Friday, 24 April 2015

Professional Development Day - Small group instruction

Here is my journey towards learning more about small group instruction in both language and math.

Math Rotations in Grade 8: BUILD (Mrs. Glenda Reilly)

Both partner work
Use manipulatives
Independent Practice
Let's do some Mental Math
Device Friendly

Student Groups are formed after the pre-assessment


Math Rotations are shown on the blackboard so that students know which activity they are at


Students play jeopardy together this is an activity where they are working with a partner.

Using manipulatives students were asked to create a video to prove a theory (students could use WeVideo, Explain Everything) 

Independent Work looks more like the traditional math work with a text book however this work counts towards the student's assessment

 Device Friendly Activity is Prodigy 
Let's do Mental Math - students practice their mental math skills no calculator is allowed at this centre.

Language Rotations - Grade 2 Classroom (Ms. Lori Turk)

 Student rotation board 15 minute intervals, 7 groups, 5 centres a day

The IPad is used as an alarm so that students know when to change centres without the teacher having to stop and get their attention.

 Centres include: Chromebook work station

Guided reading station (students struggling in reading receive guided reading each day)

Read to self: Books in their book bin are at students independent reading level. These are levelled readers as well as the guided reading book for additional practice.

 Use RAZ kids for Read to Self

Writer's Workshop to practice the lesson learned from the week. Forgot to mention that the guided reading centres are only on day 2-5 because on day 1 there is whole group instruction in writing.

 Word Work station - each group has a drawer with activities at their level of understanding.

Shaping Up Reflection on the PD Day

3 Important or Interesting Points

1. The board has put together an IEP writing guide for teachers. This is an excellent tool to use when writing an IEP. The online version has an interactive table of contents so you don't have to flip through all the pages. There is a sample IEP for a grade 8 students that can be used as an exemplar when writing the annual goal, accommodations and transition plan. 

2. "The Math Cheat Book" this sounds so much better than what I remember when I was in school. The difference between then and now. The book is used as a reference for students to go back to and remember the lesson. Then you copied the lesson and then did the work and went through many books so I never went back to see an old lesson. 

What about putting the cheat book on the wall - with a math map that illustrates the journey throughout the unit. 

Even better combine the two ideas - The math cheat book could become an online tool whereby the picture of the math wall is taken and through the use of programs such as thinglink students could add notes to themselves and export the picture to google presentation. The google presentation could become the cheat book and be shared with all! 

3. I learned today that I am tenacious (and that I don't know how to spell it!)

tenacious: not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.

As I helped a co-worker to restore a blog that had not been written on since last year she called me tenacious. It is true I would not give up I promised to restore her blog and that was what I was going to do!

One thing that Squares my Thinking

1. What I saw today that I completely agree with is small group instruction!

One thing still Circling in my Head
How can we come together as a school to create consistency across grades, divisions and even bigger amongst the board. 

Lead Learn Inspire -Professional Development Day

Our professional development day was focused around three objectives:

1. Lead: Sharing Best Practices

2. Learning from Others

3. Inspiring Others

Below you will find the outline for the day:

SHARE 8:45-10:00

Your time in your classroom to set up what you are going to share with staff.

Take this time to set up your classroom so it gives your colleagues a 'guided tour' of your shared area of expertise and/or a 'storefront' experience of samples highlighting your area of expertise. While preparing, you might want to label, briefly summarize or make some resources available. Remember, you won't be in the room so make it 'self- serve'. :)

LEARN 10:00 -11:30

Wander/Reflect/Learn where is your coworkers' expertise?

This is your chance to wander and explore deeply, lightly or somewhere in between. Feel free to wander to one, some or all rooms. We have included a list of the area of expertise highlighted in each room here:

We will be reflecting on and sharing our learning as part of our afternoon. Take note of questions you might want to ask your colleague later. There is some fabulous work going on in our building. Most are linked clearly to the indicators of our School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement. Please take a good look at the walls in the rooms as well.

INSPIRE 1:00 -1:30
Blogging: Why blog?

This blog post by George Couros, principal of innovative teaching, learning & leadership of the Parkland District Schools in Alberta, lists 5 reasons why students should blog. We heard him speak about how his district of 10,000 students all blog as part of their learning portfolios. Both Nicole and I try to share our learning via our blogs. This might be an easy way for students to record, curate and/or reflect on their learning. Remember, a blog doesn't have to solely be text. It can involve video, audio, photo or any combination of media.

Reflect on your learning

Thinking of something to write? Why not try...

A. Narrate. Describe how you went about your morning. Where did you go? What was your focus going in? What did you see? What things did you note?

