#SaveTrees: The Copyless Math Classroom

Purpose: To develop routine practices for the students when completing homework assignments electronically, possibly leading us to go paperless.

 

The goal is to develop routine practices for the students when completing homework assignments electronically, possibly leading us to go paperless.  Assignments are consistently posted in Schoology. The majority of assignments for math are “handouts”, which in the past has added up to many reams of paper over the course of the year–as well as rather full notebooks.  Students are expected to rename the assignment, organize it in the appropriate folder in Drive, complete it using Kami, and submit it using Schoology. In addition, students are expected to self-correct assignments during class and save the corrected version in Drive.  Students were directly instructed on how to create and organize their math course folder in Drive, along with unit assignment folders. These procedures were modeled for the students at the very beginning of the year. I am able to see their work prior to class and provide various levels of feedback.  This also gives me to opportunity to observe individual student’s work or some trends within the class as a whole.

Algebra IH – correct interpretation of the instructions:

Algebra IH – somewhat common incorrect interpretation of the instructions:

After the initial adjustment period at the beginning of the year, the majority of students have successfully transitioned to this new system for submitting homework.  There have been a few students that are somewhat inconsistent with submitting assignments prior to class, despite having completed it electronically. Also, there have been a couple of students that have expressed a strong preference for completing hard copies and handwriting assignments.  For those students, once they had given the original plan a chance, a modified plan has been put in place.

Students have been provided with direct feedback (rubric) regarding how well they have met the expectations regarding the assignments and the organization in Drive.  This will occur twice per semester. The students also completed a survey providing feedback.

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, I have found that students have been much more responsible about maintaining a functional Chromebook; for example, making sure it is charged for class, resolving tech issues asap, and replacing a broken or missing stylus.  The improved maintenance of the Chromebooks has allowed for other class activities that involve the use of the Chromebooks to run much more smoothly and spontaneously. For example, my Algebra IH students explored linear equations using Geogebra when I introduced parallel and perpendicular lines.  They were able to discover what was needed for lines to be parallel or perpendicular, rather than be told or spend much more time trying to complete a series of constructions by hand. This class also created projects using My Simple Show following our study of motion problems, compound inequalities, and absolute value equations/inequalities.  The creation of the projects only required one class period and one night’s worth of homework time. Both the creation of and the viewing of the projects was extremely enjoyable. In Math 7, we’ve used the Chromebooks to complete a review Kahoot and a more artistic homework assignment that was perfectly suited for Kami. I have many other projects in store for the remainder of the year.

Algebra IH – My Simple Show Project

Math 7 – FACEing Math Assignment:

For more information contact: Lisa Verrastro
lverrastro@riverdale.edu

#Triptico: A Great Resource in Kindergarten!

How to use the web-based program, Triptico to foster student engagement in a kindergarten classroom.

This amazing tool offers four different categories of programs: tools, timers, selectors, and quizzes. Each has interactive apps that you can use and adapt to your class. The different interactive modes allowed me to bring creativity and uniqueness into the classroom, diversifying the ways in which my students learn, review, and practice various skills. By utilizing the tools, word magnets and text spinner included in Triptico, my students had the opportunity to visualize concepts, manipulate images/texts  and most importantly improve their interactivity throughout the learning process.

Triptico! The Smoothest Classroom Tool Ever Used…

As every teacher knows, there is an overloading number of websites and tools available to educators.  However, the trick is to find the ones that suit your needs, skills, and even your personality in the classroom. TRIPTICO offers a wide variety of creative, interactive, and visually engaging apps. It allows you to create and use various types of activities, tools, and quiz makers to help improve the classroom and engage students.

At the beginning of the school year, I used craft sticks or board magnets for my students in kindergarten to take attendance, vote for our weekly taste tests, or change the helpers on ours Helper’s Chart.  I noticed the students getting distracted and restless during certain lessons or transition activities. Ever since I started utilizing Triptico in the classroom, it made my life so much easier! It helped me create challenging, fun, and interactive activities that help students to learn and develop a more intrinsic sense of the material.

Word Magnets: I added the names of my students as magnets and took attendance by asking each student to move their name from ‘absent’ to ‘present’ as they enter the room. Using the name magnets, the students would vote for the weekly taste tests by dragging their name to a particular point on the board.  

Text Spinner: I would spin the names wheel to select students to come up and share their letter items during letter study.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this program for teachers that want to improve interactivity, foster competition, and engage students in the learning process. It’s an effective resource for promoting learning, and, for this alone, it has earned a place in my classroom. I encourage you to give it a try in yours as well!

For more information contact: Maha El Faissal
melfaissal@riverdale.edu

#CanYouDigIt: Using VR to transform your classroom

Identify the effects of erosion in different environments and prototype solutions that address erosion problems on our campus

The third grade study of erosion introduced the students to the main culprits of erosion; wind, water, and weather and then presented them with an opportunity to explore examples of erosion across the United States.  With the use of the VR goggles and the Discovery VR app the students travel to Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, and the Mendenhall Glacier. The students then turned their attention to identifying and prototyping solutions to erosion problems on the Lower School campus.  

