Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What is Seesaw? Why YOUR Classroom Needs This Tool!


Seesaw: The Learning Journal

What is it? Who uses it? Why do you need this in your 1:1 (or 1:3 or 1:5) classroom?

What is it?

Before I blow your mind and make you stop reading, the best way to describe what Seesaw is is to show you. Click the links below to see some examples of what I have had my kids do on Seesaw:

I could show you 1,000,000 more examples of how my students and I use this tool every day in our classroom, but we simply don’t have time for that. Seesaw is basically Facebook for the classroom and has literally changed my life as a teacher and my students' lives as learners. Students can post their work, comment on each other’s work (if you allow them to), and you can even have them post work from home! I have even begun to flip my lessons with Seesaw and we use it as the platform for turning in eLearning work!

Why do you need this in your classroom?


Seesaw was completely foreign to me when I started at my new school in 2015. Even though I was 

unsure of what it was exactly, my teaching partner was doing it so I thought, "Why not?" Little did I 

know that my life as a teacher was forever changed. I fell so in love with Seesaw, that I became an 

ambassador and preach its features anywhere to anyone who will listen. 

What's so great about this platform is that you can use it to best serve you and your students in the 

way that is best for you and them. The possibilities are endless.  You can create folders the way you 

want to, share things the way you need to, and can even flip lessons and have students teach each 

other. 

Last week, through Seesaw Blogs, I did a Google Hangout with a class from another state. My 

students were beside themselves with excitement! When I say that Seesaw is a game-changer, I mean 

it. 

Bottom line, this online student-driven portfolio is AWESOME and FREE. Yes. Free. Watch these two YouTube videos about how to begin using Seesaw TOMORROW. You can do it!

Seesaw hosts ‘PD in Your PJ’s’ almost every week about how to use this tool in different ways. It is AMAZING! Follow them on Twitter to be notified when they are hosting a new "PD in Your PJ's" also, if you miss it, they post them on YouTube!
Live in Northeast Indiana? I would LOVE to facilitate a discussion about Seesaw and how to use it in your school and classroom! Contact me by emailing me at support@burnedinteacher.com.
Burn on!
Amber


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Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Truth I Have Learned about Hyperdocs

The Truth I Have Learned About Hyperdocs



Over the last two weeks I have been raving and routing for the use of HyperDocs in the first grade classroom. I still am! However, there are some things that I have learned from them that I thought you may find useful. 

*Find the HyperDocs I used at the bottom of this post!

1. HyperDocs are good in small doses.  

My students really do enjoy HyperDocs. I have heard them comment their excitement for them in the classroom. Also, I have seen them go back and watch the videos again, when they have free choice time. I have also been able to use them to help students who were absent or who are clearly lost to catch up or review. 

However, I think (as with all things when dealing with humans) there needs to be balance. HyperDocs create independence, a trail (if you will) of where you have been, and a staircase that gradually builds on prior knowledge to help students continue to grow in their understanding of a concept. 

One day last week, I was so excited, because I had created a HyperDoc for reading, writing, and math for that day. Sure it was all going to be exciting and the kids were going to love it and I was going to meet with every student and it was going to be wonderful and rainbows were going to shoot out of their ipads and...

the kids actually groaned when I tried to get them started on the second one of the day during our reading block. "Do we have to???" One student asked. Well, you might as well have punched me in the face with brass knuckles. "OF COURSE YOU DO!" I had to tone down my voice, for I knew that I was seconds away from losing my cool. 

However, I get it. They wanted to work with me. They wanted balance and I wasn't offering that. Duly noted. 

2. HyperDocs help build understanding. They don't teach new concepts well for most firsties. 

When I started using them for writing a couple of weeks ago, I was sure I would never have to teach writing again!!! Hahahahahaha!!! What. An. Idiot. 

We had started writing persuasive pieces and I found the most amazing videos on YouTube by a channel called Teaching Without Frills. She is seriously gifted in the skill of Powtooning and I would recommend her videos for helping to teach many standards and skills! I thought they would do the job of teaching FOR me! 

When I thought things were going well, they actually were not. My top writers were doing fine, however, my mid-low writers began writing non-fiction pieces and I had to go back and correct their misunderstandings during our small group meeting later in the week. 

