GooseChase: Digital Scavenger Hunts for the Classroom!

WHO: Teachers looking for engaging opportunities increase teamwork in the classroom while demonstrating content comprehension.

HOW: Teachers create a “GooseChase” full of activities and content from their class (or choose a pre-made set). These activities can be solving a text-based question, taking a picture of a teammate completing a challenge, or recording a video of the team working together to demonstrate their knowledge and/or skills.  There are activities that are already built-in to the GooseChase platform, but it is very easy to create your own.  After creating the game, teachers will then launch the game and invite students to join using the iOS or Android app.  Once the GooseChase is set into motion, participants are able to see the missions to be completed, view the leaderboard, and see what the other teams have submitted in the Activity Feed.  After the game has been completed, submissions can be reviewed as a class or individually.  The leaderboard keeps score so that the teacher can recognize the winners at the end if they choose to.

WHEN:  GooseChase is useful as an icebreaker activity to begin the school year, teamwork exercise for content review, or as a reward for exceptional classroom behavior.

 

What is GooseChase by the fine folks at GooseChase:

Answer Garden – Word Cloud Based on Student Response

 

WHO: Teachers looking to quickly gather responses from students, while easily recognizing most frequent responses.  AnswerGarden creates a word cloud of responses submitted by students to a teacher’s question.

 

HOW: Answer Garden is easy to use, and best of all, does not require an account to use!  Teachers simply visit https://answergarden.ch/, click the ‘+’ sign in the top right, and type in a question.  Teachers then have the option to set an AnswerGarden Mode: Brainstorm –

Teachers then have the option to set an AnswerGarden Mode:

Brainstorm – respondents can submit an unlimited number of answers, including the same unlimited times

Classroom – respondents can submit an unlimited number of answers, but only submit each answer once

Moderator – each answer is submitted to the teacher for approval

Locked – the garden is locked and no new answers can be submitted

 

Teachers can choose to allow answer lengths of either 20 or 40 characters, giving the students a feel similar to Twitter.  Teachers can also set a password and reminder e-mail, allowing them to fully control the AnswerGarden and edit it later.  There are also options for Spam Filter to remove common unwanted answers, set the case (all lowercase, uppercase, or no change), and an option to add local discoverability.

When finished, there are many options to export the word cloud after the session has completed.

 

WHEN:  AnswerGarden would be useful as a bell-ringer, formative assessment, exit ticket, check for understanding, and project brainstorming activity.  It allows for a full class discussion of ideas where every student has a voice.

Flipgrid: Giving All Students a Voice in the Classroom

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to give all students a chance to voice their opinions on topics. Flipgrid allows teachers to post a question/topic and students respond on the computer or on their smartphone.  Students record a video discussing the topic or responding to other students.

HOW: Start by creating an account at https://www.flipgrid.com/, start with the Flipgrid One account.  This will give the teacher a single grid with unlimited topics.  Flipgrid Classroom ($65/year) gives unlimited grids, unlimited topics, the ability to adjust response lengths, and more. Once the teacher is on the Admin page, they can create a topic, adjust a wide variety of settings, record a short clip of themselves explaining the topic, and share via Google Classroom, Facebook, Twitter, or link.  Students will then open the app or website, view the topic, then click the button to record a response.

WHEN:  Flipgrid is a great option for a new style of exit tickets.  Teachers could also utilize it for students that are able to dictate answers but struggle with writing.  Other ideas could include verbal book reports, biographies, reflections, debates, or “show me what you learned today”.  Flipgrid would also be useful as a formative assessment tool.  Teachers could have students discuss topics prior to beginning units then revisit a topic at the end.  Students that use Snapchat will feel a similar setup with taking video clips of themselves while learning to use the technology properly.

 

Five Tools for Engaging Classroom Review

WHO: Teachers that are looking for interactive ways to bring excitement to review lessons.
 
HOW: These tools will focus on classrooms with web-connected devices for student use.
 
WHEN: Heading into the end of the school year, many teachers will be looking for ways to review content. These options engage students while refreshing their knowledge of classroom material.
 
1. Kahoot! – This tool is great for creating a competitive environment with knowledge at the center. Teachers will create a series of questions, launch the quiz, then invite students to join via a code. Kahoot will show a question on the board with answers. Students will then pick a shape/color on their device that corresponds with an answer. Correct answers result in points, with extra points going to speed of selection.
 
2. Quizizz – This tool is very similar to Kahoot!. Quizizz features questions made by the teacher, launched, then joined via unique code. Questions and answers options show up on the student device. This allows the teacher to host a quiz across many classrooms at once. This is useful if the administration would like to run a school-wide quiz.
 
3. Quizlet Live – This tool allows the teacher to create vocabulary quizzes (minimum of 12 terms). Then teachers invite students to join via code and compete. Quizlet Live will create and name teams at random. These teams race to match terms and definitions. An incorrect answer takes the team back to zero. The goal is to be the first team to answer all correctly.
 
