A Quick Tour of Google Earth

Google Earth’s recent updates are just waiting for you and your students to explore!  Looking for something for them to do at the end of the semester? This short video will get you and your students started.

Where can your students go today?

You can view all of the Tech Bytes on YouTube.

 

#edublogsclub – Assessment

Student Reflection with Google Sheets

Ok- so I actually started this post in February.  February!

What had happened was:

My principal came to me last semester with a copy of John Hattie’s Visible Learning into Action and said that it was a book he wanted all of the instructional coaches to have.  I thought it was adorable that he thought that I had time to read the book, but I did try and carried it around in my backpack for months.

What I did get to was that self-reported grades have a huge impact on student achievement and so I set about trying to implement some kind of goal based reflection/portfolio/tracking system.  I wanted to have students submit samples, so we could see growth over the course of the semester and on which they would reflect and grade themselves and I could get an idea of where they were.

What I did:

I decided to use Google Sheets and Google Classroom because I thought it would be easy to track and while I know there are many sites out there for portfolios I did not want one. more. login or platform.

I created a Google Sheet called Weekly Reflection and shared it in Google Classroom as the only assignment with the “Weekly Reflection” topic label.  Students could find it easily in the Stream by clicking on that. Obviously from the title, I had planned that students would do this at the end of each week, but I quickly realized that once a week was too frequent to show any growth, so it ended up being every 2-3 lessons.  In the spreadsheet the students chose either Recap or Writing (I told them what they were doing) and then they evaluated themselves based on the rubric on sheet 2.  Lastly, they set a goal and made an action step and turned the sheet in through Google Classroom.  They did this several times during the semester.

Here’s a short video that shows how it works.Weekly reflection

Once they had turned it in I went and read or listened and then evaluated them based on the rubric as well.  Sometimes these were way off.  The very first time I had several students that gave themselves a 7 or 8 and they were writing “je suis mange.”  I don’t know if they didn’t read the rubric or if they felt like they “had” to evaluate themselves high.  Either way, after the first time their evaluations were closer.

The Google Sheet also has tabs for the language goals to see where they are and what they might do to advance.  Someone shared this somewhere and I don’t know who it was, so if it was you, thank you!

Some things I did:

I gave them these assignments with only 10-15 minutes left in class because I wanted to see what they could actually do and not what they could look up or plan.  It was pure sneakiness on my part.

Students had a paper rubric to refer to so they didn’t have to go back and forth between tabs because that gets annoying.

In the column labeled “notes” at the end of the sheet and I responded to their goal setting and writing or listening sample.

This was not given a grade.  It was purely for reflection purposes.  If students didn’t do it, nothing happened except for they didn’t get the benefit of my feedback and comments.

Goal setting language was not part of the Student Learning Outcomes I was given to use, so I had them do the reflection and goal setting in English.

What went well:

Using conditional formatting to color code the numbers was brilliant because their progression was represented visually with color.

Students asked me questions about their writing.

Students wrote some great goals and ones that I would never have guessed for them.  They saw weaknesses where I didn’t.

What didn’t go well:

Sometimes students only wrote 2-3 sentences and it was difficult for me to evaluate.  In these cases I wrote that they didn’t write enough for me to evaluate.  That didn’t happen when I gave a Recap to do.

Students didn’t always write an action to do to achieve their goal.  This is my fault because I didn’t give examples and non-examples.  Easily fixed next semester.

I didn’t have a system for them to reflect on their previous goal setting.  #nexttime

I didn’t give enough time.  Honestly, I wish I could have them do this at home, but I was too afraid that the Translators and the Internet would cause too much interference and not give me a true sample.

A note on the rubric:

I used the rubric our district is using from our trainings on performance based assessments with Kara and Megan from Creative Language Class. Why I didn’t have students evaluate themselves as NL, NM, etc. instead of numbers?  I can’t really say.  I’m sure at the time I did it, it made complete sense.  I’m going to leave it.

The semester isn’t quite over yet, so I will ask students their thoughts about the efficacy of the rubric/reflection in their end of the semester survey.

Click here to see the Weekly Reflection Google Sheets.   You’ll have to make a copy in order to see the fancy down arrows that will color code once you choose a number.  Note: Number 1 has no color.

 

 

#edublogsclub – Tell a story

This is a story about my job that isn’t technology or language.  This is a story about about the opposite of global.  This is a story about my job as the coordinator of our school’s 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program.

You’ve probably never heard of 21st CCLC.  It’s a federal grant program that provides funds to run after school programs across the nation.  In my county (San Bernardino), we are the only high school that currently has a 21st CCLC.  We run a program from 2:00-5:00pm everyday (12:30-3:30 on Wednesdays) and we serve over 1600 students a year.  In the first year of our grant we saw a school wide drop in Ds and Fs that was astounding.  There are students in our program on Fridays at 5:00pm on the day before vacation because they don’t want to go home.  As part of our program we have tutoring, enrichment and sports- including an official CrossFit affiliate gym.  On any day there are between 5 and 12 activities for students to choose.  For seven years I have helped develop programs and activities that have made a profound difference in students’ lives in my town.  For seven years we have done some amazing things for kids.

If you’ve heard of 21st CCLC, it’s probably because in March President Trump released his budget proposal and 21CCLC funding is “zeroed-out,” or in other words completely eliminated.  Mick Mulvaney said this is because there is no evidence that after school programs work.  His statements regarding after school programs showed a complete lack of understanding of what we do.

The week after the proposal came out, the California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division came to our school to film our program to use in its new training videos about the California After School Quality Standards.  It was heartbreaking to watch students talk about what the program means to them and the impact it has had on their lives.  Their experiences are typical of all of the students who have gone through our program over the years.  I have never cried talking about my students or my work, but I did fight back tears watching them speak and had to leave the room as these three articulate young women shared how our after school program impacted their lives.

In April I spent three days at an after school conference where we talked about what can happen, what will happen and what we can do.  Barbara Boxer, our former state senator and writer of the original bill that funded 21st CCLC spoke.  Yesterday President Trump released a full budget proposal, but there were no changes for 21stCCLC funding or lack thereof.

We’re lucky in California because Arnold Schwarzenegger is a champion of after school and when he was governor he worked to pass Prop 49, the After School Education and Safety Act (ASES) that provides separate after school funding for elementary schools.  Most states have not had a champion like this.  If 21CCLC funding is cut, nearly 2 million students and parents could lose services that have a profound impact on our children.

This is a story about how I unintentionally ended up becoming an after school provider and how I unequivocally believe in its significance and role in American education.

If you would like more information about after school programs and how they benefit our children, please visit AfterschoolAlliance.org.

 

 

Verb Battleship: Reflexive Verbs

I was looking for a fun activity with reflexive verbs this week and I settled on some verb battleship.  (Because who doesn’t love a great game of battleship!)  We didn’t even have enough time to play, but that’s ok, I’ll keep it on deck for when we do.  (On deck! Get it?! On the deck of a ship!?)

It’s been a long week.

Click on the image to go to verb battleship.  You’ll be asked to make a copy.