October 18, 2017


Searching for fiction or nonfiction passages is a challenge when you’re looking for that just-right short text. CommonLit is a website full of leveled passages for students in fifth through twelfth grade. It organizes texts into collections to make it easy for teachers to find a passage to share with their students.
When you visit ComminLit’s website you’ll find different collections to explore. These collections are organized by themes including: Power & Greed, Prejudice & Discrimination, and Social Change & Revolution. After you decide on one of the twenty themes, users are presented with discussion questions related to the topic. For example, if you choose the theme Resilience the discussion questions are How does a person overcome adversity? and Why do people succeed? Once you’ve decided on a discussion question there are a handful of leveled articles to explore.
How can you use CommonLit’s fiction and nonfiction passages in the classroom?
  • Make connections to chapter books or literature circle texts by choosing passages for students to read with the same theme. This could kick off a discussion in whole class or small group settings where students connect both passages to the theme.
  • Use the discussion questions as writing prompts for literary essays. Students can use textual evidence from the passage to support their answer.
  • Students who are preparing a speech or piece of persuasive writing can use these texts to develop arguments or supporting claims. Try having students work in partners for this type of task.
Finding high-quality short passages to bring back to your students is easier said than done. In addition to the resources mentioned above, each passage on CommonLit is accompanied with text-dependent questions and discussion prompts. It is Common Core aligned and includes the ability to view each passage as a PDF making it easy to view and annotate.

September 23, 2017

Create a Self-Grading Quiz Using Google Forms

WOW!  If you are not using Quizzes in Google Forms, you are missing a out on a huge (HUGE)  time saver!  You are able to quickly create, deliver and grade assignments or assessments. With Quizzes, you can select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to reduce repetitive grading.

Plus, it is SO easy to set up your quiz!

You can start with a blank form or use a form you’ve used before.
  1. Go to forms.google.com.
  2. Click New Form Add.
  3. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  4. Click Quizzes.
  5. Click Make this a quiz.
  6. Click Save.
 After students have taken the quiz, you will automatically see automatic summaries of all the responses to a quiz, including:
  • Frequently missed questions
  • Graphs marked with correct answers
  • Average, median, and range of scores

If you collect email addresses, you can assign points and leave feedback on individual responses to send later. After you grade a response, be sure to save your changes.
  1. In Google Forms, open a quiz.
  2. At the top, click Responses.
  3. Click Individual.
  4. To move between responses, click Previous Previous or Next Next.
  5. Find the question you want to grade.
    • In the top right, enter how many points the response earned.
    • Under the answer, click Add individual feedback.
  6. Enter your feedback and click Save.
  7. To save your changes, click Save.
  8. When you’re ready, you can email scores to individuals.

Sending results via Email

Step 1: Collect email addresses

  1. In Google Forms, open a quiz.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Under "General," click Collect email address.

Step 2: Choose when to release grades

  1. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  2. Click Quizzes.
  3. Choose an option:
    • Immediately after each submission: Choose this option if you want people to get their results right away.
    • Later, after manual review: Choose this option if you want to email results to people later.

Step 3: Email results

There are two ways to send email scores to respondents from the "Responses" section.

From the "Summary" tab

  1. Click Summary.
  2. Scroll down until you see "Scores."
  3. Click Release scores.
  4. Check the boxes next to who you want to email.
  5. Click Send emails and release.

From the "Individual" tab

  1. Click Individual.
  2. At the top right, click Release score.
  3. Check the boxes next to who you want to email.
  4. Click Send emails and release.
Want to know more?  Need additional help?  Please contact me! 

September 5, 2017

Share to Google Classroom

Keeping your students on the same page can be a tough task for any teachers. Luckily, tools like Google Classroom can do wonders for ensuring cohesiveness in the curriculum.  Did you know that you can push a website to all the students in your class and it will automatically pop up on their open device? 

The "Share to Classroom Extension" can be found in the Chrome Web Store.  All you need to do is click, "Add to Chrome."  This will put an icon next to your search bar.  When you find something you want to share, you simply click on the icon. 

