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Never Say Never

Quick rundown of new ideas I have implemented in my teaching and shared with my colleagues after attending PETE&C 2016: Kahoot, Classcraft, Aurasma, Google Chrome, and Chromebooks. Plus, a more refined focus on blended learning, Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides, and not to mention building my PLN more. I'd say PETE&C was worth it.

Kahoot, the engaging formative assessment tool that students and teachers love, went over extremely well with my students as they used their Chromebooks to answer. Every day since using it, at least one student has asked me about when the next time we will be using it.

Classcraft, the classroom-based role-playing game, took off among the students, too. They were extremely excited to setup their avatars and start playing. They also showed me they knew a lot more than I did on the subject matter of XP (experience points), HP (health points), and AP (action points). I think I might have them design a Kahoot formative assessment on the Classcraft vocabulary for me.

Aurasma, the augmented reality app, turned out to be a fantastic way for my daughter to bring her 5K STEM project to life. It was great to see the end product with video of how she put it all together. It was also a good practice run for me before trying it in my classroom.

Google Chrome and Chromebooks have been the topic of two morning sessions at my school, in which my district's Director of Technology and I have teamed up to present to the faculty. We had almost all of the faculty show up for the sessions and got good feedback from them. And in the days that followed, I was being asked more about the topics. The ideas and conversations are definitely headed in the right direction, especially since Chromebooks are just being rolled out and teachers want to use them more and more to engage their students in meaningful ways.

My blended learning classroom has never been running better, especially now that I've tied it into Google Classroom. Students now have clear expectations every day of what the need to accomplish. If they miss class, they can now keep up outside of school. The station-rotation model that I am using (direct instruction, collaboration, and independent learning) are all in play every day. Each station brings something new for the students and gets them up and moving. They are learning how to work together, how to work on their own, how to solve their problems on their own which helps build their growth-mindset, and how to become actively engaged in class.   

For what started out as a very exciting and rocket speed type pace of a year, things are starting to get even more exciting but at a much more calmer rate of speed. It's a good place to be in, and I still have a few other ideas from PETE&C 2016 that I think I could easily work in and like to share with my colleagues. Never thought I'd say this, but I'm kind of anxious for summer to get here and be over so I can get back in the classroom and pick up where I left off.


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