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.

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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