Review and Co-Construct Class Rules of Conduct

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Every classroom and every teacher has different rules about acceptable behaviors. These can range from technology usage and hand raising to in class chatter. At the beginning of a semester you have an opportunity to review current rules and introduce new ones!

Socrative Short Answer is a great way to ask:

When should you raise your hand?

What do you do when you need to use the bathroom?

What should you do when other students are speaking?

What should you do when the teacher is speaking?

When are you allowed to speak to the person next to you?

When is it okay to use technology?

Let students work in pairs to reflect on acceptable behaviors.

Project the answers onto the board anonymously, so that everyone feels free to participate. Highlight themes and build a collective responsibility to meet everyone’s goals. With Socrative Short Answer,  you can even download a report of the rules at the end of the activity.

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

With some extra time left in class, you can group students into teams, assigning a rule to each. Every group makes a poster that represents the rule using diagrams, words, or pictures. Each student then presents their poster and hangs them on the wall to refer to for the next few weeks.

Getting to Know Your New Students – Survey and Slideshow!

The start of school can be overwhelming for teachers, new faces, new names and new relationships to build. Nerves can build up quite fast and routines are not yet in place to rely upon. Mrs. Rutherford turns to Socrative to ease her first day record keeping and classroom management tasks.

Gather pertinent Student Information

What is your full name?
Do you have a preferred nickname?
What’s your home address?
What’s your phone number?
What’s your email address?
What are your parents’ or guardian’s names, workplaces and phone numbers?
Do you have any allergies?
When is your birthday?
What’s your favorite food?
What is your favorite band or musician?

**Use the quiz above with Import code SOC-1612137**

Feel free to edit the activity to best suit your classroom needs.

Remember: The report will be emailed to you so no stack of papers to flip through!

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.41.37 PM Create a Back to School slideshow!

It’s time to put away the beach towels, set the alarm, and get ready for that first week! School is here and you’ve got a whole new list of students to get to know – what better way than to create a fun and creative photo slideshow to share with parents to present their kids classmates.

We have a great tool in mind that could help you to do that, www.sharalike.com .

It offers you a simple way to create slideshows that are as unique as each and every one of the students in your classroom. All you have to do is take picture of the kids, upload your photos to Sharalike.com or through the iOS app. Sharalike does the rest – literally. Set it to music (you can use your own or simply let Sharalike choose that for you as well), save it and it is ready to share! Sharalike is free to use, and has no limitations.

The simplicity of sharalike, could even allow you to assign your students the task of creating their own to share with the class – maybe a beginning of the year ice breaker to share their summer vacation stories!

Create Virtual Time Capsules for 2014/15

In third grade, my classmates and I brought a wide range of items to school that signified the time in which we were living.  There was a black Sony walkman with padded headphones, a GI Joe figure, a Hartford Courant newspaper, a copy of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Messy Room” and a video cassette of Goonies. Yes, 1986 was a glorious time. At the end of the school year we all stood around a big hole behind school and buried our keepsakes so that they might be unearthed by a future generation.
My daydreaming about this fond memory sparked an idea.

Weekly VIRTUAL Time Capules

The process of selecting an item to put in a class time capsule helps students to form an idea of the overarching thought or feeling of the time, it necessitates decision-making and it creates an indelible memory (as my experience at Martin Elementary did!)
Read more

1 – 2 – 3 – Word Cloud!

Word Clouds (wordle to most) can be a dynamic tool for visualizing text and for presenting a group’s thinking. They are AMAZING! 

While planning for the Future of Learning conference at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, I wanted to capture and share our participants’ views on “What are the key features of 21st Century Learning”. At first, word clouds didn’t cross my mind because in past experiences I had entered a historical speech, lecture notes or asynchronously generated google docs.  All these use cases would be ineffective for our needs.  But then it dawned on me, Socrative could aggregate our real-time responses.  Of course!

Here’s the system.

