The #flipclass chat on Monday nights is my favorite chat for a number of reasons. One, this was the first chat I found when I enter the twittersphere and, two, #flipclass is always pushing my learning in new directions-- great people and great topics always keep me thinking. Tonight, we are doing another flash blog post: chat for 20 mins, compose blog post for 20 mins, and then share with the #flipclass folks for 20 mins. The topic for tonight is classroom hacks.
"Hacking" the multiple choice/true-false quiz, Edmodo's quiz feature is my go-to tool for replacing paper quizzes and scantron forms and providing instantaneous feedback on student performance. Edmodo's quizzes have saved me so much time grading. For tips and tricks, check out this post. Edmodo's overall platform has done so much to move my classroom into the 21st Century and beyond.
Helping my students become better readers, Curriculet is my choice for a digital reading platform. As with other digital tools, Curriculet provides instantaneous feedback on student performance and allows me to be there with my students as they are reading. The annotations and questions embedded in the text are MY annotations and questions-- not some canned curriculum devised by a company that may or may not have seen the inside of a classroom. Curriculet is build by teachers for teachers-- they are an amazing company driving the digital reading evolution. Whether you use Curriculet to flip novel reading (I did it with Romeo & Juliet and A Tale of Two Cities!!!) or for short reading assignments, you will love Curriculet as much as I do.
Aside from digital tools, one of my favorite lessons for the day before break or needing a filler between units is doing a card shower for alumni serving in the military. A few years back, I asked the principal's professional assistant for a list of alumni serving in the military and any mailing addresses available. I kept a master list and stock piled craft supplies (cardstock, construction paper, glue sticks, markers, glitter, etc). On the day of the actual card shower, students were given the task to create a card for as many folks as possible on the list. I then bundled each together in a large envelope (or more per alumni) and dropped them in the mail. Usually we do this around holiday time so we can use a holiday theme. My students learn informal letter writing and the alumni get a nice surprise in the mail. Every now and then, I get to hear back from the alumni.