B. a "shaping up" framework.

Triangle: Three important or interesting points you learned today.
Square: One thing that squares my thinking (agrees with me).
Circle: One thing still circling in my head - a question I still have.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Reflect using the Shaping Up Framework

My principal used this framework as an option to have staff reflect on their learning. It could be used in the classroom or with adults and lends easily to a visual. The source is unknown.

a "shaping up" framework.

Triangle: Three important or interesting points you learned today.
Square: One thing that squares my thinking (agrees with me).
Circle: One thing still circling in my head - a question I still have.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

#gafesummit Search for Transparent Image

Google Search - Images 

Search Tools:

Select colour 
Need purple cows? 
Choose Transparent so that the image doesn't have a background!!
Transparent image - has a checkerboard around it - don’t have the white box around it when you put it in the slide

Search by size - so they don’t choose tiny images
You can also use this tool to find other file sizes

Usage Rights:
Use "labeled for reuse” so you are within copyright parameters

Take an image and drag it into the web address bar to search an image
-The image has to be on the web

#gafesummit Michelle's Favourite Things A-Z


Document explaining all of Michelle's favourite things

#gafesummit GAFE 4 Primary Classroom @rchids

Rolland Chidiac

Your goal Take one idea from today and try to implement it!

-Is your board a GAFE

What are the top 5 reasons to use GAFE in a primary classroom: Check out his Blog

1. collaboration
2. feedback
3. empowerment
4. digital citizenship
5. Creativity
6. innovation

What tools can you use in the primary classroom

Google Slides
-Types of Families to teach students how to use google slides insert drawing, text

-students can go home and log into their account to show their parents what they are working on!

-Create a link so that the slide show can be shared with parents

Making Inferences: Using Slides

Summative Assessment - each student made a slide of their inference -teacher embed the slides together

At the beginning - Digital Bootcamp the tools are the focus as they learn the tech 1:1 it takes a month

Using Google Maps
Grade 2 students

Google Hangouts

Global Read Aloud

As an Admin you need to support staff by:
Asking questions what is going on in the classroom
Bootcamp for staff
It is going to take time
Teacher needs to feel safe
Trust staff for

How do you instil digital citizen for staff?

Whole School Philosophy (Digital Citizenship)
-What do students need to know grade by grade starting in kindergarten
-Ottawa Crescent UGDSB

#gafesummit Google Forms - Communication with Parents

Google Forms: Making Communication Between Home and School Simpler

In this session, you'll create a basic Google Form that tracks events and behaviours observed at school (ex. a student helping out a younger child on the playground or an incomplete homework assignment). Then, you'll learn how to use a fantastic script from the Add-ons gallery called FormMule to automatically send this information directly to parents in an email. It's a huge time saver and parents really appreciate it. Plus, once you start sending home all those positive notes, you'll feel great! You’ll get the most out of this session if you can come prepared with a spreadsheet containing your students’ first and last names, as well as their parents’ email addresses.

Session Resources:  
Make a copy of this form
Video tutorial coming!!

#GafeSummit Kevin Brookhouser
opportunity to get class set of Nexus 7 and/or chromebooks

Winner of Demo Slam - Donnie Piercey

Keynote Speaker:

Kevin Brookhouser - Director of Technology, York School, California
 +Kevin Brookhouser  @brookhouser


Wicked Problems:
-lack of water
-substance abuse

As a teacher you have to be optimistic - create an environment where we motivate students to solve problems of the future.

How do we motivate our students to become better problem solvers?

2 problem types

1. Algorithmic problem solving: there are formulas and answers to these problems we know there is a solution ie what there do we use? Teachers are good at teaching and motivating students to answer algorithmic problems. How do we motivate them? with grades!

2. Wicked Problem Solving

Kevin shows us the game Limbo - grades 4 and up real life problems -

Why do children like playing video games:
-immediate feedback

What is Functional Fixedness: When we come across a tool we think that the tool is used in one context ex. from game - crate before pond is used to get across the pond - but that was not its use the crate had to be dragged back to get to the tree.

The game Limbo - teaches students about Functional Fixedness

What does this have to do with the real world?

Wicked Problem: Getting internet in remote areas of the world

Google's Solution to the affordable Internet around the world

Use a tool with a known purpose in a different context. Functional Fixedness Google is looking at using a balloon

New Mantra: "That's why we are giving it a try"

Book Drive by Daniel Pink

What are we doing when we use the extrinsic awards: We think we are motivated to solve problems with monetary (extrinsic) awards. But in theory the profit motive slows people down. Kevein's theory: The group that is offered money to solve the problem the group develops "focus" a tunnel vision. The group without a bribe is more relaxed look at the problem through play they will come up with the solution faster.

