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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Starting a new school year

People have traditions and ceremonies ... I guess it's in our DNA to develop and cling on to them. Some up us have a "Waking Up" ceremony before we get our day started, or "Going to Bed" rituals to help us wind down into sleep mode. Others have "Birthday Traditions" that run through the generations. I have a "New School Year" ritual.

I can't start a new school year without it. I learned it many years ago, in one of my first years of teaching from Pippa, who is no longer a teacher in our school, nor does she even live in Israel but blessed me with a ritual that I am now doing for the 33rd time. I used to do it with a pencil and ruler. Then it got a fancy word processing upgrade. For the past few years I have moved it over to Googledocs, which enables me to share it easily, print it out or just use it online so it can expand or shrink as need be.

Basically, the idea is to map out your entire year on both sides of one page (now that it's a Googledoc, it's less of an issue because the page is virtual). It has a line for each week of the school year, and columns according to the main skills and tasks that I will need to get done or achieve in each class I teach. I divide what I plan to get done in my text book over the year, I put in the test dates and dates for things like book reports or when I plan to complete a project. And even if I get carried away with one unit of work or another,  at least I know that there is a basic "game plan" to go back to, to adjust, to be sure that I fit in everything that needs to get done for that year. 

I am happy to be sharing it with you, here. Click here to duplicate the file, and make it yours. Do what you like with it. Add columns or topics. Delete topics. Make it yours. It's served me well - maybe it will be of use to you! If you have any helpful alterations, please feel free to share them in the comments!


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nhDCzBB_FBNh7kIth1nfZh2r9aK37qSfAA-M7OI0Gfk/copy

So, enjoy the last few weeks of August and have a great new shool year!


Digitally yours,

@dele



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hyperdocs ...Sounds complicated but isn't really

Sometimes you need to share a bunch of links with someone on a specific topic. There are different ways you could do that, but the easiest way is by collecting them all in a hyperdoc.

Huh?

Here: Check out the YouTube! Because showing and telling is more effective than just describing in writing!



My first but I am SURE not my last posting about hyperdocs - because they have SOOO much potential - especially for differentiated learning!  I made this tutorial expeically for a team of teachers with whom I am working and need to share the digital products of their students, but I discovered such a useful tool, that this is just the start!

Digitally yours!
@dele

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bridging Text and Context - Digitalized

Before you digitalize a worksheet, ask yourself: "What added extra value will I get from digitalization?" Here's an example of something I felt gave me more bang for my buck regarding the time used in the classroom, and out, as well as the ability to get the message across in a more meaningful manner than I could have before.

As part of our literature program, students need to get background information about the culture within which the literature is set, in order to help them understand the text better. When you understand where a person "comes from" (period of history, place) it's easier to understand what motivates the characters you are reading about. 


For the play All My Sons by Arthur Miller, I have, for years, used an activity I originally learned from an former colleague (HT Barry Solomon) who is no longer teaching. The activity has the students learning about the posters that were used in the United States during the period of World War II to whip up patriotism and convince people to enlist or help in the war effort in other ways. Originally it was a challenge finding these posters, even digitally, sharing them with our students (we would have to get a comptuer room expecially so they could see the digital materials). Happily, these days, it has become even easier to share posters, songs and clips with the students, to make the subject really come alive. 

I had digitalized the activity to some extent in the past, using Barcode readers and augmented reality. (I thought this would be really cool, but my students complained about having to install programs that they didn't want.... they love their phones - but have a hard time with me hijacking them for educational purposes sometimes). 

This year, I have taken the worksheets and digitalized them completely by putting them in Googleforms. Watch this webcast to see!  (In the description section of the YouTube you can access some of the links I used, as well as make a copy of the form if you wish.)





If you found this helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don't miss anything! (I still blog here occassionally, but most of my "blogging" has morphed into "vlogging" ;-) So - hit the bell, Click "Subscribe" and join me in my quest to leave no teacher behind in the digital age!

Digitally yours!

@dele



Sunday, October 29, 2017

A useful Googledoc Trick: Force "Copy Document"

Sharing a Googledoc or Googleside in order to have your students work collaboratively is magical. But sometimes, you need them to make a copy of their own, of the document or the slide, to save in their Drive, share with you, and work on, on their own.

You COULD give them very CLEAR instructions for how to make a copy:



...and maybe most students will do it right.... aside from the 1 or 2 who don't read that carefully or don't really understand how to make a copy or WHATEVER.....

        ....and then they fill in your master file and other students copy it and - in short - a big mess.

So in THIS blogpost I want to teach you how to AVOID that.

It's easy.

In one sentence, you copy the link you want to force people to make a copy of, and replace the word in the link that says: "edit", with the word "copy".

This works for Googledocs and slides!

Need more of an explanation? Here is my DOUBLEHEADER tutorial for this week!






And if you are still not sure of how to handle those messages which force you to Copy Document, watch the tutorial that follows.

Hope you find that helpful!

Still got questions? Write me!
And don't forget to subscribe! Here AND to my YouTube Channel!