I think that the HyperDoc in this case would have been fine for me to send my top writers off to do, however my mid-low writers should have stayed with me for a whole group lesson where there was more structure and modeling done by me. 

3. Make them show their understanding in real-time. This is the only way to see if they are deepening their understanding of a concept. 

Wow. Nothing like being observed as you are trying something new with a collaborating Google Doc. Insert eye roll... and a deep breath. It really went fine, but I was trying out a way for the kids to show me whether they got the concept of "hooking" their reader by changing their topic sentence to a question. After they changed it in their writing, they were to type their question into a table in a live Google Doc where all other students were doing it too.  Not a total fail, but hopefully will get better with time. I could tell by their 'questions,' that were mostly not questions, and by one student who chose to write their entire persuasive piece, that I was not clear about what I wanted from them. 

I did this, because I have learned over the last couple of weeks that just assuming that they got it was dangerous and I couldn't jump in to help them if they were practicing wrong. The live Doc was really helpful!

4. Don't try to pack too much in there. More is not better in this case.

K.I.S.S applied here is totally appropriate. Don't ask them to do 3 different things in one Doc. Trust me... I did this once and I won't do it again. Keep It Simple Stupid. This isn't rocket science, but certain teachers (like me) could easily make it seem so by getting carried away and sucking the fun out of them by packing them full of content and work that could easily be 3 lessons. 

5. The HyperDoc is a useful tool, a powerful collaboration force, and worth the time. 

I will not give up on my kids. I know that teaching students to use the different Google tools that they have at their disposal not only encourages technology integration, but also collaboration and real problem solving skills by a team of kids. They are not allowed to ask me for help if something isn't "working" and, therefore, must rely on each other. Students are helping others to troubleshoot and solve problems. This is the kind of independence that they need in order to grow up and become independent! 

In conclusion, I have a lot to learn. There is room for the HyperDoc in my first grade room and not just to be fancy. They are good in small doses when you want students to reflect or build on prior knowledge, and offer the ability to give immediate feedback once they have finished the Doc and have posted what they did somewhere for you to see. 

Here are the Docs I shared with them this week:

Writing


Reading

Math 

I hope you found this helpful! Enjoy and just jump in! 


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

HyperDoc #3: Another Success Story

Ditching that Math Textbook... When I'm Not Really Allowed To: Proceeding with Caution



Today, students had their 2nd experience with a HyperDoc in Math. They, AGAIN, rocked it. Students worked at different paces, helped one another and were more than happy to continue through to the end of the doc without my help, if they got to that point. 

I think the tricky part of this is making sure that I am following my curriculum map as well as keeping it interesting for the kids. They were very engaged today, but were unable to finish all of lesson. So what should I do? Move on? Continue it? That's were I am struggling. I simply have to keep moving and I love how much time they are allowing me to meet in small groups!

Here is the link to the HyperDoc. I took a video of what my room sounded/looked like today. Here it is. 

Part of what I am consistently have them do is create something with each step. Here are some of their creations today, answering the question: How can I show subtraction? (I used Seesaw as my platform again.)

https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_item?item_id=item.39d073f8-fdff-416b-962b-972a40e5ce76&share_token=bV-SqvPGTYmjtfL1UW91SQ&mode=share


https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_item?item_id=item.fe858b76-7a9c-4fc9-874d-9eda6e3977df&share_token=iUHym5KuTiuuYh4pTKrDjw&mode=share


https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_item?item_id=item.571c5cb7-2b02-4de1-90e2-e2ffac70f955&share_token=2GQLkD2gRkK3CMLTRcmZ7g&mode=share


I am continuously impressed with the students' level of work. They are taking things so seriously and I am so excited to keep this going!

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Whole Class HyperDoc: How is it DIFFERENT than Whole Class Instruction?

How are they DIFFERENT? It would be easier to tell you how they are the SAME:

Not. At. All.

Tomorrow, my students will be coming into the classroom and will get started right away on their third HyperDoc. I have shared the link below. 

I am testing out different templates and have found that, so far, inserting a table into the Doc keeps things tidy for the kids. 

I am working on writing instructions in language and words that the kids can read and complete on their own, so I will update you tomorrow on how that goes. 


