Essentially, this is what I do:
- Organize students into classes on Edmodo with all resources, agendas, links to edtech tools, assignments, and quizzes are completed in Edmodo.
- Students go to Curriculet for reading texts.
- Students use Google Docs for typing up essays and other assignments.
Edmodo is my online classroom space. Everything that I do face to face with students is also completed via Edmodo. From posting the daily agenda to taking quizzes to connecting with others, everything is done in Edmodo as you can see from the list below and public folder of classroom examples.
I create a main classroom group for each level I teach because I want to promote the online PLN experience. So all of my Honors 9 students are in one group regardless of period and all of my English 12 students are in another group. Students interact with others that they may see in class or merely pass in the the hall. When I name my groups I always use the following naming convention: School Year & Level. For example, 2013-14 English 9 or 2014-15 Honors English 9.
- The daily agenda is posted as a Note with any attachments needed. I always date it and put a heading in all caps as well as a numbered list of activities for the day. I type up my lesson plans in a Google Calendar which is posted on my class website, and merely copy/paste from my plans to create the daily agenda. Click here to see a sample.
- All work is turned in via Edmodo Assignments. Whether it is a final project or an online activity or a photo of a paper worksheet, students turn in their work on Edmodo because the assignment is automatically added to Edmodo's gradebook or Progress area which keeps a spreadsheet record of all assignments assigned to that group. This spreadsheet is my working gradebook and replaces the students' three-ring binder. Students still keep a notebook using any method they choose, but I no longer have to do paper-notebook checks. When parents, counselors, or administrators have a question about a student's performance, I have a record of the student's work at my fingertips. I can also see the student's performance in relation to other classmates. I transfer by hand scores to my district's gradebook as applicable.
- All tests and quizzes are completed via Edmodo's quiz feature. I refuse to ever grade a multiple choice test by hand ever again. From taking quick quizzes as a homework check to group quizzes to summative tests, Edmodo's quiz feature is my go to feature for assessment. Click here to learn some tips/tricks and read more about how I use Edmodo's quizzes with my students.
- Preparing for digital assessments, students complete quick Edmodo Snapshot assignments. Snapshot provides students with standards-aligned assessments for math and ELA. I can quickly choose the standards I want to assess and assign the questions to my students. Edmodo takes care of the rest from selecting the passage to writing the questions. I set the due date and track student progress, assigning later Snapshots to address deficiencies. Snapshot will be a weekly automatic assignment for my students in the coming school year.
- Students access Edmodo apps for automated tasks or projects. The No Red Ink Edmodo app is added to my Edmodo groups so that I can quickly assign students grammar tasks without having the students log in to another site or make more work for me. Students also have access to other apps such as Powtoon, Pixton, Audioboo, and Dogo News for other online projects. I often ask my student to "Show Me" what they know using any online tool.
- Students communicate and peer review in Edmodo small groups. I break up each main classroom group into smaller sub groups. I just go right down the roster and select students in alphabetical order. The small groups then becomes a place to share work that is turned in or complete online small group tasks. I may ask students to find a resource about parallel structure and post it to their small group or have them share copies of essays for peer review. By posting in small groups, we are keeping the main classroom page relatively clean.
- Students are added to other main groups throughout the year. I will create other Edmodo groups for collaborating with others or delivering content in an asynchronous manner. When collaborating with other teachers and students across the country or globe, I (or the collaborating teacher) will create a new main group to which we add our students for sharing their work or completing collaborative tasks. I'm excited to try out a Writer's Corner group with California teacher Beth Oing and Maine teacher Natalee Stotz. This group will be an informal space for students to share whatever they are writing for peer review and feedback. For delivering content in an asynchronous manner, I will create a separate group for each unit. Check out this post on how I gamified The Odyssey using Edmodo.
Curriculet is my go-to tool for reading instruction. From uploading my own documents or articles found on the web to reading canonical texts to preparing students for PARCC assessment, Curriculet is essential to tracking my students' reading progress online. I've successfully flipped reading Romeo and Juliet and A Tale of Two Cities with my students. We've also read Great Expectations, Pygmalion, and current event articles related to the Great Depression and The Olympics. With Curriculet's premium library of contemporary texts being released this Fall, I'm excited to get my students reading more.
