Friday, November 9, 2018

The Power of the Anticipatory Set

The anticipatory set is an activity that creates focus and sparks the attention of the class for the lesson that will follow. It is the hook, lead, or set induction. It is utilized at the beginning of a unit or lesson, where students complete a short activity to pique their interest and build prior knowledge.

For your anticipatory set to have maximum impact, provide ways that it can directly relate to the lesson topic, make points of connection throughout the lesson being taught and bridge to previous skills, strategies or lessons. To save time and yet always have the impact of the anticipatory set present, create your own top five list of anticipatory set strategies to reuse in future lessons. Also, consider implementing strategies from For instance, try Affinity Mapping.

Affinity mapping gives us a sense of where most people’s thinking is focused. Use an affinity diagram when you want to find categories within a cluster of ideas and when you want to see which ideas are most common within the group.”

Chromebook integration and the anticipatory set; create a connection with your lesson.

  • Select a key video or audio clip, photo, comic, article, or website related to the topic and upload to Google Classroom, Canvas, Padlet, etc.for students to respond to.
  • Present a connected discussion question on your Google Classroom homepage or in your class Canvas Discussion forum.
  • Digitally poll your students. Provide an analogy, story, or scenario that relates to your topic.
  • Provide T/F statements for your students to predict answers to.
  • Make a screencast where you tell a story. Having a screencast clip makes sure all learners have access to the lesson hook, even those who are absent.
  • Have students design something digitally.

NEPF connection suggestion: Standard 1: 

New learning is connected to prior learning and experience. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Are you trying Canvas? Try these help documents

Congratulations on trying to develop courses in Canvas! Below are some links to help documents that you might try. Remember that your Professional Development Strategists are available to help you.

Canvas Help Documents

Copying a course from another WebCampus course
How to copy a course from one semester to the next

Importing content into your course from a course export .zip file
How to upload files and materials from a .zip file
Modules as an organizational structure
An introduction to the main organizational structure for Canvas. Modules create the structure through which students interact with your pages, discussion boards, quizzes, assignments and more.
Populating your module structure with content
How to add files, pages, assignments, quizzes, discussion boards and more to your course within the module structure.
Uploading files in your course
How to upload and maintain a list of files in your course for access by you or your students
Creating a new content page
Content pages represent the core of many courses in WebCampus and can be used to create instructional content and even an attractive landing page for your course.
Creating an announcement
Announcements are an important way to get critical information communicated to students within your course.

Creating discussions
How to create and maintain student discussion boards in your course.
Creating an online assignment
How to create and configure assignment drop-boxes for online graded student submissions.

Creating a graded column for offline assignments
How to create a column for manually entering grades for in-class student submissions.
Creating Accessible Content in Canvas (PDF)
Learn how to ensure your WebCampus content meets the mandatory accessibility guidelines with universal design that benefits all students.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Thinking Routines

Pairing classroom thinking strategies with tech integration

Harvard's Project Zero-Headlines Strategy:

This routine uses newspaper headlines to capture the essence of an event, idea, concept or topic. It works especially well at the end of a class discussion in which students have explored a topic and gathered new information and opinions.
Ask students,
If you were to write a headline for this topic or issue right now that has captured the most important aspect to remember, what would the headline be? If you ask the first question at the beginning of the discussion, follow up with these questions:
How would your headline change after today’s discussion? How does it differ from what you would have said yesterday?

Thinking Routines: A Tool for Making Thinking Visible
Developed by Project Zero researchers. See for more information.

Chromebook Integration Ideas:

  • Use Google Docs at the end of the discussion to write-up thoughts and ideas.
  • The teacher provides a class Padlet link, or similar application, for students to publically post follow up thoughts.
  • Teacher share’s a common Google Doc for all students to collaborate on in real time.
  • The teacher’s Google Classroom could be used as an open forum for final thoughts after the class discussion.
  • If Canvas is used, the teacher could post a class discussion thread to extend productive discourse after the classroom discussion has occurred. 
  • Students create and share out a WeVideo or FlipGrid.
  • Students use Google draw or generate a digital comic to relay opinions. 