Have you explored Google Chrome Extensions?  This is just one of hundreds that can help you be more productive. 

  1. Open the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Find and select the extension you want.
  3. Click Add to Chrome.
  4. For some extensions, you'll see a box that lists the data that the extension will be able to access.
  5. Click Add extension to grant the extension access to your data and install the extension.

IMPORTANT: You need to archive your classes from last year.  (If not, students will see your class from last year in their classroom.)
On the class card, click More More and then Archive

"Inspiring Minds Together"

August 20, 2017

Hello and Happy
2017-18 School Year!

This is going to be a great year!  

Here is my #1 suggestion for success.  Google Classroom!  If you do not have one, please contact me and we can get together to set yours up.  Honestly, it is a game changer!  


This summer I found a GREAT resource for you.  


Flippity is a series of web apps that can easily turn a google sheet into 

  • Flashcards
  • Quiz Show
  • Bingo
  • Hangman
  • Spelling Words
  • Random Picker
  • Mix and Match
  • Badge Tracker
  • Progress Indicator
  • MadLibs
  • Certificate Quiz
Each tool has a link to a demo page, so you can see it in action, and a link to the step-by-step instructions for the tool. In addition, each tool also has a Google Sheets template that you can make a copy of and then fill in with your own information.

Flippity Add-On

This past November, the Flippity Add-on for Google Sheets became available. Now it is easier than ever to create games. With this add-on, even your students can create review games with Flippity.
To get the Flippity Add-On:
1. Open a new Google Sheet and click on the “Add-ons” menu.
2. Search for “Flippity” and click on the blue “Free” button to install the add-on.
3. Allow the add-on to connect to your Google account.
4. Go back to the Add-ons menu and click on Flippity–>Pick a Template.
5. After you select your template, your Google sheet is reformatted and you are ready to enter your data.
pick a template_border


Flippity can be a great learning tool for students. I think it is a powerful and fun way for them to review content at home, too. The fact that they can use the review games on their phones and/or tablets makes Flippity even more appealing. Turn your classroom into a game show by giving it a try or by having your students give it a try! It’s certainly a fun way to prepare your students.

Let me know if you need help!  I would love to help you make your classroom a fun place to learn! 

I am looking forward to learning with you this year! 

January 27, 2016

Google Forms + Flubaroo = Easy Peasy Formative Assessment

I hope you have discovered that Google Forms with the Flubaroo Add-On is the ticket to more time to plan instruction and less time spending grading! The results will be inserted on a new sheet on your form and results can be e-mailed to students.

It's simple, fast, and FREE! Need some help? Check out the Flubaroo website at http://www.flubaroo.com/

Here are a few quick steps:

1.  Create the quiz using Google Forms.  Add three questions at the beginning of the survey: first name, last name, and e-mail address. 
2.  As a teacher, take the quiz. Your results will be the answer key.
3.  Go back in to Google Spreadsheets. 
4.  Click on Add-Ons and search for Flubaroo.
5.  Click on the Add-Ons tab and you will now see Flubaroo.

6. Click on Add-On --> Flubaroo > Grade Assignment. 
7.  Answer the on screen prompts.
8.  Your quiz is now graded.  The results are on a new sheet ready for you to view and even e-mail to students!

I would love to meet with you and walk you through the process. Just let me know a good time and I will be there!

December 30, 2015

A Quick and Easy Review to Progress Book's Data Map

Progress Book DataMap


DataMap is a student analytics tool that collects, aggregates, and displays trending and historical assessment result data for the following types of assessments:
state standardized assessments – OAA and OGT • other state assessments – OTELA, KRA-L, etc.
third-party assessments – created by outside assessment providers (DIBELS, ACT, SAT, STAR)
You can search for and display this data in various formats to help you analyze the information and identify trends and specific areas in which students may need additional instruction.

Access  DataMap Through Progress Book

Student Roadmap DataMap’s Student Roadmap gives you an overview of a single student’s information and lets you drill down on any section to view more details. On this screen, you can view a student’s demographic information, interventions, current school year summary, and historical test scores.

