Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to learn coding and practice a new language with Scratch

Lately coding has become a buzzword in education especially in the community that I teach.  The parents are showing a lot of interest in their children learning how to code in schools.  One solution to this is through the web based program Scratch.  This program allows students to gain coding experience in a fun and interactive way.  The students may not be coding Java or HTML but they are coding their characters to do incredible things.  This is a great way to introduce students to coding, and I have seen many students extremely enthusiastic about the program.

At first I thought this is a great program, but I won't be able to use it in my Spanish classroom where speaking is the main focus.  After collaborating with a colleague I realized that not only could the entire scratch program website be in Spanish, but that my students could also record their voices right in the program.  We realized that this is a great way to have the students practice their language skills by creating, and coding a conversation between two characters.  The tip with this part is to have students insert code for one line of the conversation, then to put the code in for the other character.  The other character can have code inserted to trigger an audio response to the first character.  This creates a conversation in Spanish between the two characters.

My 3rd grade class absolutely loved using scratch!  The students picked up the program incredibly fast, and found it to be a fun challenge.  In the first class the students chose their "Sprites" which are characters.  They then chose the setting background.  We then had them use code to record their conversations.  The students would record and code one part at a time.  This takes a lot of concentration and precision, that being said, my class of 3rd graders was very capable of such a challenge.

The first class in the computer lab the students were able to begin coding and record some of their conversation.  The next class we will be finishing up and exporting the finished coded recordings.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Easy accents with Google Docs

When students are typing in my Spanish class it is really important to have the ability to type correctly using accents.  Luckily there is a new Google Doc Add-on called "Easy Accents."

This Add-on is free, and extremely easy to use!

1: Open up any Google Doc new or old.

2: Click on "Add-ons" at the top of the doc.

3: Search "Easy Accents"

4: Click "free" and then accept the Add-on.

5:  Return to your Google Doc and click on Add-ons  again

6.  Click on Easy Accents and find the language you are typing in.

Now on the right hand side of your screen you will have this menu with all of the easy accents.

The students love this Add-on!  It has been a big success, and makes typing grammatically correct in Spanish a lot easier!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Como Usar Super Quiz Para Comentários

Super Quiz para comentários  

Super Quiz dá-lhe opção de dar comentários a seus estudantes com so um click. Google Forms serve como exámenes e com o add on de Super Quiz você pode fazer a nota e a configuração para mandar um Google Doc e um email com ela e muitos comentários para ajudar a seus estudantes.  O add on permite-lhe fazer-lo em segundos.  Depois de configurar o add on e fazer um examen correto o add on esta pronto para fazer os comentários automaticamente.  

Muito fácil né? 

Bem, tenho algumas recomendações antes de usar-lo....
Aprende como usar-lo com o dever de casa ou algo que não conta oficialmente para a nota do estudante.  O problema e que precisa tem muito cuidado com a configuração em o Google Sheet e em seu examen correcto.  Se o examen "correcto" com as respostas tem um erro você vai ter um problema.  Todos os exames dos estudantes vão ter esse problema.  O bom e que você pode cambiar suas respostas depois no Google Sheet e escrever a resposta correta.

Uma coisa mais
Tenha muito cuidado com os comentários.  Usa a configuração para dar notas e comentários com muita concentração.  Se algo esta incorreto, todos vão receber um Google Doc com o erro.  

Algumas fotos de Super Quiz.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Benefits of an embedded webcam in student work

I have been have been really interested in imbedding a webcam into my students recordings this school year.  I first became curious about this idea while creating my video for the Google Teacher Academy in Mexico City.  I wanted people to be able to see that I could give a presentation in Spanish.  The video proved to be an amazing learning experience for me.  The far majority of our speech is done without seeing what we look like while we talk.  When you see yourself talk you instantly analyze and reflect about how you sound and look while speaking.  Doing this screencast with the imbedded webcam was an incredible experience.  It made me analyze  how I looked and sounded, and I recording until I found myself looking and sounding really confident in the webcam.  What I realized after was that this process was a great public speaking exercise.

 I instantly realized that this can be a very powerful tool for my students to practice their Spanish.

To have my students use the webcam they first created a Google presentation with their conversations in Spanish.  The next step would be to record a screencast where they would present their presentations right on their Chromebooks.  I chose to use the Chrome extension Screencastify because it downloads right to Google Drive and gives you the option to imbed a webcam.

