Sunday, April 2, 2017

Maximizing Instructional Time

If your standards are aligned like mine, your geometry standards are at the very end of the list right before testing.  Your time is limited between trying to fit in test prep while re-teaching things they should already know about shapes and lines!  Year after year fitting in geometry seems to be a struggle.

Truth be told, I enjoy teaching geometry (to 4th graders- not be confused with "real" geometry). So I decided to switch it up and NOT teach it LAST.  (I like to live on the edge).  However, my time is still limited, so I wanted to make sure I was making the most of my instructional time.  As in, I don't have time to draw lines and shapes on the board while trying to get them to see what I'm trying to teach.

Using all the technology I possibly can, I can make sure I am making the most out the time I have to teach the standards for geometry. So, how do I maximize instructional time?

Here is an example of my first 3 days of our geometry unit:

geometry lesson plans, 4th grade geometry, PowerPoint Lessons, Geometry Worksheets, Math Centers, Google Classroom Ideas, Google Form Assessment.

Using PowerPoint Lessons for Whole Group Instruction

PowerPoint Lesson Notes follow along with PowerPoint.

Drawing parallel lines is impossible on the board, so is creating perfectly square corners.  Using PowerPoint I can deliver the lesson without being tied to my Smartboard.  I am able to walk around the room to make sure the students are following along using their copy of the PowerPoint Notes.

PowerPoint 4th grade geometry lesson, types of lines, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, intersecting lines

Using the PowerPoint lesson ensures that I am able to make the most of my instructional time, without wasting time attempting to draw lines everywhere.  Plus, I'm ready for an evaluation in case my admin walks in for an unannounced observation.

Google Classroom Interactive Paperless Practice

With Google Classroom I am able to embed any instructional video into the practice slides I design. I typically create my own video to ensure it matches with the classroom lesson. Students will re-watch the lesson before starting their independent practice. The videos provide a chance to review the content one last time.  (It's also great for students who are absent from class.)

(Watch the video about the students independent practice on Google Classroom.)

Google Forms: Assessment without all the grading

Before the students leave, I will assess what they know with a quick 10 question Google Form.  I set the Google Form to "quiz mode".  Quiz mode with the answer key built in will automatically grade each form submitted. The students get instant feedback about how they did and I have a quick snapshot of how well the students are grasping the concept.  I can quickly use this data to determine how much time I need to spend the next day reviewing a concept, or which students need additional support during small group time (without ever having to touch or grade student papers!)

10 Question Google Form to assess student understanding of types of lines.

(This No-Prep Self- Grading Google Form can be found HERE)
Google Forms to assess 4th grade geometry standards

(These Google Forms are part of a Geometry Bundle found HERE)

Google Form: Test Data

Automatic data from Google Form Assessment for: Identifying Types of Lines (CCSS 4.GA.2)

By utilizing my Smartboard with PowerPoint Lessons, Google Classroom for independent interactive practice, and Google Forms for a quick assessment I am able to fit in all the 4th grade geometry standards before testing.

Wanting to get started with Google Classroom, but think it will take too much time to get started?  Read about how you can upload an interactive practice or Google Form in less than 60 seconds HERE.  Or watch the video HERE.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Getting started with Google Classroom: in under 60 seconds

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to work smarter not harder, than this post is for you.  One of the best things you can do for yourself is to start using your Google Classroom! If you are looking for reasons why to implement one more thing, you can read my top 5 reasons why I love Google Classroom here.

With so much information on the web, it can be overwhelming.  You just want to get started and after two hours of searching you are more exhausted and frustrated than you were when you started. (I've been there- I totally understand your frustration. Luckily I have a super tech savvy co-worker that I can bounce ideas off of 24/7, not to mention my online teaching friends, so I don't stay frustrated for too long.)

I want to show you how easy it is to get started with Google Classroom.  If you have an assignment on your Google Drive that you want to share with your students, I can help you create a class and upload your assignment in less than 60 seconds!  Yes, that's faster than finding a copy, walking to the copy machine, making 74 front to back copies, and walking back to your classroom.  Don't forget the time it takes to hand out, sort through your turn in tray, put a sticker on it, pass back, etc.

Are you ready?

Click on the tutorial below

Comment below on what you find the be the biggest hurdle in implementing Google Classroom.