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.





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Os três melhores aplicativos grátis para viagens sem internet



Recentemente eu viajei ao exterior.  A maioria do tempo eu fiquei em lugares sem internet, por iso eu tinha a oportunidade de procurar aplicações muito bons para meu tablet e smartphone.  Eu procurei três aplicações excelentes que funcionam sem conexão ao internet. Eu usei os aplicativos duolingo, Google Docs & PIXLR Express.  Estes melhoraram bastante minha experiencia.



Duolingo foi incrível para praticar a língua francesa enquanto viajava pela França.  O aplicativo é excelente porque para avançar precisa escrever, falar, e escutar a língua.  Antes eu quis aprender a língua com Podcasts e livros, mas este aplicativo te faz praticar de todas formas.  Eu gosto muito como cada lição é como um nível de um vídeo-game, não sente que está estudando, sente que esta jogando um vídeo-game.  Depois de bajar o aplicativo e selecionar a língua que você quer aprender, não precisa de internet para fazer as aulas.



Para editar todas as fotos que eu estava tirando usei o aplicativo PIXLR Express.  O aplicativo tem muitos efeitos para melhorar suas fotos.  Tudo é muito fácil de usar e também você pode guardar-las em seu Google Drive.  Com este aplicativo você pode criar seus própios cartões postais sem gastar um real.


Foto que tirei do nosso hotel em Tangier editado com PIXLR Express.

Eu adoro escrever sobre minhas experiencias durante minhas viagens.  Para mim um diario é a maneira perfeita para lembrar-se dos detalhes pequenos de uma viagem e para fazer um diario usei o aplicativo Google Docs.  Com Google Docs eu pude escrever desde meu tablet e Smartphone sem internet.  Você pode usá-lo no modo "Off-line" apenas você clica na informação do documento e depois clica em "Manter no dispositivo."

Na parte de detalhes diz se seu documento esta mantido no dispositivo.


Você sabe se o documento esta mantido em seu tablet ou Smartphone se vê a caixa azul do lado do "Manter no dispositivo."

Agora você pode escrever a partir qualquer lugar sem internet.  Depois quando vocês tiverem internet o documento vai estar guardado no google drive de novo.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Las tres mejores aplicaciones gratis para viajar sin internet.

Recientemente viajé al extranjero. La mayor parte del tiempo estuve en lugares sin internet, gracias a ésto tuve la gran oportunidad de encontrar aplicaciones muy buenas para mi tableta y Smartphone.  Encontré tres aplicaciones excelentes que funcionan muy bien sin conexión al internet.  Usé las aplicaciones duolingo, Google Docs & PIXLR Express.  Éstas mejoraron mi experiencia bastante.



Duolingo fue excelente para practicar la lengua francesa mientras viajaba en Francia. La aplicación es excelente porque para avanzar necesitas escribir, leer, hablar, y escuchar el idioma.  Antes intenté a aprender el idioma con Podcasts y libros pero esta aplicación te hace practicar de todas formas.  Me gusta mucho como cada lección es como un nivel de un videojuego, no sientes que estás estudiando, sientes que estás jugando un videojuego.  Después de bajar la aplicación y seleccionar el idioma que quieres aprender, no necesitas internet para hacer las lecciones.  

Para editar todas las fotos que estaba tomando usé la aplicación PIXLR Express.  La aplicación tiene un montón de efectos para mejorar tus fotos.  Todo es muy fácil de usar y también puedes guardarlas en tu Google Drive. Con ésta aplicación puedes crear tus propias postales sin gastar un centavo.
Foto que saqué desde nuestro hotel en Tangier editada con PIXLR Express.
   Me encanta escribir sobre mis experiencias de mis viajes.  Para mí un diario es la manera perfecta para recordar los detalles pequeños de un viaje y para hacerlo usé la aplicación Google Docs.  Con Google Docs pude escribir desde mi tableta y Smartphone sin internet.  Puedes usarla en el modo de "sin conexión"  Solo da click a la información  del documento y después da click a "Guardar en dispositivo"
En la parte de detalles dice si tu documento esta guardado en el dispositivo.


Sabes si el documento esta guardado en tu tableta o Smartphone si ves el cuadro azul al lado de "Guardar en dispositivo."