If Bribes don't work to motivate people what does:

Autonomy - give people more freedom
Mastery  - give them the skills
Purpose - make sure the work has a purpose outside the work place (classroom)

Google and 3M depend on these motivating factors for the companies to function

Look at the invention of a Post-it - The result of a bootleg project a guy at 3M was trying to create a super sticky substance but it didn't work it was sticky enough - that night when his bookmark fell out of his book his not-so-sticky substance came into use and thus the post-it was created

What does Kevin's grade 10 English classroom look like?

Kevin uses 20% Project in his classroom  #20time

What does it mean to brainstorm?
-No kid wants to put up the worst idea

Kevin mandated "The bad Idea Factory"
-brainstorm the worst ideas
What was the purpose - to bring the power of play

What came out of the bad idea list - good ideas the class can reject or accept the projects on the board

For example - one of his students wrote spend a month in a wheelchair - the kids/teacher said it was a great idea student spent a month in the wheelchair and the bad idea morphed into the student realizing that there were areas in the campus that were not wheelchair friendly

The Proposal
-Needs and Opportunities
-Monthly deliverables "what are you going to show the teacher"
-reality check

Students must blog 150 words a week they state what they have done where are going they include a picture of what they are working on in their blog

Exam - Students had to memorize their Elevator Pitch
"What is the Elevator Pitch"

What are little mistakes?
-Do we credit little mistakes
-Do you choose when to ask your students to strive to perfection - algorithm problems you can strive for perfection but when you are being creative can we strive for perfection what will that lead to? incompletion

-Done is Better than Perfect

Moto: Failure is an Option Failure to Deliver is Not

At the end of the year students present their projects in a TedX fashion
-Teachers presentation skills
-instead of a final exam

Example TedX presentation: Teaching a Generation
-slides simple
-practice and rehersal
-these students hated the idea of the 20% project they wanted the teacher to tell them what to do
-these girls said they were not passionate about anything so they had a difficult time getting starting
Kevin doesn't focus on passion anymore but instead PURPOSE - tell me a time when you did something that helped someone else
-these girls had "medical" stage fright they were absolutely terrified of presenting in the front of the school
-these students were able to do this even with their diagnosis Why? because they had a story to tell that was important to them seniors reconnected with their families

Shift from Teacher Centred Learning to Student Centred Learning

Change the goal of the learning from impressing the teacher to serve the good of someone else Audience Centred Learning

Kevin on TedX

You Tube videos related to the 20% Project can be found at

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Publish in Blogger

Presenter: Scott Monahan
Position: Digital Literacy Resource Teacher
Organization: York Region District School Board
Location: Newmarket
Contact Email:

Blogging 101 - Instructions

You Tube Page on Blogging

Using Google to support Inquiry

Presenter: Michelle Cordy
Position: Teacher, Applied Researcher
Organization: Thames Valley District School Board
Location: London, Canada
Contact Email:

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

You Tube in the Classroom

Tracy Purdy

RSS feed for Twitter

This blog gives you step by step instruction on how to create a RSS feed from Twitter. Then you can add your twitter feed to google site!

Digital Citizenship

Julie Millan - Live Out Loud #gafesummit

Ontario Gafe Summit -

Pinterest Board - Digital Citizenhship

OSSAPAC  Digital Citizenship Website

Google Drawings - Templates

 Google Drawings - Templates

Below are Google Drawings to be used as fill-in templates or pre-made activities for graphic organizers.  These Drawings are view only so you will need to make your own copy of each (open the Drawing, click File, then click Make a copy). You will then have your own copy of the Drawing that you can edit. 

For more details, see these help resources:

 Help Guide - "Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers" - Docs Link
 Slideshow "Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers" - Slides Link
 Training video - Recorded December 4, 2014 - Video Link

Presentation by Jeff Brown - Google Draw

Read/Write Video

Everything you need to know about Read and Write

KidPicker URL

kid picker app linked to google sheets - randomly choses a person

Created by Andrew Stillman

Google Demo Slam

Google Demo Slam (sound meter)

You Tube - to remove all the distractions go to
no adds, no adds that follow, no suggestive videos!

Synergyse Google Apps Training

Free for:
-Admin Console
-Google Classroom
-You can customize

Google Form simple anecdotal form with student name, subject and notes- Use voice to speech to create anecdotal note

Go Off line with google chrome - What happens when the Internet goes down what do you do? You can still access your email and calendar need to set it up

texthelp - new keyboard for Ipad
Read and Write for google
accessible keyboard that works anywhere on the device
Itunes store- Install the app and authenticate through your cloud account
Go to settings and turn it on (ipad)
If you have IPad and you use google drive you can use google read/write
Open Google Docs and you can use the Read Write keyboard that has prediction built right into it
Available at chrome webstore (you need to purchase a licence)
Interactive Presentation tool - Like clickers
You can lock students out!