Here is what I am really trying to apply from Highfill, Hilton, and Landis' book The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps (besides figuring out the format):

Who will be viewing the HyperDoc? Whole Class? Small groups? Individual students?

So far, I have been sharing the HyperDocs whole class through Seesaw (If you haven't heard of it, stay tuned for a post this week on what it is and how my class uses it.)

Here is how the Whole Class HyperDoc (WCHD) is Different than Whole Class Instruction (WCI):

1. Students can listen/watch at their own pace. 

In WCI, students are forced to go at MY pace, not theirs. I have taught my kiddos how to pause videos in the WCHD and go back so that they can listen and watch again, if they need to. 
Also, the WCHD doesn't disappear when they are done with it. They will have that instruction any time they need it, or if they are struggling with a concept later on in the week/month/year, I can have them go back to that lesson.

2. I am freed up to conference with individual students and small groups while they are being instructed by me virtually.

Our corporation is big on the 'conference' and setting individual goals. I am the first to admit that I am horrible at documenting my conferences, mostly because I am short on time because my WCI was taking FOREVER!!! You know what I am talking about... the mini-lesson was SUPPOSED to take 10 minutes, but somehow I made it last 30. So much for students actually working...
Not anymore. With the WCHD, I have no choice but to keep it short and the students have no choice but to work!

3. Absent Students Have Access

With WHI, students home sick (or for whatever other reason) have no access to the lesson and I then have to spend more time with them when they come back to school to help them understand what we are working on. 

With WCHD, I can have them:
a. Access it from home and do the activity from their couch, bed, etc. 
b. Have them watch/listen/do the WCHD right away when they return to school!

4. Engagement is through the roof!

Students are hooked. They are independently working, have purpose, and and end goal that I can check. Kids are working, not simply being quiet. No faux-reading. I can tell if they are understanding through their end product. 

5. Real-Life Problem Solving and Collaboration is Evolving!

Students who are having trouble finding the tools and videos they need to use or don't understand the final product are asking each other for support. NOT ME. They are learning to rely on each other for help instead of the teacher. Can we get anymore real than that?



Enjoy!

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Show me how YOU are using tech in the K-2 Classroom. #burnedinteacher to add to a list of other things that I have found teachers doing with their little ones! 

Burn on!

Amber






Saturday, November 5, 2016

Take a Look at My Very First HyperDoc for First Graders!

HyperDocs is Going to be a Game-Changer:

Here's How I Did It 


While going through my Google Training this past month, there was a lot of talk about what Google calls MMTS or Multi-Media Text Sets.  It turns out that an entire book on these MMTS called The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps has been written by Lisa Highfill. It is lying right beside this computer, just begging to be opened. And I will, however, true to form, I fell into the rabbit-hole of Youtube when I was researching something else and could barely sleep last night as I was planning out how I could use this today! It ROCKED, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

I'm not usually very good at sitting down and reading ANYTHING in its entirety and this situation is no different, so (before I even read the book) HyperDocs seem to me to be this simple:

1. Student have access to a Google Doc that you have created and shared with them via Google Suite. That document has links to youtube, articles, audible books, you name it. They can only view the doc, as they are not actually manipulating anything on it. 

2. Students follow the directions that are listed on the doc and go where the links take them (step-by-step), usually ending in some sort of written response, project-based learning step, etc.

3. The students independently follow these steps at their own pace until they have completed that HyperDoc. 

That's it! (If I'm wrong, please comment below and set me straight!)

Anyway, I am including the link to my students' first experience with a HyperDoc and I'm telling you it is simple. They are 6 and 7 year olds. I thought they were going to be all over me, but they were the most engaged they have been since the third week of school. 

Their mission had purpose. Their effort had an end result. THEY. WERE. HOOKED. 

Here it is:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gqx_z_2BOFC-b2e2KeYP-wLCE-bUFtT1pnsj8sor8Fk/edit

(*Step 3 was a video that I created of myself giving instructions on what to do with what they learned about persuasive writing in the first two videos.) Here is that link:




While they were working, I was able to conference with EVERY small writing group. I have 28 students! I TOUCHED EVERY STUDENT TODAY!!! What??!?!?! (Insert mic drop.)