For more information contact: Patrick Murray
pmurray@riverdale.edu

#BITEME: Sinking our teeth into transferable skills

Sometimes we can get lost in the day to day routine and “coverage” of topics and forget about our opportunity to impact students’ overall development. Below, I share a Shark Tank-style project done in Spanish IV that combines the technology unit with persuasive and entrepreneurial skill development.

With this project, students work in groups to come up with an invention that can help address a need in a community.

They work together to design a prototype and convince a panel of “investors” (teachers) that their idea is the most valuable and needed.

They are graded on: how well their invention addresses the needs of a community, how well thought out their prototype (details), the delivery of their presentation, how much they contribute to the group’s success, and how well they answer questions from the panel.

Click here for an example.

For more information contact: Jannely Almonte Ortiz
jalmonteortiz@riverdale.edu

#ClickHere: Thinglink for International Book Selection

Looking to add more Interactivity in your Classroom? UsE Thinglink TO maKe a regular lesson into an interactive one.

 

Every month at Riverdale we celebrate a different countries represented within our community.  I wanted to find a way to represent the spotlight books of the month using my interactive whiteboard while making it interesting for the children.  I used Thinglink, a web based program to create this interactive map. The map spotlighted, Haiti, London, Russia, Dominican Republic, Israel, China, Nigeria and Ghana.  Each button pressed revealed a book from that country. Then the book when pressed revealed a summary. The children loved pressing the map and loved the books that were spotlighted.

For more information contact: Cydney Johnson
cjohnson@riverdale.edu

#ISPY: Library Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a way to Introduce new students, faculty and staff to An important space and its available resources? You might want to try a Scavenger Hunt.
               Evolution of the Scavenger Hunt Map

Library Map process

Canva was initially used to create map, but proved to be time consuming due to learning curve.  Hence, a hand drawn map was created – process attached. Team names were added to the maps to prevent overcrowding at the respective locations

Other elements of the scavenger hunt

QR CodesQR Codes A-F” were added so that students could follow a “route” which prevented them all starting at the same spot. Each QR Code also had QR Code Blurbs, descriptions of the library locations teams visited. Tokens, photo representations of the Team names were placed at each location.  Teams had to collect the token to “prove” they had visited the location.

Glows

  • The map was detailed and easy to follow.
  • The kids understood the symbolism of the Team names (Falcon, falcon, quill, and owl)  

Grows

  • I should have been more explicit about the activity NOT being a race.
  • I should have allowed students to keep maps for future use.  However, I think I probably would have seen the maps scattered all over campus.
  • The map was too detailed for the scope of the project.

Project Notes:

I am happy things went smoothly and students genuinely had a great time.  The, “This was SO much fun!” statement made my day.

However, in the course of having a great time I know that not all the groups actually READ the information contained in the QR Codes. To avoid this in the future I will:

  • Make it abundantly clear that the activity is NOT a race, and  
  • Create/include a knowledge check to ensure that students walk away meeting all the “Desired Results” for what they will “know” and “be able to do.”

Additionally, I am happy that students felt comfortable expressing themselves during the question and answer period.  Afterwards, one student asked if she could make a suggestion. The student thought the activity would have been more meaningful if the QR codes were on the books and part of the hunt was to locate the books.  I agree!!! This idea had been considered, but was not implemented given time constraints. However, some classes (that did not participate during orientation) may do the hunt during Home Base. That is an opportunity to implement that idea along with the inclusion of a knowledge check, or at the very least a more robust question and answer period.

Overall, this was a fun project and I liked using the tech (QR Monkey) I learned in camp.  I am currently contemplating a phase two.

Phase 2 could look something like:

  1. Have teachers actually do the scavenger hunt.
    1. NOTE: One new teacher actually DID the hunt. Feedback was that the hunt was helpful as a new teacher and knowing where he could find things.
  2. Frame the QR Codes around the library and present the information is a more user/reader friendly format, eg. infographic format OR have a tablet that has the library catalog AND the QR Codes on it.
  3. Make sure to include having participant FIND an item in the respective sections.
  4. Advertise the QR Codes on the NEW Library website – maybe. 
For more information contact: Tracy Smith
tsmith@riverdale.edu

#IT’SLIT: Introducing a New Content Platform @Riverdale

Do you have a bright idea, but don’t know how to make it happen?

Maybe we can help. This space focuses on how learning, innovation, and technology intersect @Riverdale. Where bright ideas are met with design thinking and implementation. This is NOT a space telling you to go paperless. This space will NOT tell you to use this device. This space is about identifying an objective, creating a concept, and utilizing various tools to turn a bright idea into a LIT experience.

Explore the articles that will be updated biweekly or click on a tag that sparks an interest.

Comment, Critique, Question, and Share. Be apart of the LIT experience.