Push Bullet
you can push text from your phone to your computer
You can push a map location in google maps to your phone

type in the question that you want to ask - copy the link and email it to the person asking you the question

Try the following type in a google search:

60 second timer
equation and it will solve (4x6) + (5+5)
What is the tip for $45 - tip calculator
convert miles to km
convert m to cm

Google Demo Slam - On Air

Session 1: Google Hangout- Demo Slam Session 20
Every 4th Saturday they do a google demo slam

If you want to find the past google demo slams go to G+ and search "google demo slam Lee Webster" and the past demo slams will show up

Google Certified Educators and Trainers from around the world use google hangout to have a google demo slam:
Donnnie Piercy
Michelle Armstrong - Calgary "Education Trainer"
Nick Cusumano
Lee Webster
Chris Betcher - Sydney Australia
Trevor Beck - Google Enthusiast "Education trainer"
Sarah Woods - Ted Ex

Screen Share - allows you to share a screen you have open in a google hangout

game with trivia questions where you need to know the answer and the city it comes from you have a maximum number km

Places you somewhere in the world and you need to guess where you were placed in the world
You place the pin where you think you are in the world
The game drops you somewhere in google maps and you need to find out where you are

Donnie Piercey

Some places where  the google car can not go

Google Views:

You can upload photos from your computer Students can map out their neighbourhood

Google photo sphere camara - app to take a photo sphere

New Tech Find - RICOH THETA to take 360 pictures


    You can capture your entire surroundings with the simple press of the shutter button. Enjoy a new world of images you have never experienced before.
  2. ITunes App - Photo Sphere
  3. As of last week - you can watch 360 video interactive video in youtube
  4. Trevor
  5. FormLimiter - Add On for google forms that keeps up to date 

  6. Chris
  7. Draftback - works with google docs get from chrome store 
  8. Once you get the extension - it shows you how many edits you have done in that doc. When you click play it will show you all the edits that have been done in that Any google doc you can run draft back and it will show you the revision history. It is great for tracking plagiarism - you can see if the kid has copied and pasted a large section of text. 
  9. Sarah
  10. PDF mergy when you need to print a bunch of PDF documents or if you want to connect all the documents as one to send them
  11. Add the app Click on the App Now you can add pdf's from your drive or your computer, you can re-organzie them into the correct order then you can save them to your drive - When you go back to your drive you have one document with all the pages. You can use different page sizes.
  12. Chris
  13. Google Sheets - Student name and last name in the same column you can split the cell and into two columns first name and last name Copy and Paste special so that you can delete the first column of names
  14. Add On - Random Gerenerator Allows you to generate random numbers
  15. Format - Conditional Formatting Colour Scale is new so you can change the colour to scale  You could always change 
  16. Power Tools for the split funtion 
  17. Proper - this function will capitalize proper names
  18. Nick
  19. Tab Resize (Extension) split screen layouts for chrome books. You can change your view and split your screen
  20. "Alt" Square Bracket "[" will split your screen on a chromebook
  22. Street View in Google Maps - Charles Darwin Research Station 
  23. -Students can look at what is being researched on in the station
  24. -Ocean Views "Buraco Das Cabras"

John Bailey Iditarod -for example of a video at 360

AHA moment - Drag a Picture into a Web Address

You can drag an image into the web address bar and a website will come out that tells you where the picture is from.

How to Create an Interactive Image

Interactive Google Image

1. Go to Google Drive

2. Create a new drawing

3. Insert an Image - from drive

Make it interactive

Select an appropriate shape around one of the areas on your image that you want to link

You can get rid of the shape line by making it transparent

Custom Colour - make colour transparent but enough for students to

Insert a Link to the shape

Select All then go to Arrange and  Group All Together

On a google Site now you insert the google drawing on your webpage and the image is interactive students can click on the image and it will open the webpage you have sent them too

Unfortunately It will not work on blogger because I had to embed the image whereas in google sites you can insert the drawing

Katie Christie - Google Certified Teacher presentation on dynamic drawings is below

#gafesummit Apps/Extensions/Add Ons from #Gafesummit



PDF Mergy
Pixlr Editor
Biodigital Human


Awesome Screenshot

Extension Manager
Earth View from Google Maps
Google Art Project

Crome Extensions by Donnie Piercey

Add Ons

Doctopus (Sheets)
Mail Merge (Sheets)
Remove Duplicates (Sheets)
Easybib (docs)
Thesaurus (docs)

-time lapse of the growth of Las Vegas, Amazon deforestation

smartypins - the idea is to get as close to the location from the hint

Geoguessr - gives you a picture & you need to guess the location

Geosettr - You can create the game by setting the place as the teacher or have a student set the location after the fifth location you will get a URL to give out to your students

Google and the 4 C's - Mark Hammon's Site

Maps Google go to Earth

Google Cultural Insititute  (google shortener)

Google Build