What Went Well: 

Students were engaged. I mean the type of engaged that made me want to call my principal and demand that he come observe me now. 

What Went Wrong:

I originally tried hyperlinking the Seesaw video into the doc so that they kids could just go straight to the video, but for some reason, it didn't work on their iPads. Easy fix to the doc and I did it on the spot. 

What We Want: 

I want independence, engagement, and to integrate Social Studies and Science into my lessons. I feel like the first two wants were achieved today. The integration will happen tomorrow as I teach students about Pilgrims/Thanksgiving during our reading block before our Breakout EDU! 

As always, my advice is to try it first, think about it later. I just went for it, made it really simple today, and it was fantastic. 

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Burn on!

Amber

One Way to Teach First Graders How to Collaborate on Google Docs

First Graders CAN Use Google Docs...Just Take Deep Breaths and Let Them Fail A Little



Think they can't? Think again. My first graders have been collaborating on documents this week and are rocking it. Sort of. Perfect? Oh, hell no. But what is the first time... as a six-year-old... when your teacher tells you to ask someone else because she is busy with another student (or 10)? 

Showcasing their understanding of past, present, and future has been way more interesting this week. The firsties in my room have been collaborating on Google Slides to show what they have done in the past and present and what they hope to do in the future.

My hope is that this document will become Part 1 in a series of hyperdocs that I would like to create for them to complete during our Daily 5 rounds. Students are lacking engagement and I am unable to see if they are truly comprehending Science and Social Studies concepts that I am trying embed in my Reading/Writing block. 

Click the link to see what these kiddos are up to! You may even be able to see it live if you are viewing the doc at the right time! 

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/10lX_nqDilni78o586V59X6B2-lTrjSgQOo6ksohBDek/edit?usp=sharing

(I have since reverted back to the original draft, however, you can still see traces of what the students did yesterday. They did an amazing job of copying and pasting pictures into the tables!)

What Went Well:
Students were very serious about staying on their assigned slides and are working hard not to mess everything up! I love how much they are talking to one another! (Especially as things are going really wrong.) Hahahaha! 

What Went Wrong: 

A Brainpop Jr video that I linked in the hyperdoc did not take them to the right place and it was not easily fixable. I have talked to my tech coach and she is going to see what she can do so that the link can take them where they should go. 

What We Want:

We want to be able to see what others have done in the past vs what we are doing now and what we want to do in the future. 


Taking deep breaths and knowing that things can't possibly get worse. 


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Burn on!

Amber

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Firsties Using Google Suite? Whaaaat????

First Graders CAN Use Google Suite...Just Take Deep Breaths and Let Them Fail A Little



Think they can't? Think again. My first graders have been collaborating on documents this week and are rocking it. Sort of. Perfect? Oh, hell no. But what is the first time... as a six-year-old... when your teacher tells you to ask someone else because she is busy with another student (or 10)? 

Showcasing their understanding of past, present, and future has been way more interesting this week. The firsties in my room have been collaborating on Google Slides to show what they have done in the past and present and what they hope to do in the future.

My hope is that this document will become Part 1 in a series of hyperdocs that I would like to create for them to complete during our Daily 5 rounds. Students are lacking engagement and I am unable to see if they are truly comprehending Science and Social Studies concepts that I am trying embed in my Reading/Writing block. 

Click the link to see what these kiddos are up to! You may even be able to see it live if you are viewing the doc at the right time! 

Students were very serious about staying on their assigned slides and are working hard not to mess everything up! I love how much they are talking to one another! (Especially as things are going really wrong.) Hahahaha! 

What Went Wrong: 

A Brainpop Jr video that I linked in the hyperdoc did not take them to the right place and it was not easily fixable. I have talked to my tech coach and she is going to see what she can do so that the link can take them where they should go. 

What We Want:

We want to be able to see what others have done in the past vs what we are doing now and what we want to do in the future. 


Taking deep breaths and knowing that things can't possibly get worse. 


Follow me on Twitter: @burnedinteacher
Find me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/burnedinteacher/ 
Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/burnedinteacher/ 
email me: support@burnedinteacher.com

Burn on!

Amber