4. FlipQuiz – This tool is your classic primetime quiz gameshow. The teacher creates categories, adds questions and answers, and play in front of the class. A question is selected and after a student responds, the teacher can reveal the answer. There is a button to award points on each question. 
 
5. Classtools.net – This site features many great tools for the classroom. Arcade Game Generator is great for review. This option allows teachers to enter multiple-choice or true/false questions. The students can then choose which game they will like to play using the set of questions. Game choices include: PacMan, Manic Miner, Asteroids, Pong, Wordshoot, and Flashcards.

Quill: Writing Tools For Students

WHO: Teachers looking for an easy-to-use tool to help students become better writers.
 
HOW: Head over to https://www.quill.org/, sign-up as an educator using Google, Clever, or manual entry, and get started.  Teachers can import classes from Google Classroom or create their own in the system.  Once a class is in place, a diagnostic test can be assigned.  Information from this assessment will give recommendations on activities for each student. There are four main options for student use in Quill:
 
Connect – Practice combining fragments into complex and well-structured sentences.
 
Diagnostic – Allows teachers to find out where students need to focus.
 
Proofreader – Students learn editing skills.  Passages are supplied with errors allowing students to practice grammar.
 
Grammar – Sentence writing activities for students to practice grammar.
 
WHEN: The majority of these activities are 5-10 min so they function well as bell-ringers or closing reinforcements.  These could also be used for enrichment work for students to extend their learning when they have finished regular classwork.

Going Google! An Introduction to G Suite for Education

 

WHO: Teachers that are interested in getting started with G Suite for Education (formally known as Google Apps for Education).

HOW: This tutorial video is under 20 minutes in length and is a simple introduction into the icons and options inside of Google Drive, Team Drives, Docs, and Forms. Viewers will learn how to navigate, organize, and utilize a small variety of G Suite For Education products.

WHEN: This video gives examples of how you could use G Suite in the classroom, as well as in School Administration.

Tutorial – How to Create a QR Code

WHO: Teachers that would like to use QR Codes in their classroom.

HOW: The video below takes teachers through the step-by-step process of creating a QR Code to use in their classroom.

WHEN: QR Codes are useful for directing students to specific websites you would like them to use, for hiding clues in a scavenger hunt, and many other things in the classroom.

Vizia – Make Online Videos Interactive and Replace Worksheets!

WHO: Teachers that use videos in class and would like to add in checks for understanding while making the assignment more interactive.

HOW: Create an account on https://vizia.co/, add in a link to a video, then start adding questions!  Teachers have the option to include Multiple Choice (called quiz), Polls, Response (user types short answer or extended response), and Call to Action (button with external link to visit).  If teachers select the Gate Video option, it will prompt the viewer to enter their name and e-mail address. When all of the questions are added, the teacher simply copies the link in the top right corner and directs the students to visit.  This link could be posted to the classroom website, LMS, or create a QR code for the tablet classroom to utilize. After the assignment has been completed, the question results are loaded into a Google Sheet allowing the teacher to collect data, and grade if they wish. When coupled with the Google Add-On Flubaroo, these assignments could be automatically graded.

WHEN: Vizia is a great option for the flipped classroom and teachers that regularly use videos in class.  Vizia allows the teacher to capture student understanding while the videos are being watched. Vizia videos could be useful for bell-ringers, exit tickets, or assignments or inclement weather as well.

Here is an example of a Vizia video:

PicLits: Create Images To Spark Writing Creativity

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WHO: Teachers looking for something to help students get their creativity flowing.

HOW: Create an account at http://www.piclits.com/, select an image, choose words, or select freestyle and type your own message in.

WHEN: PicLits are great for writing prompts. Teachers can use these in class to give students a starting point for their writing assignment.  Teachers could also use this as an assessment option where students are directed to create their own.

Here is an example of a PicLit freestyle mode:

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Google Cast for Education – Free Screen Mirror Tool

Google Cast for EDU - Screen Mirror tool

WHO: Teachers that need an easy way to share student screens with the class.

HOW: Teachers install Google Cast for Education to their Chrome browser from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, teachers then set up a name and sharing capabilities.  Students can be added via GAFE e-mails, groups, or classes. Using a future version of Chrome, students will be able to select the cast feature and show the class their work.

WHEN: Most commonly, this can be used to display student projects.  However, teachers can use it as a “show me how you solved this” moment. It is also useful for getting feedback from the class on a difficult problem. It could even be used for digital show and tell.

There are many options out there to mirror student displays. The difference here is that no additional hardware (e.g. AppleTV) or paid software (e.g. Reflector 2) is needed to purchase.  The system administrator simply adds the chrome app to the teacher computer that is connected to the classroom presentation system, and the student devices have an up-to-date version of Chrome when it is released.

Using Google Apps For Education in the past has allowed students to click the share button and have the teacher show the work from the front of the classroom.  Google Cast for Education now allows the student to control the screen from their seat. The added benefit is that the teacher can now walk around the classroom. Educators will be able to help students while the work is being displayed.

Here is a video from Google Apps for Education: