Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Google Drawing - so powerful and so underused

We all know about Google Docs and Slides but Google Drawing might be the most powerful yet underused app in the Gsuite.  The power in Google Drawing is that it can be used for so much beyond drawing or manipulating images.  Below are some quick examples that may inspire you to assign work to students using this tool!

  1. Use Google Drawing to create digital manipulatives.

Teachers can create a Google drawing with draggable manipulatives by copying a single image multiple times and then highlighting them and selecting “align horizontally” and “align vertically” to group them together as a stack.  Then students can drag the images to the appropriate place on the diagram.  Teachers can share individually copies of the drawing template in Google Classroom with the setting “every student gets a copy” so that each student can show their work!  Check it out below.  Click the image to view a video example

    2) Use Google Drawing as a fun way for students to analyze text.

This example adapts the ideas from above to a text situation.  Here students can interact with the text and add comments to the symbols they’ve placed over the text.  After students work individually, they can use the sharing feature of Google Drawing to review how other students have reviewed the text and respond to one another’s comments.  Click the image below to see the video example.

3)  Use Google Drawing to create graphic organizers. 

Google Drawing is a program that is great for creating graphic organizers.  These organizers can be used when showing students videos or when asking them to read texts.  Students can even create their own graphic organizers to categorize and organize their notes.  Everything is saved in Google Drive so students can then share their interpretations with each other to see how their notes compare.

Using Google Drawing allows an option for including more kinesthetic activities and visual learning experiences in your classroom.  The added value is that the students’ workspace is stored digitally (no lost papers!) with opportunities for student to student collaboration and feedback if students are required to share their work after completing.  Using Google Classroom teachers can quickly and easily assign individual copies of these Google Drawing workspaces to students and students can turn their work easily through the same platform.

For more in-depth information about how to use Google Drawing, check out these tutorials:

Friday, December 14, 2018

R2 Film Festival

Get your cameras ready or grab your phone and start recording that video. The Richland Two Film Festival gives students and faculty an opportunity to tell their story through video creation. The deadline is fast approaching and we need you to sign up today!

Film Festival

Here's what you need to do in order to become a part of this awesome experience.

  1. Fill out the interest form by Friday, December 21, 2018. *Look for the Google Classroom code to sign up in our collaborative class.
  2. Print the Parent Permission form and send it to Nichole Allmann - DO-R2I2.
  3. Join the Google Classroom using the code that was provided to you after submitting the interest form.
  4. Review the timeline and guidelines to familiarize yourself for a successful video. 
All videos must be submitted by January 22, 2019. For more information, please visit the website,

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Visible thinking with texts - Prism

When I taught biology, I frequently assigned articles for my students to read. .  Using a variety of texts beyond the adopted textbook helped make the subject more accessible for my students because I was able to choose topics that were far more engaging than the typical informational text found in the heavy and dense biology book.  I would circulate the room as they read, hoping to ascertain a smidge of what they were thinking as they read - such a futile strategy.  Eventually, we developed some reading codes they were to use as they read so that I could peak into the margins of the article and catch a glimpse of their annotations.  Figuring out how to quickly extract the common themes in their annotations was hard, though, when working with 30 or more students reading at varying paces.

This is an opportunity where the right technology can really benefit the students and the teacher.  Using a tool like Prism, the teacher is able to assign highlighter colors to specific meanings, much like my reading codes, and students can engage digitally with the text.  Not only does the tool give the students a way to manipulate the text, it also aggregates the entire class’ highlights and provides a visualization of the collective understanding of the text for the teacher.  Words and phrases that are commonly highlighted appear larger.  In this way, based on the highlighter codes, teachers can quickly gather what portions of the text need more support.

In the example below, the teacher has given three colored highlighters three different meanings.  When I click on the word “graceful” I am quickly given a pie chart that indicates that about half of the highlights from students indicated this was an example of “imagery” while the remaining responses were split between “diction” and “tone.”  Given these proportions, as a teacher I would know that I’d want to address the correct answer.

The next visualization shows varying font sizes.  When I click on a highlighter color, the words that were most frequently highlighted with that color become larger.  This can help me confirm whether or not the majority of the students engaged with the text with the appropriate goals.

Prism is a very simple tool to use.  For more information, check out this tutorial below:

Teachers could use Prism to assign a warm-up to help preview a concept or idea. This is also could be used as a formative assessment after direct instruction of a few key concepts. Using Prism in this way would allow teachers to gain data as to whether or not students can apply their learning in a new context. Because Prism collects and displays an entire group of students data with a single click, teachers can make immediate instructional decisions in their lessons.

The Influential Parent - Episode 9

  The Influential Parent - Episode 9, Summer Care Tips   With devices going home for the summer in our district, we wanted to take some ti...