99 for a year) is a great deal for all of the features you will get – the features that also make this the most powerful digital “worksheet creator” I’ve seen. If you don’t believe me, try the 14 day trial.
In many ways, Wizer is comparable to a Google Form on steroids. In both of these, the teacher can create questions, push it out to students, and receive grades and reports on their responses. But here are the ways that it’s different:
It currently interfaces with Google Classroom, Edmodo, and Microsoft, so you have two more option than you do with a Google Form.
You can design the worksheet to look much more visually appealing.
You can use any of the teacher-created Wizer worksheets to tweak to use as your own. Or, if you like inventing the wheel, make your own from scratch.
There are over 10 different question types you can use, including: Drawing, Fill in the Blanks, Label an Image, Sorting, Open Questions.
You can record (audio or video) instructions as well as text.
Students can respond using audio or text.
Students can design their own worksheets.
Here is an example of a worksheet for Tuck Everlasting that I found in the Wizer Community. You can see what the Teacher Dashboard looks like below.
Now I think you’ll admit that those are pretty good options. But the one that’s the game-changer, the one that made me decide to blog about Wizer, the one that is an incredible deal for $35.99/year is the option to differentiate within your worksheet.
With “The Awesome Plan,” teachers can create Learner Profiles for each of their students based on ability, interest, preferred learning mode, whatever you want. You can create rules based on those categories. Then, when you create a worksheet, you can use alternate questions for different Differentiated Instruction groups. For example, do you want to have Fill-In-the Blank questions? Some students may need a word bank, and others may not. If you have all of your Learner Profiles done, you can just select with a couple of clicks who gets the word bank and who doesn’t. Do you have some students who can answer open-ended questions, and others who need multiple choice? Assign alternate questions! You can see a quick video example embedded below.
Initially, you will have to do some work to get your Learner Profiles in order. But imagine the simplicity of creating assessments once you’ve got your information loaded. If you’ve got students who have their own devices, this tool could make your life much easier – without sacrificing the engagement of your learners.
If you are someone who has used Wizer, please share your feedback!
UPDATE 7/23/20 – Here is a link to a guide for Stamped. Also, find out more about author Jason Reynolds in this blog post.
For this week’s post dedicated to sharing anti-racist resources, I am giving you the link to a digital Reader’s Notebook that was tweeted out by Pernille Ripp (@PernilleRipp) today. This is a Google Slides template created by Jennifer LeBrun to accompany the book, Stamped, co-authored by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Stamped is based on Kendi’s book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which Reynolds and Kendi “re-mixed” to create a book with the same information for younger audiences. If you haven’t had a chance to read Stamped, yet, you may want to try purchasing it from one of these independent, black-owned, bookstores. It is extremely readable, and offers pretty much all of the information about racism that history textbooks completely ignore or wrongly represent to intentionally mislead readers. The Google Slides template is extremely thorough, and the book along with this notebook and some well-orchestrated discussions would make a fine addition to any middle to high school curriculum.
This post is part of a weekly Black Lives Matter series that I have vowed to include on this blog. Here are the previous posts:
UPDATE 9/29/2020: Here is a link to a post with a Google Slides Template for online learning using this routine. The post also includes a link to a post by Dr. Catlin Tucker with 5 other Thinking Routine Templates.
“Peel the Fruit” is a Visible Thinking Routine from Project Zero. I have mentioned some of the other thinking routines on this blog in the past (CSI, 3-2-1 Bridge) that have been very effective in my classroom for encouraging students to think deeper. More recently, I wrote about how the Smithsonian Learning Lab uses Thinking Routines to examine art. I have never used “Peel the Fruit” before, but it seems like it would be particularly useful for older students to use for examining news stories right now or for younger students to think more deeply about a picture book they are reading.
In the “Peel the Fruit” routine, students start by making observations about the “surface” of their subject, and go through six more steps to discover the implications beneath what appears to be obvious. You can see an example of this being used with a text on this page created by Alice Vigors. (There is also a template that you can download.)
Ron Ritchart, who has a book coming out in May 2020, and is one of Harvard’s Project Zero researchers, has included a different graphic by Paviter Singh that might be more appropriate for older students on his blog. Ron also offers a link to this document created by Carol Geneix and Jaime Chao-Mignano at Washington International School, that suggests online tools that can be used with each of the Project Zero Thinking Routines.
“Peel the Fruit” would be an excellent way to encourage curiosity and critical thinking about an image, Tweet, news article, headline, or literary work. If students have never done the routine before, it would be helpful to model the process before asking them to complete it independently.
In an effort to encourage people from other countries to also contribute to our COVID-19 Diary from Kids Around the World, I have added a Google Translate button to this site. In addition, I have added Spanish instructions to the slide show. Since I used Google Translate to interpret my instructions, I hope that someone who knows Spanish will let me know if I made any goofs! Please go to the link above to find out more about this collaborative project. If you have any other suggestions for helping this slide show to become more global, please add them to the comments below.
In the meantime, here is another recent entry from the diary. I love that Estefany gave a book recommendation (and it happens to be one I haven’t read!), and it would be fun to see more of those!