To access a Student Roadmap, click on the arrow to the left of their name on your progress book home page.
To view a student’s home address location on Google Maps, click to  located in the Demographics section.
You can view the student’s total days absent for each school year in the Attendance section.
You can view the student’s State Assessment  Historical Information in the State Assessment Historical section.

Select the subject for which to view the student’s assessment scores.

You can view the students STAR reading and STAR math scores in the Data Points History Tab

November 6, 2015

Todays Meet: Use It In Your Classroom Tomorrow

We have talked about Today's Meet before.  If you need a  refresher, click here. Let's talk about some new and refreshing ideas you can use it in your classroom tomorrow.

1. Have a conversation. Students can talk about anything in a TodaysMeet room, and often you’ll draw out the shyest, quietest students — the ones who would never raise their hand in class discussion.
2. Share links. Post the URL for a website you want everyone to visit. Links you post are clickable in TodaysMeet.
3. Ask questions. During a lecture, presentation or movie, if students are unclear about something, they can ask questions and get answers without interrupting.
4. Give examples. Looking for students to show how something relates to their life? Or how they would apply a new concept? Participation is immediate and much faster than raising hands to answer.
5. Take a poll. Ask for a vote among a couple choices and the results will be visually obvious in a matter of seconds.
6. Check for understanding. Ask a comprehension question and have students type the answer WITHOUT clicking “Say” (the button you use to submit your answer to the room). Then, if they all click “Say” on the count of three, you’ll see who understands and who doesn’t.
7. Gather feedback. Did your presentation make sense? Do students like changes to the school? What is really working in class? What would they like to see more of?
8. Gather anonymous feedback. If you want participants to be REALLY honest, ask them not to type their names (maybe just a letter or character, or the same thing for everyone) when they answer.
9. Create “rotating stories.” Create a TodaysMeet room with a story starter. Have each student add a new sentence to the story. (Or, have every student create a TodaysMeet room and start their own story … then have each student visit every other student’s room to add a sentence.) See where the story goes.
10. Discuss an event. The State of the Union speech. A movie relevant to class. A presentation in the auditorium. Host a behind-the-scenes quiet discussion.
11. Hold online office hours. Tell students you’ll be available at a TodaysMeet room at a certain time to answer questions.
12. Crowdsource details. When my Spanish classes and I make up stories in Spanish, I like to ask them for details to add — a character’s name, where the character goes, what a character does next. I can get suggestions from everyone in about 15 seconds (or less!).
13. Connect with other classrooms. Extend a discussion beyond the four walls of your classroom. Invite a class from down the hall, in another city, in a different country.
14. Connect with experts. Find an expert in the subject your class is discussing and see if he/she will engage with your students in a TodaysMeet room. You can have a guest speaker without the hassle of travel.
15. Host a contest. The first person who correctly posts in the TodaysMeet room wins!
16. Teach brevity. Students can easily get too verbose and use unnecessary words. Expressing thoughts in 140 characters is an exercise in simplicity.
17. Practice digital citizenship. TodaysMeet rooms are online spaces for discussion much like many social media sites. They are a safe place to post and then talk about the do’s and don’ts about engaging online.
18. Facilitate group projects. Students can post links to useful articles, relevant information and ideas they want to include in a group TodaysMeet room.
19. Create a club/team communications site. Post meeting cancelations and changes. Connect with parents. Save yourself tons of phone calls or text messages if everyone checks the group TodaysMeet site.
20. Have asynchronous staff/committee meetings. Host a discussion where participants can discuss when it’s convenient for them. Let everyone pop into a TodaysMeet room throughout the day (or week) and wrap up the meeting at a predetermined time.
Which of these ideas sounds the most useful? What other ideas would you add to the list? Share them in a comment below!
Ditch That Textbook,. (2014).  TodaysMeet in schools. Retrieved 6 November 2015, from http://ditchthattextbook.com/2014/01/30/20-useful-ways-to-use-todaysmeet-in-schools/