Digitally yours, 

@dele



Friday, September 1, 2017

Getting Back into Step for the New School Year!

As usual, the summer has slip-slided away before I could say "Jack Robinson" and I now find myself in September which means that it's time to hit the ground running! My first lessons are always a combination of becoming aquainted with each other while at the same time getting right to business. Especially in the 12th grade where we REALLY have NO time to lose! So I am sharing what I am doing in our first lesson with them, this coming Monday.

I have recycled a Prezi that I prepared a few years ago, inserting the main information that my students need to know for our first day. If you have been following my blog this summer, you'll know that I am now a fledgling YouTuber, so instead of ending it off with an inspirational talk from Ashton Kutcher, as I did last year, I have made a YouTube of MYSELF! 





A few days ago our Education Ministry and CEO of the MoE held a press conference, about the importance of strengthening English language learning, in general, with an emphasis on speaking, in our schools. Many of us already DO a lot of oral activities to encourage the kids to talk, but hopefully their official statement and all the initiatives that are flowing into the field as backwash, will make it even more wide spread. Since we are all aware of the importance of producing digitally savvy citizens of the world, I intend to incorporate the making of YouTube movies into my lessons this  year whenever I can! I have no doubt whatsoever that, among my students, there will be those who can teach us ALL how to make effective YouTubes! I am aiming to turn my classroom into  an English "Maker Space", encouraging my students to come out as "makers".  And what way better to get kids talking in English and making YouTubes, than by leading the way with my own example, right?

The Prezi is embedded in the front page of my class website, so all I will have to do next Monday when I walk into the classroom will be to throw it up on the board, and it's all there!  (Want to learn how to make a Googlesite for YOUR class? Check THIS out!)

Wishing you all an inspiring, creative, challenging new school year, for you and your students! If you want ANY ideas for your classroom (Back-to-School, or otherwise) remember to make your first stop in our new Portal ! Do you have a great Back-to-School activity to share? Please share it HERE!

Oh... and Ashton Kutcher get outta my way!

Digitally yours!

@dele 

P.S. 

Please subscribe here, to my blog, and to my YouTube channel, which is growing all the time, with (at least one) new movie each week including digital help and ideas you'll find useful! If there is anything YOU want me to blog or YouTube about, let me know in the comments!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Making your own Googlesite, in Ten Easy Steps

This is the time if year when teachers around the country (and probably around the Northern Hemisphere) are getting into first gear to get back into their classrooms. 

One of the things that are really helpful is to have a website for your class, where you can post the day's lesson plan, or homework reminders, or links to interactive activites you plan to do, or anything you plan to use for your lesson! It's a fantastic way to keep yourself organizaed and not have to go groping around to find that ellusive link.....

To share the link to your site, it's good to shorten the URL. In the webcast I showed the use of Google's useful webshorterner, where you just type goo.gl and shorten the link and/ or grab a QR Code, but another option is Bitly, which enables you to make up a more logical sounding shortened URL. (Hhmm... an idea for next week's YouTube! If I make a tutorial for that, I'll link it here.. or just subscribe to my YouTube Channel, and you won't miss it!)

Googlesites are still a great way to have your students do their projects for the oral bagrut, as I did in 2014 (with the old version of Googlesites). If you want to read about that, you can read about it in my blogpost from way back then!

So... have I whet your appetite? Well, it just so happens that, I have made a short video to encourage teachers to make a Googlesite!: 10 Easy Steps to Making a Google Site, and in case you don't follow my YouTube channel (yet ;-) I am sharing it here, as well. If you DO decide to make your own class site, share it here, and let us know how  you use it!

Please feel free to ask me questions if you have any, in the comments section below the YouTube. And DO subscribe to my channel where I am trying to ensure that no teacher gets left behind!




Digitally yours,
@dele

Don't forget to subscribe here, as well!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Collect files through Google Forms!

It's something that many of us have been waiting for: you can now collect files in GoogleForms. Did you know that?

As a counselor, I often have the need for teachers to share files as part of the information I need to collect in Googleforms. If you don't have Google Classroom, this can be a workaround for collecting assignments from your students (as attachments) with feedback (in the form).

There are different types of files that can be uploaded documents, spreadsheets, PDF, drawings, images, audios and more. They can be either WORD or Googledocs. And it's really easy! Come watch how, and help me celebrate my first video in this series on my new YouTube Channel: "Digitally Yours".


I also noticed another new option in Google Forms, which is checkbox grids (in addition to multiple choice grids, which have been around for quite a while).  Just as with the difference between checkboxes and multiple choice answers, in the checkbox grid you can mark more than one option per row, as opposed to multiple choice grids, which allow you to only mark one per row. 


But it's always easier to show you rather than just tell you - so have a look, below!



Please check out my new channel, give your feedback, suggestions, requests, and SUBSCRIBE! The more subscribers I have, the more videos I will be able to make to help YOU with what you need- so that NO teacher gets left behind in the digital dimension of teaching in 2017


Digitally yours, 
@dele


PS - don't forget to subscribe to my blog AND my new YouTube channel! Wouldn't want you to miss out on anything! :-)