Dystopian Quest 2019

Imagine a world where information is used as a form of control. Where books and knowledge are guarded by the powerful few. Science, technology, and language are utilized for propaganda, social control, and brainwashing. 

Call to Adventure

Welcome to our Dystopian Quest where it is the mission of my eighth grade students uncover the disinformation, brainwashing, and indoctrination of the people living in the utopian/dystopian worlds they read about in young adult fiction. Students are called upon to find the heroes who are already on a path to uncover the deception and fabrication of their world and community. 

Instead of reading and completing traditional quizzes and tests about the dystopian books students are reading, they are immersed in an adventure based quest throughout their reading unit, completing different missions to uncover new thinking about their reading. Students earn game points or “XP” (Experience Points) with each mission that they later can utilize for different powers and privileges in the classroom. 

If we are going to energize our students, we need to embrace technology with teaching methods that inspire and encourage our students to be motivated to learn, collaborate, and face obstacles in a positive way. Approaching learning as a quest or a mission can inspire adventure, collaboration, and results in a better learning experience and learning environment. Gamification and game based learning captures (and retains) learners’ attention, challenges students, engages and entertains them, and teaches them.

Below is the hyperdoc that maps out the three week dystopian quest for my students. Students choose the dystopian books they want to read. YA choices include The Giver by Lois Lowry, Neal Shusterman’s Unwind and Scythe series, Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, and The Reader by Traci Chee.

Classcraft Dystopian Quest


As students are reading, they have different missions to complete that have them unpack the dystopias and draw connections between the fictional worlds and our reality today. For the final mission students write a thematic essay utilizing text based evidence. There are sidequests for students to complete for additional points and privileges. This hyperdoc and quest has taken on many different forms and this year I have it paired down to cover the elements of dystopia that will help scaffold students’ comprehension and close reading. Topics include characterization, propaganda, text connections, and hero’s journey.

Want to know more about this quest and reading unit, contact me and I am happy to share more.

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12 Holiday Gifts for Literary Lovers

The holidays are upon us and Amazon gift cards are trustworthy gifts, but if you have a friend who loves books or you are looking for something unique for your teacher friends, here are twelve holiday gifts worth giving.

  1. Library Candle from Homesick $30.00 smells of orange, nutmeg, cedar wood, and amber. The company states on its website, “Indulge in a cozy day cuddled up in a nook of bookshelves. Recall floors of literature waiting to take you anywhere. The smell of old leather and the feeling of antique pages. A peace and quiet you can’t find anywhere else. Return to that mingling calmness and curiosity that makes a library so magical.”


2. RoobyLane’s Literary Scarf $34.00 is another beautiful gift for a book lover. On Etsy you can find all different literary scarves but this one is a collection of antique book covers.


3. If your literary friend also loves board games, a subscription box to Awesome Pack is perfect for an individual or family. Awesome Pack offers two types of packs: family pack or big kid pack, both are $40.00 a month.


4. Escape the Crate is an Escape Room Subscription Box where $26.50 every two months brings different time-traveling adventures right to your door. Items include: ciphers, letters, sleuthing tools, puzzles, and more.


5. Chronicle Books has some beautiful gifts for book lovers. The Bibliophile Vase: A Compendium of Flowers for $30.00 is a ceramic vase in the shape of a book and features this inspiring quote by Oscar Wilde on the back: “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”


6. Who wouldn’t wear a t-shirt that states the fact, “Books Are Magic”? Books Are Magic is actually an independent book store in Brooklyn, New York. Whether you are a librarian, teacher, or just a book lover, you will want to wear this t-shirt $22.00.


7. Out of Print has some awesome t-shirts, totes, and other gift items. I want to talk about their sock collection. Harry Potter fans, you are going to want to check out the gift items on their web site. I am currently coveting the Banned Books Socks and the Library Card Socks, each $8.50 a pair.


8. Everyone needs bandages and Shakespearean Insult Bandages heal boo-boos while offering wit and wisdom $6.00. There are also Edgar Allan Poe Bandages.


9. Personal Library Kit $14.00 allows users to insert library cards in the books from their  personal collection. No need to worry that you might never see the book you lent to your friend with this gift. The Personal Library Kit also comes with an old time library stamp to add your own due date to the library card and pocket in the text to guarantee its safe return.


