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April 3rd, 2020 by Luann

Document Handling from a Phone or Chromebook

Some online platforms have built-in submission options for students and that’s nice. I prefer students to simply organize their coursework in a Google Drive folder as I wrote about in this post. Still, sometimes a student needs to post a picture or scan of some handwritten work. The best strategies I’ve found for doing so are listed below and are working well for my students.

Hints to make your learning opportunities easier:

  1. Here’s a link to how to take a picture with your chromebook camera.
  2. How to insert a picture from your camera right into a Google doc:
    1. In the doc, click the INSERT menu and then IMAGE and then CAMERA.
    2. In the pop-up asking if Google docs can have access to your camera, click ALLOW
    3. Put your object in front of the camera and position it.
    4. Click the yellow circle with the camera icon and then INSERT
    5. Position and re-size your photo in your doc. You’re done! 
  3. And here’s how to scan your work with your phone (this is easy and provides a much more legible document than a simple photo):

On iPhone:

  • Open the NOTES app (this came on your phone)
  • Open a new note
  • Press and hold the camera button and the SCAN option appears
  • After scanning, you can email. 

On Android:

  • Open the Google Drive app (you may have to install this first – its free) 
  • In the bottom right, tap Add.
  • Tap Scan.
  • Take a photo of the document you’d like to scan. Adjust scan area: Tap Crop. Take photo again: Tap Re-scan current page. Scan another page: Tap Add.
  • To save the finished document, tap Done  
March 24th, 2020 by Luann

Collecting Student Work in Google Drive – KISS

Many of my colleagues ask students to just share their work. Disadvantage: Their email inbox is a disaster. A paraeducator or intervention specialist does not have access to their work.

There are many videos out right now with crazy complicated ways to collect student work. Here’s the easy way I collect and manage student work in Google drive.

Your folder for a given class looks like this. It’s really easy to find student work.

Student Folders in Google Drive

A look into my Chemistry class student folders folder

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October 20th, 2018 by Luann

What I’m Reading

The past summer provided me with a little time and space to read. I wasn’t working any Jumpstarts, maintaining a farm, attending professional development for new “initiatives” at my school, or, thank God, moving across the country. So what did I read? These books*.

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January 29th, 2018 by Luann

In the Classroom: Teachers Sharing Our Work

I tweeted a few weeks ago, mentioning my frustration that a well known site on which you can save your favorite images had become nothing more than a re-direct to a site on which teachers sell their work. A number of other teachers jumped into the conversation, offering up the websites on which their own work could be downloaded for free. Many items are editable. All that is asked is that you follow their Creative Commons or other copyright requests.

On the sites below, you won’t find un-editable but cute worksheets that can be easily used as filler. You won’t find un-editable cut-and-paste scrapbooking-type activities that usually generate an attractive product with little likelihood of students engaging in any depth. You WILL find the best work of accomplished, practicing classroom teachers who continually update their lessons.

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June 29th, 2017 by Luann

Coming Home to a Place I’d Never Been Before

Yup. We are back in Ohio, after almost 13 years in Washington and then Oregon.

It all happened rather fast. Skyrocketing real estate prices made it a good time to sell the farm.  Administrative changes in my district left me feeling stifled and restless. The Husband easily made a few business moves, made possible because he works from his phone. He bought us a new home in Ohio without my even visiting it. We packed more stuff than 2 people should own. The Husband supervised the movers as they toted it all across the country and he drove the dogs and cat. (Moral of that story: Never purchase something you can’t eat. Except dogs and cats.)

It’s only partly true that I’ve never been here before. We lived in the nearby town for 27 years. We raised our kids here, and they’ve stayed. I knew where the house was but had been inside only through photos and videos. A well-respected local builder built the home for his wife, so construction is topnotch.

I’m considering career options at this point. I’ve turned down 2 offers that were not me, and received one letter of rejection (with typos.) In the meantime, I have some updates to make here – so many posts in draft form – and on the website.

It was time to come home.

New House

New House

September 14th, 2015 by Luann

All Means All Part 3: Graphing our Learning Styles

This is the third in a series of blog posts summarizing my reflections on what it means to provide learning opportunities for every student, every day. Find the series here, at  #AllMeansAll 

 
Evaluating-learning-styles
Disclaimer: I’ve read a good deal of literature and opinion around the validity of learning styles. Nonetheless, at the encouragement of a colleague (this colleague) during some collaborative course design work, I pulled out the learning styles inventory* again this year, in Physical Science classes. The intent was to use the data gathered to introduce graphing, and that was a win.  The colleague suggested we share with students WHY we are interested in their learning styles. We are interested so that we can be sure to make learning available to all students in the modality each student best learns. We discussed this in both classes. The real win, though, was what I learned about my students, and what they learned about themselves.

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September 12th, 2015 by Luann

All Means ALL, Part 2: Engineering Design

This is the second in a series of blog posts summarizing my reflections on what it means to provide learning opportunities for every student, every day. Find the series here, at  #AllMeansAll 

Created during Champions of STEM work with BSCS, who probably own the copyright. If asked, I will remove the image.

On the first day in Physical Science, we got into teams and built paper towers as an engineering design challenge. Our process followed the outlined by a group of district STEM teachers working together last school year.