1. Identify a question which will generate responses for your particular needs.*

    • What 3 words best describe your summer?**
    • What are you most excited about this school year?**
    • What are your 3 favorite foods?**

Other Great Questions

  • What are the key features of 21st century learning? (reflected in the above word cloud)
  • Which vocabulary words are giving you difficulty?
  • List 5 key words from the chapter you just read.
  • What 3 adjectives best describe this sculpture?
  • What are synonyms and antonyms of _______?

* have students answer in all lower case so there is consistency in the word cloud.

** Import the quiz that includes these questions using SOC-12260148

 

2. Initiate a Short Answer or Quiz.

  • A Short Answer question’s responses will populate your teacher screen.  
  • A Quiz may include many questions and the results will be available to view as a googledoc or an emailed Excel file.

 

3. Highlight all the answers and copy them.

  • Short Answer – highlight and copy the responses on the teacher screen.
  • Quiz – highlight and copy the column of the question you want to visualize.

 

4. Paste into a Word Cloud maker

  • Wordle  – The most well-known word cloud tool.  It’s easy to use and quickly adaptable to help you find the colors, fonts, sizes and arrangements to suit your taste.
  • Tagxedo – Tagxedo allows users to create clouds in various forms, such as Abe Lincoln’s head, triangles or the outlines of countries.
  • Wordsift – You can further highlight words by subjects such as social studies or science.  Developed as an ELL resource at Stanford.
  • ABCya! - Word clouds for kids!
  • Word Collage – an App for iPads

 

Share your ideas!

See, Think, Wonder – Making Thinking Visible

Harvard’s Project Zero has created learning routines based on research, helping teachers garner a more thorough thinking process from students. See, Think, Wonder, is one such routine that engages students in visual multimedia such as pictures or videos.

Design an Image based quiz focussing on these 3 questions:

1. What do you see?

2. What do you think about that?

3. What does it make you wonder?

Students draw from their own unique perspective, inviting curiosity from their peers. Depending on the teaching need, a single student may answer all three questions at once in a Student Paced Quiz, or the class may work together through the Teacher Paced Quiz option to answer and discuss questions one at a time.

Learn more at www.visiblethinkingpz.org

 

Socrative Upgrade – Weekend of July 12th!

2.0 Live Results 2

On Saturday July 12th, all Socrative accounts will be updated to our amazing Socrative 2.0. It will be a seamless changeover of all your quizzes, reports, credentials and apps.  We are so excited to have everyone enjoying Socrative 2.0 for the 2014/2015 school year. As promised, Socrative will continue to be a free  tool to support all your in class formative assessment needs.

2.0 Support Materials

Migration FAQ – All your upgrade questions answered

User Guide – Download, email, print and share

How-to Videos – Watch and learn on your own time

support@socrative.com – We love to hear from you!

New Interface, Same Reliability and Ease of Use

We’ve worked hard to make 2.0 totally intuitive to use, and have added many features that you’ve been asking for:

  • Student Navigation within Quizzes
  • Google Drive Integrations
  • Common Core Tagging
  • Individual Student Reports
  • Printable Quizzes
  • Real-Time Results Views
  • …and much more!

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4 Interactive Tips to Jumpstart Summer School

Learning Road Sign

Summer school is its own entity all together!  

In addition, this may be your first summer with a tech enriched classroom…or it could be if you try some Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Lessons.

Here are some ideas for using Socrative and Tech in your Lessons

Icebreakers

Introduce the students to each other and their technology.

Prepare fun Multiple Choice and True False questions for the board, Powerpoint.

In the weightlessness of space, if a frozen pea touches Pepsi it will explode?

True
False
Read more

Sharalike – Capture and Share Classroom Moments

It’s nearly summer and now is the perfect time to capture those final moments of your school year: field trips, student presentations, field days, recitals etc.

Our friends at Sharalike have built an awesome fee photo sharing app! They’re the next generation of online slideshow creation – designed as a free, fun and simple way to make sure no memory is forgotten.

Check out this sample SmartShow

What’s their recipe? 