10. Paper Source designed water bottle looks like a pencil and says “No. 1 Teacher” $30.00. When I first saw this water bottle in June, it was already sold out in stores but it is back and a fun gift that allows teachers to stay hydrated.


11. NovelTeas have beautiful tins filled with delicious teas. The Pride and Peppermint Tea ($15.00) comes with a Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice inspired tin. You can also find on their website literary collections of organic teas.


12. Lastly, for your teacher friend who has everything, you might consider making a donation to your local public library or become a member.




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Growing An Idea

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the personal learning community that I have. There are so many people who I have met through Twitter, at conferences, and memberships of  educational organizations like NCTE and ISTE who have inspired me and influenced my teaching practices. When people share ideas through these communities, you are able to see people, as well as ideas, grow into amazing projects and activities that help students meet excellence.

This blog post is an ode to all the amazing educators who make up my personal learning network and who have helped me grow ideas. When I first started writing this blog, it was a space to catalogue activities, ideas, and insight with the hope to provide encouragement for other educators to create intellectually stimulating and engaging activities with your students. In the past six years it has evolved into so much more.

While at NCTE this past month I presented a game design workshop for teachers. One part of the workshop included a station rotation activity. For forty minutes participants moved around the room to five different stations playing games and discussing game based learning activities. I was inspired by this activity after attending a station rotation workshop in my school led by our technology specialist, Kristie Orlando @OrlandoKristie. She said that Caitlyn Tucker and Jennifer Cronk were two educators who gave her insight to build her own stations and lead a fruitful workshop. I will add that Caitlyn Tucker’s On Your Feet Guide to Station Rotation is a valuable resource. Kristie Orlando’s formatting of the station directions, cues, and food for thought was the catalyst for my own station design. I adapted two of her stations and add some of my own personal touches to meet the objectives of the game design workshop. This is one example how ideas grow.

Game Based Station Rotation Directions

Whereas Kristie used Headbanz in her station rotation to encourage participants to use mini-games in their classroom, I used the Heads Up game as one of my stations.

Heads Up is a game I play with my middle school students. Currently, my students are reading different dystopian novels and I made a set of Heads Up cards for them to play this mini-game in our classroom for review and check for understanding. There is a generic set of dystopian words and then sets for The Giver, The Reader, Unwind, Animal Farm, and Scythe. If you would like a copy of these cards to use with your own students, click here and print out your own set, laminate them, and have fun!

Another station that Kristie had us do was “Questions in A Jar,” students went around and answered questions about active learning strategies. This is a great activity to evoke conversation in small group and I wanted to add a little more of a game element to it. I built off the questions in a jar and added a Hot Potato to this station. Haven’t you ever seen something online and thought, “What a great idea. Now, if I add this or personalize it this way, it elevates everything.”

Game Based Station Rotation Directions-2

The questions that were utilized at this station were questions derived from Tisha Richmond’s Make Learning Magical: Transform Your Teaching and Create Unforgettable Experiences in Your Classroom (2019). Tisha’s book has great ideas about gamification as she describes how she gamified her own culinary arts classroom. Tisha also contributed to my first book, Gamify Literacy (2017). Some of these questions include: What is your favorite television reality or game show? How could you use challenges from it to create fun and educational  experiences for your students? How can we harness the motivation that keeps our students up far past their bedtimes to play their favorite video game and bring it into the classroom?

A third station I offered was inspired by another awesome educator, Mandy Ellis @Mandyeellis. Mandy wrote Lead with Literacy: A Pirate Leader’s Guide to Developing a Culture of Readers (A Lead Like a PIRATE Guide) She blogged about a PD session she ran at her school that was based on the cooking show Chopped and the great ideas that emerged from this activity. Participants were given a “basket” of items that they needed to use to build a literacy based lesson. Mandy explains how she organized her stations on her blog and below are the directions to the Chopped station I adapted for this game design station rotation. I also share a link to Stefanie Crawford’s vlog how she creates Chopped style games in her classroom. 

Game Based Station Rotation Directions-3

There are so many eduawesome teachers that share their brilliant ideas and motivate others. 

The last two stations that were part of the game design station rotations, where two original stations I created to arouse critical thinking about gaming and game based learning. One station had teachers assess their player types using Bartle’s Inventory of Player Types and another station used speech and debate to build communication skills. This station is based off the game I Dissent.