The finished works came out great and now my students can reflect on how they look and sound when speaking in Spanish.  It provides a great opportunity for a digital portfolio where the student can now hear and see themselves speaking a new language.

Here is one screencast from a student who created an excellent podcast all done with Google slides and Screencastify on a Chromebook.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Como usar Super Quiz para retroalimentación

 Super Quiz te da la opción de dar retroalimentación a tus estudiantes con solo un click.  Google Forms sirve como exámenes y con el add on de Super Quiz puedes hacer la nota y la configuración para mandar un Google doc con ella y mucha retroalimentación para ayudar a tus estudiantes.  El add on te permite hacerlo en segundos.  Después de configurar el add on y hacer un examen correcto el add on está listo para funcionar.

¿Muy fácil no?

Pues hay unas recomendaciones antes de usarlo....
Aprende como usarlo con una tarea o algo no tan serio antes de usarlo en un examen oficial.  Algo que no cuenta oficialmente en sus notas.  El problema es que necesitas tener mucho cuidado con la configuración y el examen con las respuestas correctas.  Si el examen "correcto" con las respuestas tiene uno error vas a tener un problema.  Todos los exámenes de los estudiantes van a tener ese problema.  Lo bueno es que puedes cambiar tus respuestas luego en el Google Sheet y escribir la respuesta correcta.

Una cosa más
Ten mucho cuidado con la retroalimentación.  Usa la configuración para dar notas y comentarios con mucha concentración.  Si algo está incorrecto, todos van a recibir un google doc con la equivocación.

Aquí hay unas fotos de los tabs en mi Super Quiz

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Please read before trying out Super Quiz for automatic feedback!

Super Quiz worked incredibly to automatically grade quizzes on google forms.  The script sent out a google doc to all of my students with a report of how they did on their form just as planned.    Automatic feedback and documents must be approached with caution when dealing with graded tests.  The experience taught me a lot, and I think that it is really important to read about my experience before you use Super Quiz with your students.

1.  Make sure you have edited all of the tabs within google sheets before any student has taken the quiz.

+O Trussell  has created the amazing script which makes Super Quiz function.  He has also configured the grading scale in the tab "auto feedback configuration."  It is very important to change these settings to match your grading scale and feedback that you would like for your class.  The mistake that I made was leaving the letter grade system which was there by default.  It caused students who got 18 out of 20 questions correct to get a B.  This ended up causing a lot of issues after the grades were automatically sent to each student.  Many students and parents were distressed by letter grades much lower than where they should have been.  Please be very careful in editing this part because it is very important for the auto feedback documents.

2.  My advice would be to first try out Super Quiz on a homework assignment or class assignment before counting it as a graded test or quiz.  If you do use it for a graded quiz or test be extremely careful with the grading scale.  Remember partial credit is not possible on these questions.

The bottom line is that the script works and the majority of my students were very happy to have a report sent to them right after taking their quiz.  Just be very careful as to what feedback gets immediately sent out to your students!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Super Quiz is an auto grading game changer

Today i finally got to try out the google sheet add on called Super Quiz.  I gave my 6th grade students a quiz on a Google form, then had Super Quiz do an incredible amount of work with the results.  Super Quiz automatically grades a form based off of a completed form with the correct answers, then runs a script within your spreadsheet.  This is not what makes the add on a game changer.  This has already been done effectively with Flubaroo which was a great success last year in my classes.  What makes this a game changer is the other tabs within your google sheet that it creates.  Here is a list of the other tabs that it creates.

- Right or Wrong

- Class Results

- Auto Feedback Configuration

- Response Feedback

- Printing Options

- 2x2 Print-out

The game changing tabs in my opinion are "Auto Feedback Configuration" and "Response Feedback."  These tabs allow you to create feedback based on getting certain questions right or wrong.  If you separate your form into sections you can now pinpoint where a student struggled and now create an automatic response to send to that student to help them.  The "Response Feedback" tab then allows you to send emails and share a google doc with this feedback for each student.  Now not only are my grades completed in seconds but each student can receive their grade and a breakdown of their score as well.

This is really going to improve the efficiency of how quickly I can identify struggling students and how quickly these students can begin to improve.  It also puts everything I would have to explain to parents into a nicely formatted doc.

Check out the instructional youtube video to see how to add it on to Google Sheets and use it.  I strongly recommend giving it a try for yourself.