A heaping teaspoon of time savings – instantly upload your pictures to sharalike from any device or computer (don’t organize them in advance, sharalike will help you).

A few handfuls of organizational genius – sharalike automatically groups and chooses the best of all of your shots

And a pinch of fun…voila – simply press the button ‘smartshow’, and in seconds you have your own personalized slideshow to share. 

Share with Students and Families

Now share that with your students and families and enjoyment (not to mention a bunch of compliments!) is guaranteed for all!

Have a broad audience to share with? Smartshows are created to be easily shared via email and social media, and what’s more, viewers are able to save individual pictures that they like from the show.

Sign up for your free account today, and enjoy your the end of the year! Take lots of pictures and they’ll do the rest (while you get some much deserved rest!)

 

 

4 Fun and Reflective Activities to End the School Year!

The end of the school year is filled with mixed emotions: excitement for the impending freedom of summer, and sadness about the culmination of a great class and a great year. Use these final school days to connect with your classroom in fresh ways, and reflect on the school year behind you in order to better prepare for the next one.

Fun end of the year activities can enhance the bond within your class, as well as energize and refocus your students during their last days in the classroom.

ACTIVITY: Use Socrative’s True/False feature to see how many of your students will be doing certain summer activities. Show them the results and they can discuss or elaborate on their plans. Examples:

        • Going swimming
        • Going to camp
        • Going on vacation
        • Playing sports
        • Eating ice cream
        • Making lemonade

ACTIVITY: Plan to be flexible during one part of your school day. Use Socrative’s Short Answer feature to have students give ideas of activities to do during that time, or use Multiple Choice Polling to have students vote on which pre-planned activity they want to do. Giving them a say in their schedule can help keep students positive and interested during the school day.

 

This time of year is ripe for teachers to reflect on their best, and maybe not so good, teaching practices, in order to make the coming year better than ever. This time is ideal because you still have your best critics at your fingertips: your students. Here are some ways you can get helpful feedback from your students using Socrative. In order to avoid unhelpful or silly answers, be sure to remind them that you want their honest (and anonymous) feedback to help you improve.

ACTIVITY: Give this Shared Quiz to gain valuable open-ended feedback from your students:

SOC-7380252 The questions included are:

1. Name 3 things that helped you learn this year.

2. Name 3 things that made it hard for you to learn this year.

3. What was the most challenging thing we did this year?

4. What was your favorite moment from our class?

To review how to import a shared quiz, visit this blog post.

ACTIVITY: Ask for more specific feedback. If there is a unit you want to modify or shorten, use Socrative’s Multiple Choice feature to ask your class’ opinion. An example of this could be:

Which activity taught you the most (or least) about volcanoes:

    1. Creating a diagram
    2. Watching the news story
    3. Writing the report
    4. The reading and discussion activity

Here at Socrative we want to wish you a happy summer and say a big THANK YOU for using us in your classroom this year. We are constantly working to improve Socrative so keep checking our blog for updates on new features!

Teaching Summer School? Check back for our next blog post!

A Second Language Learning Activity

Whether you’re teaching Spanish, French, English, Latin, German, Dutch, Portuguese or Mandarin; student application is always a focus.  Socrative is here to help facilitate the practice and understanding of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and more.

Here’s one great example from Mr. Morrison.  He uses Socrative in his Spanish class for students to share their sentences focused on new nouns, adjectives, verbs, articles and colloquialisms.

Using Socrative Short Answer:

Mr. Morrison types in a new vocabulary word or verb.

Students then type their own unique sentence into Socrative.

Next, Mr. Morrison projects all the answers on the board and the collaboration begins.

1. Have students read another students sentence out loud.  

2. Ask students to orally respond to a classmate’s sentence 

3. Have students pair up and analyze the sentences.

4. Ask student to vote on their favorite sentence.  Discuss why students made their choice.

Mr. Morrison’s class is working on speaking, writing, translation, and vocabulary skills all at the same time!

*remember student responses will project anonymously so you can discuss the content and not the creator.  But you will get a detailed report at then with each students name and their sentence!