Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cool Tool Review....Class Dojo

Good morning all,

I wanted to share a cool tool I found out about during #satchat this morning called class Dojo. Class Dojo is an interactive tool that you can use on your computer (or the app for ios and droid) to track student behaviors and attendance during class. It is a great classroom management tool.

Class Dojo Setup

Class Dojo How-To

  • Login to class dojo
  • Create your class and give it a name
  • Enter or copy from a list the names of your students 
  • Once you add students to the account Class Dojo will provide you with a PDF that has a unique code for each student (and parent!)
  • Students then sign on  and create an account with their individual code,  they can track how they are doing in class.
  • Once inside class Dojo you can:
    • Award students with positive behavior rewards
    • Identify where students need to improve
    • Take attendance
    • Call on a random student
    • Show a timer countdown or count-up
  • You can even customize the behaviors (both positive and negative) that are present in your classroom.
  • Track how many awards a student receives
  • As students exhibit positive behaviors you can award them points and a green circle indicating the number of points they obtained in by their avatar and name.
    • As students exhibit negative behaviors, the number of points decrease. 
    • You can see the number of behaviors (positive or negative) as a combined or separate view. 
  • When class is over  you can see the overall score of positive and negative behaviors exhibited during class. 
    • Also view each student independently with the behaviors that occurred during class
 The video below shows a tutorial regarding how to create your Class Dojo step by step. 

Readers - how can you use Class Dojo with your students? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cool Tool Review...Piazza

Good Monday morning everyone.

I wanted to let you all know about a cool tool I found out about this weekend at TLT2014. This tool is a question and answer/discussion tool called Piazza.

What is Piazza?
Piazza is a free,  robust discussion board tool that can be embedded into your learning management system.  It allows for communication between students and instructor in realtime. It allows students to participate in discussions by either posting their username or as anonymous (in case you have those shy students). To learn more about Piazza access their PDF here.

How to set up Piazza
I know it looks like a lot, but it doesn't take anytime at all to set up an account. To set up Piazza please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Select instructors get started
  3. Type in your school
  4. Click continue
  5. Enter your school domain, if you don't know your domain click "My school doesn't have it's own email domain"
  6. Select I agree to the terms
  7. Click Continue
  8. Select the term for your class (summer, spring, fall, winter)
  9. Name your class
  10. Create new class
  11. Enter the class number
  12. Enter the class enrollment number
  13. Click create course
  14. Join the class as a student, TA, or professor
  15. Enter the email address you want to use to enroll
  16. Click enroll me
  17. Enter your verification code (as per the email) 
  18. Create your login information
  19. Welcome to your class! Congrats!
Piazza Set up
Once you have created an account, you will be directed to your course page on piazza. From this point students can either self enroll (with the code you provided) or you can invite students via email or a class list.  Piazza also gives you a snippet of text to put in your syllabus explaining piazza. You can add questions/comments/ discussion points by organizing your class into folders. I  made each week as a module and then had final project, chat, and other folders. 

I created a welcome message in each folder, along with a poll, and file (an article for discussion). Students are then required to collaborate about the topic in the article. Now all I have to do is wait for responses! 

*For more help regarding Piazza please visit here. You will find video and text tutorials.* 

How to use it with your class

  • Post announcements
  • Ask questions to promote discussion 
  • Put students in groups to promote group discussion
  • Answer questions related to homework
  • Use it as a discussion board
  • Create polls 
  • Load files and resources for collaboration 
How do you use Piazza? How do you plan to use Piazza? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Geddit....student check in tool

Geddit is a cool tool I learned about just this morning from my twitter friend . I thought I would dig deeper into this cool tool. Below is a video demonstrating how Geddit works.

What is Geddit? 
It is a way that you can "check in" with students as they progress with a lesson. Students simply sign into your class and they can identify how confident they feel regarding a specific topic. As a teacher you will get immediate feedback and can address student learning right there and then.