The challenge was simple: Build the tallest tower you can with 4 sheets of 8.5 x 11: paper.

First, a little history on this class:

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September 10th, 2014 by Luann

Thirteen years ago today

Thirteen years ago, I was in Ohio, teaching a class of Chemistry students to set up their lab books for our first lab.

NYC Skyline *

(Some of my current FB friends were in that class…) when our principal, Dan Griffin, announced that a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center towers. Then, in disbelief, we listened as he announced that the second tower had been hit. I had only one old, slow computer in my room, but all the news sites were too jammed for us to get any information. As I struggled to find words to calm my frightened, confused students, Mr. Griffin announced that a third plane had hit the Pentagon, and that all three flights had originated in DC. A student, all color drained from his face (you know who you are) stood up and said, “My mom was flying out of DC this morning. I need to go to the counselor’s office.”

Mike was having his hip joint scoped a few blocks away at the local hospital. When I went to see him during lunch/prep, I caught a bit more news. As he awoke and saw the TV in his room, he thought he was watching a horror movie. We kept hearing about terrorist involvement.

Our thoughts then turned to our younger son, Geoff, who was in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood. Although we didn’t get to speak to him for the next few weeks, somehow, we knew there would be a consequence for him. We were right.

A hundred-plus lab books bear the start date of 9/11/01. Thousands of families, and our entire world, were never the same again.

*I stole this photo from a friend’s Facebook page. If it’s yours and I’m using it wrongly, please let me know and I’ll take it down.

June 24th, 2014 by Luann

Skillz for the Future

 

Framework for 21st Century Learning, Charles Fadel, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

We are asked to teach 21st Century Skills – Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication and Citizenship, to name a few. The last two schools in which I’ve worked have advisory classes. The point is career education and the relationship-building that increases chances for student success. We do prescribed career activities. We do grade checks and students reflect on their progress. I’ve been through many iterations of advisory during my tenure in 2 schools in 2 states over the past 10 years; and we are not yet sure what shape  I’ll be getting a brand-new batch of grade 9 lambs this year, and I intend to help them become as successful as possible.

To support these skills, and  state/district/building career-related activities and relationship-building activities, I’d like to suggest we consider the following possibilities for valuable use of advisory time:



Digital Literacy, Part 1

I see two components to Digital literacy.

The first is establishing some accounts and learning to use current tools. At our school and in my classroom, as a minimum, these would currently be

  • Google apps including Blogger,
  • Prezi, and
  • Evernote
  • Pistach.io
  • Disqus

Why?

My building has dabbled in Project-Based Learning. A part of our work, an authentic audience is important. It’s amazing how the quality of students’ work becomes a big deal to them when they know it will be seen by others.

As digital portfolios become important, students could maintain their portfolios easily in Google sites, and later transfer them to a personally owned account. The advantage to Evernote is its portability and flexibility with media. Evernote could be used for quickly storing info from recordings, links, photos and clipped images such as those students take of their lab work and whiteboarding adventures (see Plagiarism, below) and drafts of projects and work. Many teachers ask students to use Prezi, and class/project time is used just setting up an account and learning the app. Prezi could also be a platform for the digital portfolio. Many classes, particularly art, also use Blogger for photoblogs.

Digital Literacy, Part 2

Safety and etiquette.  That is all. No student may publish anything in my class to a public account with his/her name on it without parent permission, signed, and in my file.

Plagiarism: It’s not just for English class anymore.

Students must learn to vet every source they use for licensing. Creative Commons wasn’t around when most of us were in college, so we first need to learn the ropes.  Wikimedia Commons is a great starting place for images. Google Search now offers the capability to find usage rights (in search, select images > search tools > usage rights and then follow the rights granted for your intended use.)

Financial literacy:

As 9th graders, perhaps a look at the cost of a cell phone contract, fast food, and driving a car, including a look at the good driver discount they get on auto insurance for keeping a B average. By 10th grade, looking at how to budget money from a part-time job, including savings, and the cost of college, and in the adulthood by investing in different ways online, as marketing or doing bets online in a gold cup day at cheltenham festival where they will have better chances to win.

By 11th grade, a look at taxes and more college costs. As seniors, they need to be looking at their actual expenses vs income after graduation. And then, there’s my personal beef that we’re teaching kids there’s actually such a thing as “good debt.”  Hello.

There are others, of course.  What are yours?

 

January 2nd, 2014 by Luann

Organization (in the Lab): 20 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 2 #bc20

For years, I struggled with organizing student lab cupboards.  Way back when, we had enough basic lab equipment for each student pair to have their own stocked, locked drawer.  At my most recent school, we do not. Two pairs of students are assigned to work at 1 table. Each pair has their own cupboard. Each cupboard is, however, shared with 5 other classes, both biology and AP Chemistry.

Lab Cupboards

Table 1 nailed it!

Putting things away is not my strength. It’s a challenge to get students to do so, particularly when they are not solely responsible for their equipment.  I’m not particularly disturbed by clutter from student work. It is frustrating for students to have to search the lab to find a needed beaker that someone forgot to put away.  The goal is for students to have what they need so their work goes smoothly.

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