Game Based Station Rotation Directions-4

Game Based Station Rotation Directions-5

Ideas grow, they are cultivated or a catalyst that initiates thinking into action. Sometimes ideas develop out of thin air and other times people, images, or places stir our beliefs and   ignite new knowledge and understanding.  As educators, we need to share our ideas so that we can continue to provide our students with the best practices they need to be champions themselves.


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#NCTE19 – Spirited Inquiry

The National Council for Teachers of English held their Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD with over 8,000 English teachers, librarians, reading specialists, authors and illustrators in attendance. The theme of “Spirited Inquiry” was about stopping to note, notice, wonder, question, and ponder pressing topics in the field. The range of workshops covered all aspects of literacy from reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. The workshops that I attended focused on social justice, advocacy, diversity, and student voice. Here is a summary of the powerful topics covered throughout my time at the conference.

The Conference kicked off with a key note speech from actor, author, and activist, George Takei. Takei’s graphic novel, They Called Us the Enemy, is about his experience as a child during the Japanese incarceration after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He spoke of the parallel stories that he experienced during that time in comparison to the story his parents experienced. He addressed breaking stereotypes as the first Asian American Actor on Star Trek during the 1960s. He shared with the audience that ‘Star Trek’ was a metaphor for earth and the diversity that is required to successfully go beyond where no other person has gone before. ‘Star Trek’ is about acceptance, and the strength of the Starship Enterprise is that it embraces diversity in all its forms.” Civil responsibility was one of the themes of his speech and the speaking up when we see injustice.

NCTE Keynote with George Takei

Teaching Beyond Fear: Inquiry around Gun Violence in the English Language Arts Classroom was a round table session that included a dozen round table discussions on topics ranging from “empowering students to examine gun culture through rhetorical analysis,” “Teaching Beyond Fear,” and “Writing Through Pain.” This was one of the most powerful sessions that I attended hearing the ideas and research presented by researchers, professors and teachers about how they use mass shootings as a catalyst for student writing, research, and discussion.

Jonathan Bush shared a rhetorical analysis methodology used in his introductory composition course as “a means to empower students to gain an understanding of the purposes, ideologies, and ethics of the rhetor to make informed judgements about its value and place in cultural and political discussions.” He encourages students to do an ideological analysis and a logical fallacy watch to look for logical fallacies and then discuss them. He uses commercials from the NRA as an entry point to teach analysis. Consider the effectiveness of the following NRA advertisement.

I also attended the workshop Resisting Through Inquiry: Cultivating a Spirit of Resistance through YA Literature and Digital Media. Presented by 8th grade ELA teacher, Sarah Bonner and YA author, Samira Ahmed, this interactive sessions included a joint collaboration among teacher, students, and author to unpack the discoveries and learnings within a multimodal, inquiry-rich unit of student resulting in work that occurred within their communities. Students participated in a 3 week book study reading Ahmed’s Internment, a dystopian novel “set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.” Ahmed said that all of the events that take place in the novel are based on historical events including Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and Japanese Internment. The book challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today as the protagonist follows in the footsteps of young adult activists like Malala, The White Rose Organization, and even Greta Thunberg. After the students read the book they engaged in a research project to uncover injustice in their community.


The Middle Level Section Luncheon showcased YA author and speaker, Ibi Zoboi. Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults including Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her newest novel, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich is about a twelve year old girl who loves space and science fiction. The story is filled with graphic novel elements from the protagonist’s imagination. The novel celebrates Harlem in the 1980s with the music, dance, and hip hop culture that emerged from this time period and has shaped popular culture. 

What I’ve heard a lot of people talk about at NCTE: getting the right books in the hands of students, engaging students in the learning process, and teaching writing as opposed to assigning and grading writing. Thinking weaves its thread through each session at NCTE. Authors, teachers, leaders are growing through conversations around inquiry. There is still more to come.


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12 Strategies to Support Readers

What are the habits and strategies that can help students to develop their reading skills? Here are a dozen pre-reading, during reading and post reading strategies to support the readers in your classroom.

Before Reading Strategies

Anticipation Guides – These are brief sets of questions for generating conversation around the big issues or controversies inherent in the reading to be assigned. The questions do not have one correct answer, so as to surface multiple points of view or aspects of a problem. Anticipation guides involve students in thought and discussion on important issues and create powerful purposes for reading.

