When I was a social studies teacher at Roosevelt Junior High I loved and most of my students seemed to enjoy this one assignment. Create your own city. They would have to follow the features of an early Utah settlement but could put whatever they wanted into their city. I also enjoyed watching their creativity as to what they would place in their city, however, I always wanted more from this assignment.
Sim City for iPads is a free app that teachers could use to allow students to create their own city. Tom introduced me to this game, and I have been hooked on it since then.
In this game, you are the mayor of your city. You have city resources to manage and try to build. You have to make sure that your citizens have their needs met, like sewer, fire department, and electricity. Taxes are collected which gives you money to build your city. Which means you need to make sure your citizens are happy, and people are moving into your city.
I could see this being a fun way to help students learn about citizenship in a community, managing resources, you could also discuss current issues. Such as coal power plants or green energy. Overall I think this could be a fun way to teach several social studies standards either as a class or individually.
Is Your Class A Place Where Kids Can Fail?
Unified Classroom Training Material
Google Certified Educatior Level 1
Are you an educator who is an expert with Google tools in the classroom ? Have you spent hours and hours growing and fine tuning your skills with Google Apps for Education ? Would you like to get certified to show your mastery in using Google tools? Google offers two educator certification exams. Click on the button below to access all the material to help you prepare for and pass the certification exams.
Tips for Great Group work in the Classroom
Collaboration is essential to students learning! Preparing students to work well with others is becoming increasingly more important in today's working society. Having kids work together promotes cooperation, builds social-emotional skills, and gets them engaged in active learning. Group work, on the other hand, tends to come with challenges. Some students feel like they do all the work, others feel left out, motivation becomes an issue, and assignments sometimes don't come together very well. So, what makes for better group work ? Watch the video below to get some great tips.
Dealing with Digital Distractions in the Classroom
Digital devices put the world at our students' fingertips, whether with their own cell phones or with school-provided computers and tablets. But, along with opportunities for powerful learning come the risks -- and realities -- of distraction. So, what are the best ways to manage digital distraction in the classroom?Check out our practical tips on supporting students and modeling productive 21st Century learning
Kahoot's new challenge feature lets you assign kahoots as homework, saves time on correcting assignments and makes it easy to assess learning progress. The new report feature makes it easy to monitor the progress your students are making.
Sharemylesson.com is a free website that gives educators access to other lesson plans and
class activities. It spans all grade levels from toddler to 12th grade and lesson plans are
well organized by subject and grade level.
This website is an amazing source for teachers of any grade to be able to use when it
comes to figuring out their lesson plans. Teachers can use this site to search/find lesson
plans that another teacher has posted, share lesson plans of their own, etc. They can
search for any lesson plan by grade, subject, topic, standards, etc. Teachers could also use
this website to look for resources by grade, subject, and topic.
Checkmark by EdTech Team--A great way to give students Feedback!
CheckMark by EdTechTeam is a brand new Chrome extension designed to give teachers the ability to provide students feedback quickly and easily. When a teacher highlights text in Google Docs, an overlay pops up with quick shortcuts to frequently-added comments such as “Spelling” or “Check Punctuation”, or “Evidence needed”. CheckMark has both comments related to grammar as well as concepts, citations, and more. Find out more and install CheckMark at http://www.checkmarkclass.com
Congratulations Melissa Brinkerhoff
Powerschool New Logins
Teachers, we are excited to announce to you some new things are coming to PowerSchool. One of those new things is that the district is no longer hosting PowerSchool. That is why last week you could not access PowerSchool Thursday and Friday. Lynn and Randall were working with PowerSchool to move our data to their servers. Now, this does mean that our web address had to change, it is now https://dcsd.powerschool.com/teachers. We are excited about this change because it will offer us some more features and greater capability to provide for your needs. Please take the time and change any bookmarks.
Powerschool LMS for Secondary Teachers
This is another of those new tools coming for PowerSchool. We are wanting to roll it out to secondary teachers starting in second quarter. Along with this, we will be providing those teachers and administrators training. Again we are excited to bring you these tools.
Doing all that we can
Teachers and staff of DCSD, I recently had a discussion with my kids that surprised me. I thought I would share part of my takeaway from that conversation. My kids were frustrated with their schooling experience, especially my son who just graduated. As I listened to them I became curious as to why they were so frustrated, so I asked them.
My son, James, put it best to me, he said that at school they are told the mission statement of the school is to help students reach their highest potential and become lifelong learners. However, teachers repeatedly won't work with them to help them improve their grades.
They won't let them retake tests or makeup assignments they do poorly on.
To me, this was a very troubling statement. Now, he also said that it wasn't all teachers and that most teachers were great. If you know my son James he doesn't ever criticize anyone. So, for him to feel this way it was very surprising. I asked my other kids and they felt similar, that teachers were not always willing to help them improve.