Ahora puedes escribir desde cualquier lugar sin internet.  Cuando tengas conexión de internet el documento va a  estar guardado con los cambios en tu Google Drive.  Google Docs fue perfecto para escribir un diario en cada momento de mi viaje y guardar detalles importantes como reservaciones de hoteles y tours sin tener que imprimirlo en casa.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Great Apps to use while Traveling without Internet

While on recent trips to countries I found myself numerous time without internet access.  It made me realize that there are many great applications that do not require an internet connection to function.  I was able to use three great applications on my tablet and smartphone that did not require the internet but greatly enhanced my trip.
The three Apps were duolingo, Google Docs, & PIXLR Express.

Duolingo came in handy for practicing French while traveling through France.  The App is great because it incorporates learning a language through listening, speaking, reading and writing.  I was previously only reading textbooks, and listening to Podcasts but duolingo really helped improve my writing in French.  The App provides lessons in a gaming format making each lesson similar to a video game level once the App is downloaded you can use it without internet.  The lessons are in short ten minute portions which make it perfect to an activity during downtime while traveling.  
As for editing pictures I really like the App PIXLR Express.  The App has countless effects that can be added to pictures.  It makes editing extremely easy and with the ability to save pictures onto GoogleDrive.  Here is one that I edited from Morocco.  

Lastly what better way to remember a trip than to write a journal?  The Google Docs App makes for the perfect digital travel journal.  Google Docs allows you to type offline by just clicking on the info for a document and then checking off "keep on this device."

Once checked off you can now type anywhere and the document will be saved on your device.  As soon as you reconnect to the internet the document saves itself onto Google Drive.  Google Docs was the perfect way to write freely on the go without worrying about losing your work.  


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We want more Pear deck!

We want more Pear Deck!  This is the consensus of my entire class after using Pear Deck in one of my lessons.  After using Pear Deck just once my students are demanding we do more of them.  My students love the way they can interact with a presentation using Pear Deck.  And I love the way I know all of my students are engaged by answering questions on each slide of my presentation.  Pear deck integrates with google drive meaning all of my presentations and students results are saved automatically it has now become a great activity in my Spanish classroom.

Here is how it works:

Creating a Pear Deck presentation is simple.  You can either export an existing presentation or you can create one within the application of Pear Deck.

If you chose to create your slides within pear deck, you will see five different options.  Pear Deck makes it extremely simple to assess students during a presentation, by inserting questions in each slide.  


For my classes I chose the to create "Free Response Text" slides.  This is the perfect way for students to practice answering written questions in Spanish.  I type my question at the top, then add in a picture to visually aid the students understanding of the question.  The bottom will say "Student response:"  Here you can chose to have the students answer with either a short response or a paragraph.  

For my presentation I chose to have my students answer with short answer text.  My goal was to see if my students could correctly answer written questions.  Pear Deck was very user friendly and within no time I had my first Pear Deck presentation ready to go.  

My first go ahead with Pear Deck was a complete success.  Students were easily able to join the presentation on their Chromebooks.  The students really enjoyed answering the questions on each slide.  Pear Deck was a complete success for student participation.  

When the presentation is over you can chose to take a look at the results by clicking on "Sessions." 

From here you can see all of the results from the participants for each question.  This proved to be a great way to see on each question which students were answering correctly.  The results for each question will appear like this.  

 Since this first Pear Deck lesson my students have been demanding more Pear Deck lessons!    As a Spanish teacher it has served as a fun and interactive activity for my students, while I collect all the information I need to assess my students writing skills all at the same time.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Screencastify para fazer Screencasts na sala de aula.

Como um Professor de espanhol estou sempre procurando jeitos novos de gravar o áudio e vídeo com meus estudantes.  Para um Professor de idiomas é muito importante evaluar a pronunciação dos estudantes ao momento que estão lendo.  A aplicação de Screencastify com a extensão do Google Chrome faz possível gravar o áudio e vídeo fazendo uma atividade interactiva e muito divertida na sala de aula.



Uma de minhas partes favoritas deste programa é a facilidade que pode guardar tudo no Google Drive.  Este é uma das grandes vantagens que o faz superior a outros programas.  Depois de gravar um Screencast um estudante pode compartilhar seu Screencast com o Professor ou qualquer outro pessoa.  A aplicação coloca o poder nas manos dos estudantes a oportunidade de criar um trabalho que nunca vai perder e vai ter acesso com qualquer computador.

Pode ver um exemplo de minha estudante.