Anticipation Guides can be in the form of a questionnaire, survey, four corners statements, or what side do you stand on. The Four Corners strategy is an approach that asks students to make a decision about a problem or question. Each of the four corners of the classroom is labelled with a different response (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). Students move to the corner that best aligns with their thinking.

KWL+ Charts – What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I learned is a good way to find out what students already know about the topic. These charts help students think about what they already know about a topic before reading and then connect new information with what they already know.

Word Splash – Make a list of key vocabulary and concepts associated with the content or text. The terms can be new words or commonly known words. “Splash” these words across a sheet of paper or use an online word cloud generator like Word Art.  Then, ask the students to put the words in logical order or draw connections about the words. Once groups finish, ask them to share their thinking. After all students have shared,  ask students to predict what they are going to study and what they will be looking for as they read or learn.

During Reading Strategies

Post Its – As students are reading they track thinking on post it notes at important parts the text where there is key moments or raises questions. Notes are for ideas as well as evidence. When students are reading for academic purposes, it is necessary for students to record thinking so it can be remembered and reused.

Coding & Annotating the Text – Coding the text helps readers to monitor their comprehension and remember what was read. Students can make up their own coding system. Recording thinking while reading helps a reader remember what s/he read. It also provides an opportunity for the reader to wrestle with meaning.

Asking Questions  – Asking questions about what you are reading allows you to think more deeply and better understand what you are reading. Good readers ask questions before, during, and after reading to clarify ambiguity and deepen understanding.

Making Connections – If a student can make a connection it can trigger more interest in the reading topic. Stephanie Harvey (1998) writes, “Proficient readers connect what they read to their own lives and this type of reading promotes engagement and enhances understanding. Students can make text to text connections, text to world connections and text to self connections.

When teachers provide explicit modeling of thinking processes they identify the habits utilized to make sense of the of the text.

Post-Reading Strategies

Tableaus is perfect for kinesthetic learners. To set up the tableaus, have students create frozen scenes from significant events in a text. In a a corner of the classroom where other classmates cannot see or hear what they are doing, allow students in 3-4 minutes to formulate their scene or frozen picture. Once the model group is ready to present, ask students to put their heads down. Count to five aloud while  the group is forming its scene. When you get to “one” the group is in position, and invite students in the audience to take a look at the frozen scene. The teacher can call on students from the class to identify the scene and its significance to the text.

Sketch to Stretch allows students to individually sketch a picture that represents their understanding of the key concepts, facts, and ideas.

Graphic Organizers like Venn Diagrams, Frayer Models, Episode Patterns, and Chronological Sequence can help convey large chunks of information concisely. These organizers or mind maps allow students to organize a large body of information sequentially or draw connections to represent key information.

10 Word Summary is an activity that I adapted from Kelly Gallagher. You can select any number of words but the idea is that students only have a certain number of words to summarize in their own words. Then, using individual summaries, students can generate a whole-class summary on the board in 10 or fewer words. Summary writing is another way for students to put concepts from the reading into their own words.

Quiz making is another student activity that can show their comprehension in the after-reading stage. Quiz making encourages students to think like the teacher and, at the same time, consider what concepts in the reading are key: “If you were the teacher and you wanted to test your students on this text, what would you ask?” This activity can be done as an individual assignment or in collaborative groups or pairs. Students can be encouraged to create a variety of question types.



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Choosing the Right Scaffolds for Individual Students

As an English teacher, I am always thinking strategically to sequence reading and writing assignments. As I plan these assignments I also must consider what scaffolding I will provide for students to build skills, while at the same time, make writing instruction manageable.

My students are reading books with social justice themes and to show their thinking about their reading, I had students to trace the protagonist’s actions and beliefs throughout the book against Gandhi’s principals.  Additionally, students were to show how these principals contribute to overall theme or central idea of the book. 

The on demand, short response writing assignment was: Choose a quote from Gandhi that you feel best exemplifies the protagonist and their experiences in the book.  Be sure to include two or more textual details to support your claim. Follow the ACE Strategy (Answer – Cite – Elaborate & Explain):

For some of my students, this is a complex task and I provide scaffolding in the form of a graphic organizer to better help them articulate their thinking. Scaffolding is an instructional technique where the teacher models the desired learning strategy or task. Graphic organizers help to break down a task into small parts to support student thinking. Note the graphic organizer created for the Gandhi short response:

Additionally, depending on the needs of your students, revision options or requirements can be a great way to incorporate more writing and support.  The need to implement a scaffold occurs when you realize a student is not progressing or unable to understand a particular concept. Examples are another scaffolding strategy to show models and mentor writing for students struggling to meet the learning targets. I often showcase student models to teach back to the whole class in a mini-lesson and provide an example of writing that meets the learning standard like the student example below. 