How to get Geddit
All you need to do is go to and click get started. Then you need to choose if you are teacher or student. If you click on teacher you need to fill out the requested information (be sure to use your educator email address). If you select student sign up with google, create an account, or sign in with already created account. Once a student signs up or signs into geddit put in the class code by your teacher. Then click join.

*As a teacher you can upload a class list and create your student accounts!

How does it work?
As a teacher you create assessments (multiple choice, poll, or short answer). Once you create an assessment you click start teaching. You then give the code to students and they can participate in the assessment.

How to use it your classroom
Below are some ways to use Geddit in your classroom

  • Review for homework
  • Exit ticket
  • Review during a lesson to track students' understanding of a topic
  • Use it as a review for a test 
  • Take a pop quiz 
  • Track attendance
  • Track participation
  • Use it as an assessment for your flipped classroom 

How do you plan to use Geddit in your classroom?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has sprung!

Hello All,

Spring has sprung! I wanted to share some of my favorite spring themed activities for students. But, as always to find more go here

'My cat eating my flowers' photo (c) 2009, zeevveez - license:

What your favorite activities that have a spring twist? 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sam's cool tool review...Everyslide

I found this cool tool thanks to my Diigo connections it is This website allows you to present your powerpoint presentations or PDFs with embedded assessments! These assessments can be accessed through a mobile device, laptop, or phone just by going to the code you provide your students. One of the best features is that it is FREE for educators!

First thing is first, sign up for a free educator account. By going to and selecting pricing for educator. Then select "Get Started" under educator account. Complete the requested information.

Once you login you can attend or create a presentation by simply dragging and dropping the PPT or PDF into the window. Once your document or PPT is loaded you can add in embedded assessment

  • Multiple choice 
  • True/False
  • Word cloud - shows answers in a word cloud like Wordle 

While students are answering questions you can track how many have answered the questions. You will also receive a spreadsheet of the data provided by users!

How do you plan to use this tool in your classroom?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Some classroom funding ideas....

Hi everyone!

With belts tightening these days, I am posting ways for you get money to spend in your classroom. All three of these I have used in my own teaching experiences.
  •  Donors choose: You write out a grant for your classroom and people can choose to donate to your cause. All you need to do is create an account and post your project. With Donors choose about 70% of the projects are funded! You can have your project available for donations for up to four months. 
  • Digital Wish: Has a list of many grants that you can apply for. The link here has a list of the open grants available to you. All you have to do is write a lesson plan! 
  • Recycle Forward: Recycle old technology, batteries, old technology, and ink. Just collect it, ship it, and get paid for it! 

Some other useful resources:
Teacher Discounts - Here is a huge list of discounts for teachers

Grant Wrangler - checks out grants and resources all organized by category.

Best of luck! What do you use to obtain items for your classroom?

Monday, March 10, 2014

App Review - Tellagami

Good morning,

I wanted to review an application I found this weekend: Tellagami. It is an app that is available both for ios and droid devices. This app reminds me of a  voki but for your mobile device. 

App Description:
In this app you can:
  • Create a character (customize gender, clothing, and other features)
  • Add emotions (happy, sad, angry, surprised, and silly)
  • Customize a background (use one from the library or upload your own image)
  • Record your voice. 
  • Once you create a message with your character you can share it out to the world (facebook, twitter, and email). 

Below is a video tutorial that shows how to use Tellagami step by step just follow along.

Uses for Tellagami in the classroom:

  • Introduction to class as an instructor or for students to each other
  • Icebreaker activity
  • Review emotions and facial expressions
  • Introduce /Review a topic with students  
What are your ideas for this app? Please share! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Activities

Hi All,

I wanted to post some St. Patrick's Day activities for you to use in your classroom. Some of my favorites are below, but if you are feelin' lucky you can find some more here.

'Green is SO Me!' photo (c) 2006, Jackie - license: