Friday, November 7, 2014

November - How Do I Manage It All?

How do we manage it all?  I love the fact that our team has move to online assessments, but the grading and management of it all has me incredibly overwhelmed.  I think I live in the olden days, where I focus more specifically on grading the papers sitting on my desk, and forget about the online assessments or tasks I have given kids.  I am looking forward to seeing how google classroom plays out; also, the idea that student responses will be all in one place.  Right now, I have to open up each persons folder and click around until I find where the student put what I need to grade.  I had a huge ah ha though.  I had every student share their 5th grade folder with me. Now, I have a 90% chance of at least being able to find the paper.


Personal Blog Posting
Whew!  This past month was a whirlwind.  We have incorporated so much technology into our day.  The kids are navigating the computer incredibly well.  At the beginning of the year, kids didn’t know how to cut and paste text, make copies of documents, insert images, etc.  I am amazed at what they are able to accomplish.  I can give multi step instructions and I don’t see kids melting down over what they have to do.
Also, our team has created two online reading assessments to match the PARCC.  For each of our Integrated Theme Tests, students have to highlight text and answer a constructed response that uses the pre-writing tool of a double bubble map.  I can’t wait to see where our discussion around technology and assessments go.


Personal Blog Posting
I am excited for this school year.  Several things have popped out for me that I can’t wait to use in my classroom.  One of which is all of the editing tools kids can use to enhance their writing.  I especially liked where students could take a snapshot of their work to add to a document.  The drawing tool can take kids forever to navigate, especially the perfectionists.  When the kids can create their plan on a piece of paper, take a snapshot and then add it to the begginning of a Google Doc they are writing in is great. Also, I love the idea of adding the students pictures to their writing.  All authors have their pictures taken and put on the back of their books, why not our kids too!


Personal Blog Posting
This year I have made it my personal goal to attempt to make some of my assessments match the ones students will see on PARCC and CMAS.  To assess the students understanding of the water cycle.  I created a drawing of with boxes students would have to move to put in the appropriate spot of the cycle.  They were then to click under each box and write some descriptors of each of the cycles.   WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!  Students would click on one box, and then some of the boxes would be off the page.  They would click on a box and not be able to type in the box and then all the sudden the box was gone.

What did I learn?  I learned how to link all the boxes as one, the importance of teaching students the undo button, and changing the settings on the template so that all kids could access the template.  Also, the importance of making sure kids are signed in too.