Pyramid of Hate

When more scaffolding is necessary, advanced organizers and sentence frames that are partially completed can guide students with the necessary format or academic vocabulary to improve their writing. In the revision document I created below, I provide students sentence stems and specific vocabulary to show the relationship between the protagonist and Gandhi. Hints are also included on the revision document to offer suggested vocabulary and clues to make visible student thinking about the text.

Scaffolding comes in many forms. The idea is to provide the right scaffold at the right time to help students become independent learners. Eventually, students should be able to create their own scaffolding tools to help them meet the learning goals.

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What would you do if you had the chance to help a person find freedom?

In Henry Cole’s wordless picture book, Unspoken (Scholastic, 2013), a young farm girl leading a cow down a country lane turns her head to stare at a string of Confederate soldiers passing by on horseback. Later, gathering potatoes in the shed, she is startled to see a single eye peering out from between stalks of corn piled in a dim corner. At dinner that night, she eyes her own meal, quietly wraps a biscuit in a checked napkin, and delivers it to the shed. She barely sees the runaway; the pictures show just an eye. She never speaks with the hidden figure, but she leaves food, wrapped in cloth, even as terrifying, armed slave hunters on horseback show her family a poster: “Wanted. Escaped. Reward.”Then the fugitive disappears in the night, but the girl finds a doll made from the star-patterned cloth that covered the food she had brought. At the story’s end, the girl lies in bed watching the stars in the night sky.

On the back cover of the book the Cole writes, “What would you do if you had the chance to help a person find freedom?”

This weekend, the movie Harriet (Focus Feature Films, 2019) was released and it is an outstanding film showcasing the extraordinary feats of Harriet Tubman. Tubman “gained international acclaim during her lifetime as an Underground Railroad agent, abolitionist, Civil War spy and nurse, suffragist, and humanitarian” (US National Park Service). The movie presents Tubman rise above horrific childhood adversity and emerge with a will of steel. Tubman transcends victimization to achieve personal and physical freedom from her oppressors.

In fact, Tubman emancipated herself from slavery in 1849 at age 27. She earned the nickname “Moses” for risking her own life about 13 times to guide more than 70 people—many of them family and friends she had left behind—from lives in slavery to new lives in freedom. She never backed down from the chance to help others find freedom.

One of the lesson plans on the US National Park’s Service websites has students examine What led Tubman to escape slavery and to return to rescue her family and friends? What factors led other enslaved people to remain in their conditions? Was Harriet Tubman’s decision a product of personal courage, her situation as an enslaved woman facing sale, or a grave risk?

Harriet, the movie comes at a time when a nation is faced with helping others looking for freedom. From Syrian Refugees to Central and South Americans looking to escape the violence in their home countries, individuals make choices whether to help others find freedom. Harriet and the young protagonist in Unspoken model actions both big and small to help others to be free. Are you an upstander too?

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Edchat Interactive: Diverse Tools for Diverse Readers

For more information about Edchat Interactive check out their website for archived webinars and upcoming web events.

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Empathy Mapping as a Classroom Protocol

Empathy is defined as ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.’ This is something that’s becoming increasingly necessary in a world that seems polarised by intolerance and a lack of cultural understanding and sympathy. Having a greater sense of empathy with an understanding of the people around us can also help us to develop more productive and positive relationships and help reduce personal conflicts. (Peachey Publications, 2018)

My students are currently in the throws of creating a short film (Public Service Announcement, Documentary, or Short Feature) about a problem in the world they want to bring attention to. Students first had to pick the problem, then research more about the problem they selected, finding credible and reliable data about their topic. Then students completed a film proposal on Google Forms before they started their storyboards outlining their vision for the film.

Before we started filming, students create an empathy map to help consider their audience’s perspective.  Businesses often use the process of empathy mapping to understand and serve their customers better. By completing the empathy map students have a better understanding on their viewers or direct users of their film. 

An empathy map has four quadrants:

The Says quadrant contains what the user will say.

The Thinks quadrant captures what the user is thinking. 

