Tag Archives: websites

How to Use Auto-Graded Exit Tickets

by Erin Dye

exit tickets

image courtesy nongpimmy | freedigitalphotos.net

Are you a fan of exit tickets? Is your administration pushing them at your school? Even if they’re not, it’s something to consider. Running formative assessment during class requires preparation, management, participation, and grading time. As a result, the system tends to work best with multiple-choice questions (and thus, it can’t assess the entire range of skills students learn), but exit tickets can be a great way to figure out if you need to reteach or if you can move on.

As with most things, having an easy daily routine can be a good way to manage your formative assessment and exit tickets. Technology in the classroom can make a big difference here, but even if you’re in a low-tech room, there’s still a lot you can do to lessen your administrative workload.

We’ve divided up this resource list based on the level of access to technology in your classroom.

For one-to-one classrooms:

Find a web-based assessment resource that will export data from your students’ answers into an Excel chart or some other useful format. Daily formative assessment is likely to fail if you are still stuck grading 30+ individual answers. We love Kahoot. The great thing about this resource is that it somehow manages to be engaging and fun for every grade level. And it really is fun—try it with your colleagues at your next staff meeting and watch a room full of adults light up.

You can also use Socrative to issue short quizzes. This service also allows you to export data. A lot of teachers like Socrative for vocabulary test prep and for open response as well. Socrative takes just a few more minutes to set up than Kahoot does, but it offers a wider range of answering options (i.e., more than just multiple choice). Socrative even has templates and sample exit ticket questions already available for you to use.

Classrooms with response devices (clickers):

If you have clickers, you can plug a few questions into the clicker software each day and have your students follow the normal classroom procedures for using the clickers to answer. Depending on how you’ve set up the system’s software, the data will export auto-graded results into a format you can upload into your grade book.

Teacher-Tech-Only Classrooms:

Sometimes the only technology in a classroom is the teacher’s smartphone. Never fear, though, you can deliver auto-graded quizzes using paper and your phone.

Mastery Connect, the group that makes the super-useful Common Core app, have a resource called the Bubble Sheet Scanner. Your students fill out a paper multiple-choice answer sheet. Then you hold their completed papers up to your computer’s camera, scan the papers, and the software automatically grades each quiz. (You can also download a free app for your iPad.) All the data is exportable to your grade book.

You can also try using Plickers (“paper clickers”), which allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to capture student responses. First, you print out (or order via Amazon) a set of cards, which you hand out to your students. When you ask a question during class, students hold up their card to answer the question. Each student’s card looks different, so there’s no easy way for someone to copy a classmate’s answer. While students have their cards raised, you use the Plickers app on your smartphone to take a picture of the classroom. The app reads the responses and shows the data on your phone. You can also log in from your computer and download a spreadsheet with the data.

Give exit tickets a try to figure out where your students understand the curriculum and where they may be falling behind. Exit tickets will help you intervene and remediate at the most effective times. Using tech-enhanced resources with your exit tickets will help keep you sane and will make the data more useful.

What do you use for exit tickets? Let us know below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAErin Dye is Manager of Consulting Services for Green Light Professional Development and a Google Certified Educator. She has extensive experience creating digital materials for interactive whiteboards and iPads. She writes about technology integration and GLPD’s work in local schools.

Tech Tools to Focus Your Classroom

by Erin Dye

technology classroom management

Empower your students with technology | Image courtesy of Archipoch FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some teachers see technology as either distracting or counterproductive, but what if you could use technology to better focus your instructional time and your students’ attention? If used strategically, certain tech tools are perfect for classroom management.

Khan Academy

A great place to start is Khan Academy. Although this site specializes in math content, their other resources include videos, assessments, and partner content from a wide variety of subjects. Sign up and use of Khan Academy is free. As your students explore new topics, they can earn points for completing activities and watching videos, which will give them a tangible way to measure their progress.  Khan Academy can also be a great springboard for generating ideas for a larger project.

Diigo

As students scour the web for more information about what they learn in the classroom, they will probably need some help organizing the information that they find. Diigo (pronounced dee-go) is an online research tool that allows users to annotate online content. After installing the browser add-on, students can click on the Diigo icon to save bookmarks, highlight text, add sticky notes, and tag information around the web.

Diigo also makes it easy to work collaboratively and share information. To help students share information responsibly, create a group on Diigo and add your students as group members. Have students safely share their research with the group using the privacy features on Diigo.

Google Books

Students can also use Google Books to access relevant, free content— both fiction and nonfiction works. Before letting students work independently or in their groups, demonstrate some best practices for searching Google Books. Show students how to search for free eBooks and use date or relevance filters to organize their results. Students can highlight text, bookmark pages, perform related searches, and write notes in these ebooks. For other free online ebooks, try using this helpful list from TeachThought.

Socrative

Socrative is another tool you can use to focus your instruction. This tool is free while in beta, and the site will always have a free basic version. Socrative’s teacher interface helps you assess students and track their progress using multiple choice, true/false, and short answer quizzes.

Once you create a Socrative account, you will receive a classroom number to share with your students. Students can join this digital classroom using a browser or app on their tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other devices. Use this tool at the beginning of class as a bell ringer or at the end of class as an exit ticket to assess your students’ progress.

 

Whether you are introducing your students to new ideas, helping them to explore those ideas further, or testing just how much they have learned, these tools will help you better engage your students.

How have you already used tech tools to focus your classes? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Erin DyeErin Dye is Manager of Consulting Services for Green Light Professional Development. She has extensive experience creating digital materials for interactive whiteboards and iPads. She writes about technology integration and GLPD’s work in local schools.

Free Activities on Museum Websites

by Hope Morley

Field trips to the country’s great museums aren’t always an option. But museum websites are a great source of free educational material and lessons for the classroom. For a professional development session with teachers recently, we put together a sampling of museums with strong educational content.

 

Science

The Museum of Science and IndustryThis Chicago-based museum has science activities on a range of topics, from the circulatory system to levers to habitat overcrowding. The How To activities include step-by-step instructions and images, which are great for displaying on a whiteboard while students complete the task. The games make a fun reward for students.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryThe Smithsonian provides lesson plans, specialized web pages, and a few interactive activities for students. The simulations (students may enjoy the Virtual Dinosaur Dig) can be used by students individually or in small groups on a whiteboard. Watch out for broken links on this site.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum: Though the range of activities is limited, the quality of these lesson plans and activities is fairly high. Direct students here for small group explorations or during free computer time.

Art

National Gallery of Art: The National Gallery of Art provides several fun tools for creating art online. We particularly like the Collage Machine and 3-D Twirler. If your school uses Mac computers, you may need to download the free desktop apps rather than working on web browsers.

The Metropolitan MuseumThe Met’s interactive videos are great introductions to art and art movements. My favorites are “How Van Gogh Made His Mark” for older students and “Marduk, King of the Gods” for elementary students.

History 

National ArchivesThe National Archives has created great content out of their treasure trove of documents and photos. Be sure to check out their YouTube videos for interesting multimedia. Can’t go on a field trip to Washington, D.C.? Use their Historypin tours for a new perspective on historical events.

Smithsonian Museum of American HistoryThis site provides a few fun activities for teaching U.S. history. Most activities are geared to be pleasant diversions rather than full lessons. They would work well as bellringers or short small group time.

What great museum websites did we miss?

Hope MorleyHope Morley is a consultant and social media coordinator for Green Light Professional Development. She writes about social media, conferences, and anything else on the web that helps both students and teachers learn. Follow her @GreenlightLT