To use Curriculet, I create classes and give my students the classroom code. I'm not worried about my students having too many log ins because they click on the "Sign in with Google" button since we are a Google Apps for Education school. Their Google credentials can be used to create and sign into a Curriculet account. I assign an entire text to my classes and post a reminder in Edmodo for students to access Curriculet. The students read the text at home or in school on smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, or computers, answering questions and quizzes embedded in the text to check their understanding. To see the student view, watch this quick video.
I use Curriculet's data analytics for formative assessment-- my students are allowed to make mistakes without too much penalty. I take a look at their time on task and their accuracy for answering the questions and quizzes and give the students' a holistic score in my gradebook. Using the OSU rubric, students receive Outstanding (100%) if they completed the task in an average amount of time and with an accuracy rate over 88%. Students receive a score of Satisfactory (88%) if their accuracy was in the range of 78-87%, and Unsatisfactory (75%) if they completed the reading too quickly (ie. they clicked through the questions instead of reading) and scored below 78% on questions and quizzes. All summative assessments are completed in Edmodo as either an Edmodo Assignment or Edmodo Quiz. I allow students to have Curriculet open in another browser window while completing the summative assessments.
To see behind the scenes in my Curriculet account, view this video.
Curriculet is also available as an app in Edmodo, but since many of my students have smartphones as part of my district's BYOD initiative and Edmodo apps are only accessible on computers and iPads, I do not utilize the Edmodo app version of Curriculet at this time. For elementary schools or 1:1 iPad districts, I would recommend accessing Curriculet through Edmodo.
Google Docs has replaced Microsoft Word in my classroom. While I still access files I created in Word or PowerPoint, my students primarily create documents and slides using Google Apps. We will have access to Microsoft 365 this year, but the simplicity and versatility of Google Apps have won my students over. I needed a word processing option for students on smartphones and Google Drive fulfills the need. Students can complete notes, Do Now activities, quick writes or other journal writing on their smartphones through the Google Drive apps.
We are a Google Apps for Education school, so the workflow is seamless. Students have accounts already created through school, so getting started is easy. Even though student Google Docs are shared with me, I still have my students turn in the link to their document in an Edmodo assignment. Again, I keep a record of all things in Edmodo. I'm excited to see what Google Classroom will do in terms of streamlining sharing documents with students, but in the meantime, this is how I used Google Drive with my students.
- For assignments, I used Autocrat and Google Forms to deliver individual documents to students. Learn more by reading these posts: A Gaggle of Google Docs and Creating Certificates with Autocrat.
- Daily directions, assignments, or Do Now activities are on Google Slides with the link to each presentation posted in Edmodo. Information is nicely chunked on each slide and it is easier for students to read than a lengthy Google Doc assignment.
Edmodo is the hub of my classroom with Curriculet and Google Apps forming the spokes of our wheel of learning.
The daily schedule may vary, but essentially I follow this routine in our 43 minute class periods:
- 5 mins. Do Now Activity and review of answers-- as students walk into class they get started
- 3 mins. recap of objectives and timeline
- 25 mins. asynchronous activities or group work
- 5 mins. wrap up
This is my general plan per week:
- Tuesday: introduce a new concept
- Wednesday thru Thursday: work asynchronously or in groups applying the new concepts
- Friday: whole class teacher-led activity reviewing and synthesizing the material
- Monday: assessment on the previous week's content
Last year I was 1:1 with the Chromebook cart on Mondays, so I liked having students take Edmodo quizzes or finish up individual digital work on Mondays because we had guaranteed access. Sometimes I could get the cart mid-week, but it was never a guarantee as I shared the cart with four other teachers (each teacher taking a different day). So our mid to end of week activities featured BYOD, paper, and face to face tasks. While I do not let technology drive the learning in my class, technology is a vehicle for learning so our access to technology does factor in to our schedule.
I'm interested to read what others are doing with their students. So please reply with your questions, comments about #flipclass workflow methods.