The Does quadrant focuses on the actions the user takes.

The Feels quadrant is the user’s emotional response.

I created more specific questions to lead my students through the different quadrants and help them articulate their expectations for their film and the purpose of the film.

empathy map

The goals section on the bottom of the map helps students with the next steps and create a checklist of things to do to in order to create the film. At the same time, this map reveals any holes in the students design process as well as guide them towards a meaningful film.

Outside of this film project, I think about using empathy maps as a learning tool in English where students create empathy maps about the characters in the stories or literature they are reading. In longer texts, they can gradually build the empathy maps for each of the characters in the story as they gather more information.



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#EdTechTeam Google Summit 2019

EdTechTeam hosts Google Summits around the world and this past weekend one was held in Manchester, CT. On their website, EdTechTeam boasts their summits are, “High-intensity, conference-style events focus on the latest in educational technology and emerging pedagogy.”

The morning began with a key note from Rushton Hurley, educator, founder and executive director of the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of hundreds of short videos by and for teachers and students. Hurley spoke about the fun and cool of getting better.

“The only person to who you every need compare yourself is the you who you were yesterday.” — Rushton Hurley

Hurley highlighted three elements of becoming better educators:

  1. Rapport: Creating a rapport with means standing outside your classroom door before class and telling students, “I’m glad you’re here.” Additionally, there is power in a positive phone call home. He asked all participants to make a positive phone call home. The key is that it is the little things that matter.
  2. DeliveryRather than raise your voice have a sound making tool like a cow bell — okay, he is from Texas, think of other sound making tools that you might use for your students, chimes or even a theme song. To captivate your audience you need to get every student feeling confident to where they can contribute to meaningful discussions. Check out this weather man’s delivery:  

Think about your delivery to create engaging activities especially for students who need something a little different. Hurley states, “The good minutes we craft, that is what matters.”

3. Find the fun in teaching and learning. Create a classroom environment where dynamic learning and exploring are the norm. Find the cool in what you do and build off of it. Little things can allow for big improvement.  Fun is about being excited about learning

I later attended a session with Hurley titled 4 Fun and powerful activities for starting the class strong. These four activities included:

1.Share without having someone get up and share using technology tools like Padlet. Flipgrid, or Polleverywere allow all students to contribute in some way, even the introverts. 

2. Use an image to start active engagement. Show an image that might not directly connect to the discussion but students can begin to surmise a connection or theme. 

3. Play a game – There are many online games for learning from Quizizz, Kahoot, Gimkit, and Quizlet Live. Utilize these online gaming platform for practicing learning and showing understanding.

4. Videos is a teaching tool. Rushton’s nonprofit, Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of hundreds of short videos by and for teachers and students is a great resource to share videos and inspire students to create videos.

On a side note, my current students in the media literacy class I teach each semester are creating videos to highlight problems in the world and they will be submitting their videos to Next Vista for feedback and distribution. 

A third workshop I attended was on differentiation with Google Classroom presented by instructional technologist, Taneesha A. Thomas. In this session teachers set up a differentiated project and learned how to manage it using Google Classroom. This hands on session we put the knowledge we had about differentiation into action and learned other ways to use Google Classroom to create a more collaborative environment.

According to Edutopia differentiation: 

Build lessons, develop teaching materials, and vary your approach so that all students, regardless of where they are starting from, can learn content effectively, according to their needs.

Here are a few Google tricks to individualize and differentiate in Google Classroom:

You can assign work to individual students  – No two students work at exactly the same pace on every lesson. The ability to choose which students receive specific assignments is the basis for differentiation. Think about providing remediation lessons for students who need more practice or providing extension activities for students who have mastered content is another method for differentiation which can be easily handled in Classroom.

With Classroom, this process is streamlined to enable teachers to create leveled work and assign it to individuals or groups of students. Teachers simply have to create assignments and choose students to receive it. Students are unable to see which other students have the same or different assignments.

Cater to Learning Styles – It’s easy to cater to multiple learning styles with Classroom. When students submit work, they are offered options for uploading their creations. Included in those options are items such as attaching files, links, Docs, Slides, Sheets, or Drawings. The possibilities are only limited by teacher and student imaginations.

Google Classroom is designed to support differentiation for your students, making it easy to adjust which students get which assignments, provide a variety of learning resources with the assignment, and support student choice in the product they create to demonstrate what they have learned.





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