Ed Tech: SeeSaw

So this app seems really cool but I think you need a certain kind of students. 

Apple App Store

As teachers we want our students to be assessed by the work they do over the whole year and not just a single test at the end of the year. 

We also want them to see how they grew over the year in school. 

The way we do I this is through portfolios. And this app is a way to do that but digitally. With the app it kind of works like a personal blog for the students to snap pictures of all their work in class and it creates an online portfolio. You can have different classes to keep your students separate and organized. 

I doubt I will be able to use it myself in my class because of maturity level. But I think 7th or 8th grade is a good age to start this. 

Parents can use it too if they want to keep a portfolio of art work of their child. 

Post a comment on how you’d use this app. 

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Vocabulary Reward System


So I found these two posters on Pinterest and got the idea of word use for a reward system in my Reading/ELA classroom. 

For a word that is more advanced and descriptive the class will receive a dollar (fake money of course). For words that are less descriptive they will receive a penny.

I am going to create my own poster of undesirable words or what I’m gonna call “Tax Words” which if they use those words then they will lose 50 cents. 

Pictures of all three posters are on here. Links to the original Pinterest post will be hyperlinked. 

Ed Tech: Remind

So many teachers have heard of Remind or what used to be Remind 101. Well, I can tell you it for sure works with students in high school. I’m thinking for my new middle school position it will only be for parents. 

I will comunicate with parents assignments that are due. Progress made in class and days we have off from school. I will also send parents links to practice material for their student to build their reading and comprehension skills. 

I am going to test the waters as to what extent I can use it in a 6th grade classroom. 

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In my high school classroom when I was teaching, I used it to send students extra credit opportunities. The extra credit typically would be a written paper on something of a current event or I even sent them the link to my Weird History Pinterest page. They all loved the weird historical events in the world. 

Change in my life

So a lot has happened since the last time that I Posted. The reason why I haven’t posted in a long time is because I was terminated from OCPS with no cause. So I have spent the past 10 months working at Disney, working at Cracker Barrel and applying for teaching jobs. 

Well, I have finally been hired in Osceola County Public Schools to teach Reading/Language Arts. My job is contingent of me getting the Middle Grades English certification. My school says I have to get it by October but the district says end of April. I did all my paperwork, drug testing and fingerprinting done Thursday and Friday. And I had to get a TB skin test done which came back negative within hours. 

In my new PLC we will have same planning for collaborative lesson planning which is going to be amazing since I will be switching from Social Studies to English/Reading. 

I am going to have to take 5 ESOL courses and 3 Readingg Courses through the district to get my endorsements. I’m also gonna get their Gifted Endorsement. 

I’m gonna go through all this while I’m going to graduate school full time. I started my Educational Leadership masters program at UCF in May and should be graduating August 5, 2017. The spring semester is gonna be the toughest because I will be taking 4 classes two of which I have to be on campus for. 

I will be posting my recent ideas and anchor charts to share with you all for my 6th Grade English Language Arts and Reading classes. 

Ed tech: Vote Spotter

This Ed Tech is more for Social Studies teachers focusing on current government issues. The app Vote Spotter allows the user to enter in their zip code and the app automatically recognizes who your state and national representatives are.

The purpose of the app is to keep you informed about the current legislation going through your state congress and the national congress.

Within the app you can vote that you either agree or disagree with the representatives decision on a certain bill that they voted on.

You can use this in any social studies class but I highly recommend it for a US Government class in high school, a civics class in middle class or any political class in college and universities. You can use it as a constant teaching resource as new legislation comes around you can do a paper or a project with the legislation. You can have them write letters to that representative either urging them to keep on the fight for this bill or tell them to vote against it.

It is a great and easy way to get students to be involved in politics even starting at a young age. They need to understand the roll of politics and how it basically runs our daily lives today. They need to know that they can voice their opinion.

FEA Delegate Assembly

So since Thursday afternoon I have been attending the Florida Education Association Delegate Assembly representing the over 6,000 OCTA/OESPA members. This was my goal #2 of my first year of teaching, to be a delegate at the DA in my first year of teaching. Now it is onto my next few goals for my first year of teaching. 

Year 1 Goals:

Goal 1: start the Future Educators Association on my campus (accomplished)

Goal 2: be a delegate to the DA first year (accomplished)

Goal 3: Become the Area (Building) Representative for my school

Goal 4: join at least 2 committees for CTA

Goal 5: be a representative to the NEA RA in Washington DC this summer. 

I have many larger goals that all this is leading to. But something that I am thinking about already is going back for my masters degree but I just need to choose which program I am going to do first. 

Ed Tech: Zipgrade

Each week I am going to try and feature a piece of technology that you can use in your classroom. They will either be for classroom management or time management. 

This week the one that I have been promoting in my school is Zipgrade. Zipgrade right now I know is on the apple App Store for $12.99. During their non peak season when I bought it about 2 months ago it was only $9.99. But no matter the $12.99 I would have paid $20 for this app because it has saved me so much time and effort and hassle. 

The premise of the app is for you to be able to grade tests/quizzes faster with just a scan of your phone. Now, it only works for multiple choice tests. So this is really good for those contents that only do multiple choice tests to test content mastery.

They have 3 different levels of question answer sheets. They have a 20 question, 50 question, and 100 question test answer sheet. I personally use the 20 questions for my unit tests. 