With all of this being said I was a teacher, and I struggled to get my grading done and in the grade book on time. I didn't always do the best that I could to help students, and there are probably a lot of kids that share a similar feeling of my son about me. So, please don't take me as an expert, or that I know anything more than you. I just want to share some information with you.
First, standards-based grading/mastery grading, focusing on what is important, and not worrying about points makes sense to me. We need to help our students realize what they are learning and how it is important to them. I think that we all hate to hear a student say they are stupid because they didn't get an A. Grades don't show intelligence or ability. Currently, they focus more on the number of points a student has received. I even remember sitting at parent-teacher conference and only focusing on assignment and tests a student needed to make-up to get their grade up. That wasn't the conversation that needed to be had, but it was all I knew to do at the time.
I look at standards-based grading/mastery grading now as tools that we as teachers can use to make our lives easier and help us have the real conversations we need to have with our students.
Second, technology has improved and the district will be rolling out another tool here soon to help teachers communicate with students and parents. It is a learning management system through PowerSchool. We are excited for the capabilities that it will bring to the classroom.
However, all of these items our administration is giving us to use are just tools, in your teacher toolbox. How well they work depends on us as a school district. We need to come together and do whatever it takes to make our schools successful.
20 Ideas to Promote More Creativity in your Classroom
iBOSS is our filtering tool. We use it to limit access to inappropriate material. We know that nothing works perfect. Additionally we know that nothing can replace the power of a teacher monitoring and helping students to avoid inappropriate material. We also accept that at times it may block teachers from valuable educational material. To help teachers resolve this issue teachers have different internet privileges than students. To access these privileges, navigate your browser to the following URL ib1.dcsd.org/login. To login on this site you use your first initial and last name, for example jdoe. The password is usually the password you use to log into your computer, or DCSD-Registered. After you have logged in you need to leave the window open, but you can minimize it.
If you've ever wanted to email large files but couldn't because the file size was too large. Maybe you didn't want to sign into google drive or your email account. Give WeTransfer a try. This tool will allow you to easily transfer any type of file up to 2GB for free. All you need is a couple of email addresses. Watch this short tutorial to get more information.
Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!
A little bit of incentive is always ok in my book.
Here are 21 google tools for students that are stuggling or have special needs.
All you math teachers out there, are you looking for a way to use more of google tools in teaching math to your students? Check out these 11 ways to use Google Drawing to teach math ! Just click on the image above.
Here is are some places you can go for some great classroom resources.
100+ GREAT GOOGLE CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
Microsoft Educational Technology Newsletter
Last year we pushed out Adobe Creative Cloud to you all. I know that the constant popping up asking you to login can get annoying. However, I believe that the benefit out weighs the cost. The creativity you and your students can enjoy is marvelous. Adobe Photoshop is a part of the Creative Cloud, you also get other programs like InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat Pro to name a few. If you want to get rid of the annoying login pop up, create an Adobe account, and login just once to resolve the pop-up issue. If you want to get help with any of the programs, Tom and I would be glad to help any of you.
Test Your 4th of July Knowledge
Rewards For Trying Something New
Apple teacher is a free program that will help you improve your skills with a mac. Tom and I have both become Apple Teachers. We enjoyed learning new things about programs like iMovie, Numbers, Pages, and much more.
The program is setup with eight classes. You read and create a project. The project has step by step directions. When you have finished the project and reading there is a simple 5 question quiz. The quizzes are fairly easy if you have paid attention as you went through the material.
When you have completed the entire course you then have the right to post that you are an apple teacher. However the true reward is the skills you will have developed. So, if you are looking for something you could do this summer. Why not give Apple Teacher a try.
The new Google Sites makes it easy to quickly and easily build a website for your classroom, group, club, or team. Websites make it easy to publish important dates, provide access to important materials, and communicate. Making a website can sound like a daunting task, but google sites makes the process pain free. As a teacher and trainer I have used Google Sites to create and maintain my class website as well as for trainings. It's easy to add or change content. Adding announcements, calendars, online textbooks, or links to helpful videos is a snap, and if you don't like google's ready made themes you can create your own. Watch the videos below to learn more about the new Google Sites!
This is an amazing tool to use to teach students the world of coding while still making it fun. Teaching coding can often be very challenging and boring to your students. EarSketch allows you to connect coding to music theory and composition. By using simple coding lines and phrases, students can make musical masterpieces. Often things that if you did not know music, you would not be able to just make up. Earsketch even has its own curriculum for students self-paced learning. Watch the three videos about Earsketch by clicking on the links below: On the top is a TED talk about Earsketch. The center is a video demo of how to use Earsketch. Lastly, the bottom is a video of Earsketch being used for a coding camp.