Making NEPF Connections:

This strategy aligns with the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF); consider connections to standards one, three and four.
Standard One: New learning is connected to prior learning and experience. Indicator 4: Teacher provides students opportunities to build on or challenge initial understandings.
Standard Three: Students engage in meaning-making through discourse and other strategies. As the teacher provides opportunities for students to make connections and recognize relationships through productive discourse, (Indicator 1) students could also be engaging in Standard Four; Metacognitive Activity increases the understanding of and responsibility for their own learning.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Simple Screencasting with Screencastify

I have to admit that one of my favorite screencasting tools is the Screencastify Chrome Extension! I have been using this for over a year and have found so many different applications. Screencastify is one of the easiest ways to record your entire desktop, browser tab, or webcam with no complicated screencasting software required. The best part is that Screencastify integrates with Google Drive.

I often use Screencastify to record myself when offering blended or online learning, to explain difficult concepts, and as a way to explain how to do something when I receive an email from a teacher or student.

The Screencastify team has spent over a year talking to teachers and scouring the internet to find some of the best classroom screencasting ideas. They have recently created and shared this ebook, 50 Ways to Use Screencastify in the Classroom, with their favorite Screencastify classroom activities that can be implemented by any teacher.

The uses for Screencastify are countless. What will you do with Screencastify?

Friday, September 28, 2018

21st Century PD for the Busy Teacher

The NR21 Strategist team are followers of #DitchThatTextbook. Thus, when an opportunity arose to be a part of the September encore session of their CUE Craft Ditch the Textbook Digital Conference sponsored by AdobeSpark - jumping ensued.  Each session featured the amazing Matt Miller (founder of Ditch That Textbook) dialoguing with influential innovators in BlendEd. Sessions included Google-powered learning discussions with Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning, The HyperDoc Girls, The Cult of Pedagogy with Jennifer Gonzalez, and many more. However, again what was unique about this experience was the delivery method.

Every conference session was presented in a Google Hangout session.  Wait, what? These heavy hitting innovators sat down in their t-shirts and jeans to chat about the latest trends in edTech. The conference was FREE and on-demand, allowing the ability to access the sessions at any time. Each session included presentation notes as well as Professional Development certificates.

Sessions were not edited for perfect quality.  Jazzy transitions, backgrounds, and sound effects were not added.  Why? The focus was how to change our mindset, how to blend our classrooms, and how to truly create 21st century learners.    

What an exceptional way to deliver PD!  If you missed this FREE learning opportunity, don’t worry. Another CUE Craft Ditch the Textbook Digital learning conference is coming soon. Be sure to check out the CUE page for other innovative PD events.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

UPDATES to Google Classroom

This summer BIG changes were announced to Google Classroom.  Here are a few of NR21's favorite updates as well as links to experts demonstrating these new features.
  • NEW Classroom tab: We asked and Google heard us.  While topics was a useful way to sort assignments and posts, this option was not as user-friendly as it could be.  With the creation of the Classroom tab, teachers can create modules to sort assignments into. Users also have the ability to move these assignments up or down the stream.  While not perfect, this is an improvement.
  • NEW Grading Features: If you are like us, grading written responses and essays in Classroom was a bit of a chore.  Each document had to be opened within Classroom to be annotated, but there was no location to input scoring.  Classroom now allows users to shift between assignments without closing each document. Teachers can create a bank of responses to include as annotations and quickly insert using the # symbol.   
  • Ability to Create Forms within Classroom - This is an important change COMING SOON. Forms have been a resource to educators for a number of years as a means of formative and summative assessment. There will no longer a need to venture outside Classroom. Simply create right within Classroom. Keep an eye out for this change.

Warning: These new Google Classroom features will only appear in NEW Classrooms created after August 7.  Existing Classrooms will retain the older features.  At least for now. 

Be sure to make some time to explore the new features of this amazing tool!  Or, take a virtual tour of the NEW Google Classroom.