But if you signup on Zipgrade you can add test answer sheets, create classes where you can enter each students name’s, and view statistics for each test in detail. Now, with the 50 and 100 question answer sheets there is a spot for the students to enter a Zipgrade ID#. You can either have them choose one at the beginning of the year or do what I did. I just used the last 5 digits of their student ID. I have 150 students and I took 2-3 hours of one of my pre-planning days and just entered them all. There is a faster way to do it, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the information in a certain file format for it to work. 

But once you have everything up and running and when you do your first test and you go to grade it, which you can do right in front of them, you just open the app align the four corners and it takes a snapshot of the test and grades it based on the answer key that you put in. Now, you can add quizzes from your phone and edit them too. 

Here is a link to a tutorial video on YouTube that describes everything in better details. But I do highly recommend this app for all teachers. 

My First Month of Teaching

So, this month has been a trip in my teaching world. It honestly feels like we have been in school for several months. It’s so much more different than my internship. But so far it’s going okay. It could be better. A lot of my students are actually failing my class because they are failing the tests. I give them the answers on my PowerPoint’s word-for-word and bold. So it should be easy to pass my tests.

Just last week I got my $275 debit card for my teacher lead money from the state. I already spent it all with the exception of like $8 and some change. But I got some resource books earlier this week which had a foldable resource book, I got two books on the Medieval times, one on the Renaissance, and one on WWII. I also got some new posters, some inspirational/clever, and some educational. But today I ordered a bunch of DVD’s of what I will be teaching later on in this year. That way they can watch these videos rather than me just lecturing to them. I did get a Readers Theater book for World History and today my students did a play on the Bubonic Plague. Majority seemed to have enjoyed it while some did not.

But I am behind on grading significantly and that is what I am going to be doing this weekend.

My girlfriend and I broke up, initially not mutually but eventually I came to terms, yes it is heartbreaking, but we are going to remain friends which I can do with her as she is my best friend and I am hers. But she wants time to live on her own and treat this as a break for now. It is just going to be so lonely in the apartment by myself. It’s also going to be a huge financial strain on me because I will be paying for this apartment by myself. Basically 1 whole paycheck of mine goes towards this place. I should be able to do it. But barely. I think my mom may still help me with payments but I hate the fact that she gives me money still even though I have my career job. I have 2k saved up now. But I want more to be saved up. I have to start paying my student loans and it is at $415.00 a month on top of my rent being around $1,300 a month with everything included, then my car at $280 and insurance at $160. Not to mention having to pay for food and gas is not going to be cheap. We will see where I land this month. But as of right now because of everything I just paid for I have $0 in my checking for USAA and $6.00 in my checking for Bank of America. Whatver. Sorry to go on that tangent.

Anyways, I started to advertise my GoFundMe for teaching supplies. I am looking for any kind of donations to help me buy supplemental curriculum materials for my students and their education. If you can donate anything it will help. gofund.me/twg7yg

First Week of School

So this post I will talk about my first week of school and will update it each day.

Day 1 August 24, 2015

So, I woke up extremely nervous and left/arrived late to school which I didn’t like. But my air conditioning was still broken. I spent the first two periods in my hot classroom with my students and it became unbearable. I emailed our facilities AP and he was able to find me a temporary classroom. After school I came into my actual classroom and I opened my door and realized my windows were closed and my blinds were closed. I had left them open so that some fresh air could come in and the hot air could leave. But within 5 seconds I felt a cool breeze hit me and realized my air conditioning was working. It now stays at around 75 degrees with all the hot air and warm bodies there are around.

But overall day 1 was decent, in my temporary room I didn’t have technology which was for majority of the day. The new bell schedule from last year is that lunch is 25 minutes which was barely enough time for us teachers to eat and relax for lunch. Last year we sat in there for like 40 minutes. I hope they end up changing it a bit. I can already tell that a certain part of my day will get annoying but then I have a fresh breath of air after.

Day 2: August 25, 2015

Today went a bit better, I am being stern on my rules and they are not liking it. I was able to get the honor’s syllabus Monday after school and I got the regular syllabus today during planning. So I was able to go over the syllabus with majority of my students just not 1st and 2nd period which they will get tomorrow. One of my assignments I’ve already got to change because the website I was gonna have them analyze was changed since last week and it doesn’t work now. So I’ve got to find an alternative assignment for them to complete. We practiced with the Plickers today in class and it went alright, I think some will catch on eventually. But this way I know everyone can be involved in the process of assessment and I won’t single out the students that don’t have access to internet or don’t have a cell phone.

Tomorrow we are going over the student code of conduct for UHS throughout periods 1-4. I won’t have to do level 3 though (planning period). YAY!! But I’ve got to figure out what to do for 5-7. I might just find an activity for them to do. Maybe write a paper. They are honors students. Yeah, that’s what I will do. I’ll probably give the assignment to the regular classes to work on if we finish early and they can complete it for homework. The honor’s students can work on it during class.

Day 3 August 26, 2015

So today we went over in our classes the code of conduct. Each period went over the different levels progressively throughout the day. Then in 5th we went over internet policy and in 6th we went over bus/cell phone/etc. But in every class I taught a little about ancient Greece. I taught them about the art on the vases and the parties they would have with the dozens of vases that they had. Then I taught them about the education system in Greece including “homo eroticism” and the forms of it that there is. They seemed to get a kick out of it. After teaching about Greece’s education system I informed them a bit on Sparta’s system which some of them seemed to be dumbfounded about the process of which the Spartans had to go through. Tomorrow I am trying to see if I can take my students to the media center to get their textbooks.

My classroom

So I got my key to my classroom for the year. I’ll be teaching World History. I’m in a portable near the farm on campus but it’s a big room. The only downside to it today was that the air conditioning wasn’t working and it got up to 90°.