Socrative Exit Tickets

If like me, you’ve started the academic year with ideas of improving and enhancing your practises, you’re probably thinking about how best to collect and utilise formative assessment material to inform your teaching and target students who need your help the most. This has always been an area of my teaching that I have struggled with. I always thought that there must be a smarter and more efficient way to collect this information throughout lessons but I could never quite master all of the various suggestions offered to me by many of my peers. Some teachers love handwriting anecdotal notes, pages and pages of it, and that works for them but it never really suited my teaching style.

So after a bit of research, I decided to start using the Exit Tickets survey on Socrative as a reflective tool at the end of all of my Maths lessons for the last 3 weeks. What I have found is that I am able easily to collect important information about how each and every student felt about their ability to understand the content of the lesson. Furthermore, I am able to compile all of this information and quickly review the responses to help me from my next focus teaching groups based on the needs of the individuals.

So let me explain how it works.
1. The teacher creates a free account by visiting www.socrative.com where they are given a unique class code.
2. During the lesson, the teacher logs on to www.socrative.com and selects the “Exit Ticket” for their class.
3. Students can use the free Socrative Student App on their iPads or they can visit http://m.socrative.com/student/#joinRoom and enter the class code.
4. The student are then asked 4 simple questions
a) Their name
b) How they felt they understood the lesson – multiple choice
c) What they learnt during the lesson – short written response
d) Solve the question on the board (the teacher will need to construct a review question on the board for the students to answer using Socrative.
5. Once all of the students complete the survey, the teacher is then able to review the results or email themselves a very handy csv (Excel) file which contains all of the information.

Using Socrative, teachers can also create their own quizzes for students. These quizzes can be made up of multiple choice answers, response type questions or a combination of the two. Again, the results can be viewed online or emailed for your own record keeping.

I have decided to take a baby bite and only use the Exit Tickets for the moment but it is clear that using Socrative has already enhanced the way in which I collect and analyse information about my lessons.

Combining Socrative and Evernote is another powerful way to record, storage and review the assessment data from Socrative. It also allows you to share the data with a team of other educators. The possibilities are endless and I feel as though I have just scratched the surface.

Here is a great video that better explains what Socrative Exit Tickets are and how it might be used within an educational setting. Enjoy.

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Aside

IMG_5962Let me start of with an apology, you see, I’ve realised just little effort I put into my blog over the last 12 months and it’s a little embarrassing. I have Now that that’s out of the way, let me get down to business. I’ve been reflecting on some of the positive projects that I initiated last year as I am deciding which of these to continue for the upcoming academic year. One of the most enjoyable and surprising projects of 2013 was my Minecraft Club which I previously blogged about oh so many moons ago. been pretty active on Twitter in the last year though and I have had some pretty major events occur in my personal life throughout 2013, however my blogging activity does need addressing and I aim to blog more often in 2014.

The aim of the club was to explore how Minecraft could be used in the context of education to enhance teaching and learning.

Now I am well aware of software such as Minecraft Edu and so forth, however, my school runs a 1:1 iPad program so I really wanted to explore the iOS version and how the students could integrate their love of Minecraft with their learning tasks within a classroom.

Keep Calm

It’s no surprise to me that when I got out the way and let the students lead their learning, what they produce completely blew me away! It’s so important as educators to allow the students to drive their learning and unfortunately, it’s not something that too many of my colleagues feel comfortable enough to do.

All year, I’ve been collecting images and videos of students working on the complex structure during our weeklyMinecraft club with the intentionofputting it together to showcase some of the amazing work that has been produced. It’s been one of the things that has always been on the back of my mind but finding the time to complete it was somewhat challenging.

So rather than waffle on about all the different ways that you could use Minecraft in your classrooms, and trust me, the possibilities are endless, here’s the video that I created highlighting some of the work that was create but grade 5 students – 10 and 11 year olds. I hope you all find this as amazing as I do. Enjoy. DM

Minecraft in Education – Starting a Minecraft Club

Minecraft Club

Ever since attending the Game Master Exhibition @ ACMI in Melbourne last year,

Game Masters Posterthe thought of utilising Minecraft as a learning and teaching tool has appealed to me. Since then, the Minecraft bubble has continued to grow and swell without any sign of bursting. More and more of my students have become totally enthralled and spend hours of their spare time online creating some of the most detailed and magnificent structures that many would never have believed they would be capable to building.  In the amongst all of this creativity and flexibility, I believe, lies an incredibly powerful teaching and learning tool.

During the Game Master Exhibition, my students were given time to explore the games that were available. I came across one of my students creating a basketball arena in Minecraft. The engagement, concentration, focus he displayed was mind blowing. I instantly thought two things
1) A list of educational application came flooding into my mind within seconds. Advanced spatial awareness, rotation of shapes, symmetry, angles, volume and capacity, area and perimeter etc and that’s only in Numeracy! Imagine how many other ways Minecraft could be used across various other curricular areas.
2) Why the hell aren’t I already using this in my classroom?

