On Fridays I enjoy sharing some of the ideas, tools, or books that help my leadership and learning. Please comment with the things you are loving lately!.
- Google Forms for Data Collection: I recently created a Google Form to help me collect data while visiting classrooms across my district. I put the form on the home-screen of my phone for easy access. During the month of February I visited 83 classrooms. My Google form allows me to break that data further into sites, content areas, and evidence of big ideas within our district. In the process of using my form, I taught a principal how to create her own and helped her develop it. She, in turn, taught one of her teachers how to do something similar for data collection on students’ IEP goals. I love how one tool can be adapted to meet three very different professionals’ needs.
- Plickers: In one of the 83 classrooms mentioned above, I saw a teacher assessing EVERY student in the classroom using this app. I was so fascinated I had to ask him about it. The teacher shared that he loved it for the simplicity, and for the immediate formative data he received everytime he used it. The teacher provides the students with a code (similar to a QR code) that they hold up to demonstrate their answer. He then scans the room, using his iPad, and can see every students’ answer, along with a list of names of students who were incorrect. While this only works for multiple choice questions, it is a simple way to gather that data from students quickly. Mere days later, one of my good friends texted me to check out this app, because she had just started using it her classroom (of course, because she is amazing!).
- Instagram: I recently decided to use my Instagram for a daily dose of happiness. By following only accounts which post pictures that make me happy (gorgeous sunsets, kittens, nature scenes, friends and family, etc.). Taking a few minutes to scroll through my feed gives me a quick burst of happiness. I often do this while eating breakfast, then again during lunch, and as a wind down after a day of work. I love pictures and appreciating the photography talents of others, but more importantly this is giving me a sense of peace and calmness. This is a social media outlet that I have kept positive (avoiding the trolls and negative comments on so many places).