Wednesday, January 20, 2016

No Paper, No Problem!

Today was my students' first unit exam and to their surprise, there was no paper involved! Some students expressed concern, but for the most part they were open to this new form of assessment in my classroom. To make a completely paperless test, I simply created a Google form for the students to record their responses in and uploaded that form to Google Classroom. Then I uploaded the exam as a view only document on Google classroom. The students could easily have both windows open side-by-side for easy access and viewing. 

After the students completed the exams, I opened the students' responses in the corresponding Google Sheet. Using the Flubaroo add-on, I was to quickly grade the exams and give the students immediate feedback. I cannot say enough good things about Flubaroo - it's easy to use and eliminates all the papers teachers used to carry home to grade. In addition, I can send the students their score via their email or Google Drive. My students loved getting the immediate feedback on their exams. By the end of the class period, all of my students knew their grade on the exam and I had no papers to bring home to grade! A win win for everyone!

Following the exam, the students began working on their new vocabulary words. Again, I went paperless for this assignment. I posted the vocabulary list as a Google Doc in Google Classroom and made a copy for each student. Prior to this semester, I had given each student a paper copy of the vocabulary list, which the students frequently lost before the end of the unit. With the change to paperless, my students can now access their vocabulary from their Google Drive at any time from anywhere. I definitely feel this is going to be a positive change in my classroom and am looking forward to continuing the paperless journey. 

The moral of today's lesson, no paper, no problem! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Come to the Edge

Come to the edge.
We can't. We're afraid.
Come to the edge. 
We can't We will fall.
Come to the edge. 
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

~ Guillaume Apollinaire 

Today marks the first day of transforming my class to a paperless classroom. After receiving a grant for a classroom set of Chromebooks from the Warren County Educational Endowment, I decided to take a leap of faith and leave the paper behind. I am definitely coming to the edge and am ready to fly.

As I begin this journey, I am filled with many emotions from excitement to fear. I shared these feelings with my students and realized that they are experiencing the same emotions. I know throughout this journey that there will be many successes, but there will also be mistakes. I will not look at the mistakes as failures but rather learning experiences. In order to truly transform, you have to be willing to take risks.

Throughout the course of the semester, I will continue to share our successes, failures, and experiences on the journey to a paperless classroom.

Chromebooks in Class (1).png

This word cloud represents my students thoughts about using technology, especially Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education in class. I know that the increased use of technology will allow my students to be communicators, collaborators, critical thinkers and creators who are ready to be change agents.

By allowing my students to come to the edge, I want to inspire them, to help them find a purpose in their learning, to recognize the power of a beautiful oops, and to let them realize that they are capable of more than we can imagine (or even they can imagine). As my amazing Hawks begin this journey, I hope to not only give them the wings to fly, but to soar as they come to the edge with me.

So, will you come to the edge with us?