I came across a great post on edumedic a couple of moths ago that reignited my first thought when I first saw one of my students using Minecraft.  So I decided to start a Minecraft at my school for students who might be interesting. As you can imagine, the response was completely overwhelming. Over 65 students expressed their interest to join what had been advertised as a “small club”.

Before taking on the responsibility of creating the Minecraft club and getting my students all riled up, I needed to answer a few questions for myself. What is the purpose of the Minecraft club? Why do we need it? What are the students going to get out of it?

I came across another great blog written by David Lee who started a Minecraft Club at his school in Korea to teach students about civics and citizenship. Great read and I thoroughly recommend you have a look when you get a chance. What I found interesting was the idea of collaborative teams working towards a common goal. I contact David and we are in the process of negotiating a Google Hangout session so that our students can discuss how they are using Minecraft in education.

I decided that teamwork, communication, planning, collaboration and sharing of resources and ideas would be the fundamental skills I wanted my students to take away from our Minecraft Club. I also wanted them work on small construction projects in competition with other groups within our club.

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Week 1
Students formed groups of 4 to 5, created group names and established rules and a code of behavior for future Minecraft club activities and participating members. Edmodo groups were established for each team as a forum for members to share ideas, distribute resources and discuss their projects.

Student where then introduced to their first construction task. The first task was to reconstruct a model of Melbourne’s Eureka Skydeck using the scale of 1 block is equal to 1 metre. Students were given time to research the dimensions of the actual building using a range of websites and begun calculating the height and width of the various sections of the building. They then shared their findings with their group via their Edmodo group page.

What struck me was the ease in which the students were able to conceptualise how they would replicate the original building using Minecraft while applying size, scale and shapes contained within the real life model. I look forward to adding more to this blog post as the weeks progress.

Apple Distinguished Educators

 

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It is with much excitement and pride that I am able to announce my membership as an Apple Distinguished Educator as part of the class of 2013.

I am so thrilled to be part of such an amazing selection of innovative and inspiring educators world wide and I am looking forward to learning and growing through this unique opportunity.

Stay tuned… 😉

Downloading Clips Off YouTube

Ok, so recently quiet a few staff members have asked me if you are able to download clips off YouTube. The answer of course to this question is yes! There are lots of different websites that allow you to do this but one of my favourites is www.savetube.com. It’s incredibly easy to use and requires no sign up nor does it have any limitation on the file size of downloads like other similar sites.

To make the explanation a little easier, I created a little how to video. Please excuse my husky winter voice as I’m just getting over a cold. Enjoy.

iPhone 4 – Read to me feature

I recently came across a little gem of a feature found within the preferences of iOS (the operating software of Apple wireless devices such as iPhone and iPad) called Speak Selection. As the name suggests, Speak Selection will speak any selected text that is highlighted on your device. All you have to do is enable the setting, select or highlight the text and press speak. This has multiple classroom applications and I’m sure you’ll enjoy thinking up new and interesting ways to use this feature in your classroom or personal life such as listening to a bunch of emails or student writing samples on your way into school.

To enable the Speak Selection feature
1.Go to Settings – General – Accessibility

2. Enable Speak Selection

3. Be sure to turn the speaking rate down as the device reads quite quickly.

4. Highlight a selection of text by holding your finger down on the text, you will notice that a new option appears called Speak.

Gallipoli – The First Day – The full 3D interactive site

Here is a great resource to help students understand why ANZAC day is an important day for Australians and New Zealanders.
Gallipoli – The First Day – The full 3D interactive site

It has created by the ABC and it is one of the best resources on this topic that I have ever seen. The game like graphics instantly engage students and the easy to navigate chapters deliver bite size content that allow for frequent breaks to unpack the information presented in the animation.

There are also a bunch of great teaching resource material available to provide you with interesting classroom ideas.
http://www.abc.net.au/innovation/gallipoli/classes/GallipoliTFD_TeachersGuide.pdf

SelfControl application for OSX

So here’s a nifty little piece of software that you might find useful if, like me, you find yourself wasting hours on Facebook or similar websites when you’ve got more important things you should be doing. This application is a great way to help you manage your time and become more time efficient.

This software also has some educational value and can be used within the classroom to help teach students to become effective managers of their own time. Let’s say you have a certain website that your students use frequently and you notice that they’re not being quite as productive as you would have liked, with SelfControl you can restrict access to any defined website for a specified amount of time rather than have the whole website restricted. Often educational filters within schools apply a black and white approach to restricting websites, SelfControl provides greater flexibility by turning over the “control” to you and your students to assist in the understanding of self regulation.

Imagine how happy parents will be when they know that their child will not be wasting time on social networking or gaming sites instead working on their homework. Now imagine how happy they will be to find out that the software is free!

SelfControl is a free application that can be downloaded by visiting the following site and following the download instructions
http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/