Today we held the annual tech fair at Roosevelt Junior High School. We saw some marvelous projects from Duchesne County students. There were robots, google slideshows, graphic art, student-built 3-D printer, and more. We would like to thank Strata, Spectra, UBATC, Stewarts, and NUES for providing judges, and prizes. Next, year we hope to have more students and give away more great prizes.
"PhotoScape X is an all-in-one photo editing software which provides photo-related features
such as Photo Viewer, Editor, Batch, Collage, Combine, Create GIF, Color Picker, Screen Capture, RAW images and More."
PhotoScape X for Mac and Windows 10." PhotoScape X - Free Photo Editor for Mac and Windows 10. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2017.
This is a new program that I have found through the Apple App Store. There is a free version and a pro version. I find that the free version is great and all I need. It allows you to use all of the features of the program, but lacks complete access to all of it's templates and pro tools.
The District Office Move
Ok, how many of us, non-math teachers have complained about learning math. How many math teachers have wished that there was something out there to help students grasp math. GeoGebra could be that tool. It is a math app you can download from the Mac App Store, or you could visit their website. https://www.geogebra.org/ Take a look and give it a try.
If your like most teachers, you're probably already thinking about next year. You've probably made a list of new things to try and things to throw out. If your looking for a tool that can making communication easier for you, your students, and their parents, then Hallr is right for you. Check it out at hallr.com/
Peergrade is a tool that allows students to peer review other students work anonymously. The teacher creates assignments and rubrics to go with the assignment. Students submit their work and Peergrade randomly distributes the assignments to students to evaluate. Students use the teacher created rubric to evaluate the work. Students can add comments as well to the assignment. When work is given back, students can see the review and rate the comments as helpful or not. This is a great tool for project based activities and writing projects.
Drawing for participants who complete the newsletter quiz. Please take a minute take the quiz. Entries will be taken till May 27, 2017.
1. Try just a simple restart, the chromebooks reboot in about eight seconds.
2. Try a hard refresh Ctrl + Shift+r
3. If you have any new extensions or apps uninstall them.
Chromebook is Running Slow
1. Try restarting the machine.
2. Check for system updates. You go to your settings, then about chrome OS, then check for and apply updates.
Chromebook keeps turning off and on
1. You are going to want to use the recovery USB drive we provided your school. Run the recovery program.
You do this by holding Esc + Refresh + Power button. Then follow the on screen instructions. You will be asked to insert the USB drive then.
If you don't have a USB drive for your chromebooks contact Tom Felkins or James Sasser.
For any other problems you can try this site, https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/6309225. You can also submit a tech request through this site, https://dcsdtech.on.spiceworks.com/sign_in
We need your help. We are always looking for new things to share with you. We are looking for help to find tools and other ideas we might share. If you know of any tools or things to share please complete the form on the homepage.
Extensions are widgets within the chrome browser that add functionality to applications and websites used by google chrome. Click the image below to see a slideshow on 20 awesome chrome extensions.
This Month's Giveway
Nearpod allows teachers to create interactive lessons and share them with their students in real time. Easily add interactive websites, videos, animations, quizzes, and more right to a lesson. With Nearpod you can import lessons from powerpoint or google slides, create your own content or download content from the website. Quickly and easily give real-time feedback to students and share their progress with parents. The Nearpod App makes managing student devices a breeze. Best of all the App is free. Nearpod works on any internet capable device.
Click on the link here to watch a tutorial on how to use Nearpod.
Want to create a video but don't have the time. Checkout MySimpleShow. This simple app allows you to create simple, short explainer videos in very little time. Use mysimpleshow in the classroom with your students or contribute to open educational resources. Introduce, summarize, and explain topics worth sharing. Create your own content or import a slideshow from powerpoint. Templates are easy to use and customizable. Students can easily create content of their own to present in class and to the world.
When you are on-line we sometimes forget that other people may be able to see what we post. They may even be people you hope would never see the things that we post. The next couple of clips are some examples from the "Ellen" show. I bet these people never thought their pictures would have been shown on national tv.
I met a Nepris representative last week at UCET. I found their product very interesting. They have a couple of options available. You can schedule a meeting with an expert. The expert will meet with your class and help them to understand more about their career. They also have a video library available to previous experts that you can view.
You can signup for free and I encourage you to consider it. With the free account, you can schedule one free live session with your class, join one live industry chat, and access their video library. There are paid options that will give you more access. I would say give the free option a try, and if you like it then maybe look for options to pay for the upgrade.
Take the quiz and enter to win a drawing. The giveaway ends March 31, 2017
James Sasser, Tom Felkins, Ina Nielson, Jackie Loertscher, and Kim Murray