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Screencasting con Chromebooks en el aula

Como Profesor de español siempre estoy buscando maneras nuevas de grabar audio y video con mis estudiantes.  Para un maestro de idiomas es muy importante evaluar la pronunciación de los estudiantes al momento que estan leyendo.  La aplicación de Screencastify con la extension de Google Chrome hace possible grabar audio y videos haciendo una actividad interactiva y muy divertida para la clase.

El primer paso es descargar la extensión de Screencastify desde la tienda en línea de Google Chrome.  Ya estando en la tienda en línea escribe en el buscador “Screencastify” los resultados en la página apareceran como en la foto de la parte posterior.

Una vez que haya sido añadida la extensión aparecerá  en la esquina derecha del buscador de Google Chrome y se verá como una tira de película.  Para usar Screencast simplemente da click en la tira de película y verás el menú para comenzar a grabar.

Una de mis partes favoritas de éste programa es la facilidad con la que puedes guardar todo en Google Drive. Ésta es una de las grandes
ventajas sobre cualquier otra aplicación del internet. Una vez que el screencast ha sido grabado, se puede compartir con el profesor o cualquier otra persona. Ésta aplicación pone en las manos de los estudiantes la oportunidad de hechar a volar la imaginación y crear un trabajo que nunca se perderá y podrá tener acceso desde cualquier computadora. 

Para hacer uso de ésta aplicación en mis lecciones, les pedí a mis estudiantes que agregarán la extensión a sus chromebooks, después de haber escrito lo que se les asignó en español, cada estudiante utilizó screencastify para grabar su párrafo correspondiente. Mis estudiantes después compartieron su screencast  conmigo para evaluar su escritura y pronunciación. Los screencasts hacen posible la evaluación tanto oral, como escrita con todos los beneficios que aporta Google Drive.

Ahora puedo abrir el screencast en Google Drive y publicar comentarios para que el estudiante los pueda ver.
Los videos se pueden descargar ,guardar en la computadora ó directamente en código para páginas web. En la parte posterior puedes ver uno de los screencasts de mis estudiantes.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Screencastify with Chromebooks in a Spanish Classroom

 As a Spanish teacher I am always looking for easy and efficient ways to record my students to assess  if they are improving there pronunciation and reading of the language.   Screencasting with the Google Chrome extension Screencastify makes audio recordings and screen videos a great classroom activity.

The first step is to download the extension from the google chrome webstore.  In the webstore search option type in "Screencastify" your results page should look like this.
Once you add the extension it will appear at the top right of your chrome browser and look like a film strip.  To use this extension simply click on the film strip and you will see a menu to start recording.  

My favorite parts about using Screencastify is how easily you can create a screencast and upload it right onto your Google Drive.  This is by far the greatest advantage to creating screencasts with Screencastify over other apps.  Once a screencast has been recorded the student can now share it with the teacher.  This really puts the power of creating work in the hands of each student and provides a simple way to make sure that the work will not be lost.  

To use this in my lesson I had students add the extension on their chromebooks, then after typing up their assignment in Spanish, students used screencastify to record them speaking their paragraph.  The students then shared their screencast with me so I could assess both there writing as well as their speaking.  Screencasts make an oral and written assessment possible with all of the benefits of Google Drive.  I can now open up their screencast in Google Drive and post a comment about their screencast for the student to see.  The videos can then be downloaded and saved on a computer or imbedded into a website.  Check out one of my students screencasts to see what a screencast can look like.  




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Dashboard in the Spanish classroom

Teacher Dashboard makes paper obsolete in my Spanish classroom.  I can pass out copies of digital presentations, documents, photos and folders into each students Google Drive.  I first began using the program last year to check on the work students were doing.  I realized that this program was a great way to access everything students were doing in their Spanish folder of their GoogleDrive.  I have now realized that I can send out any document I create in my GoogleDrive as a copy for each student to have.  This has allowed my students to have the template for the class which they can add their work to.  The best part is that I then have access to each one of their assignments to check on their progress.  This has been a great way to copy documents, presentations & spreadsheets.
This is what my Teacher Dashboard homepage looks like.  It lists all of my classes and make it very easy to access the specific class I want.  After clicking on a class I can see each student and all of their folders.  I can then click on a specific folder and see every item in their folders along with when it was last edited.  If I click on a document a new tab will open up within my chrome browser and I will have access to it.  This is an excellent tool to keep track of student progress.



The most productive part comes when you make a copy of a presentation, document or spreadsheet from Google Drive and place it right in each students Spanish folder.  It makes the classroom paper free, because each student gets their own copy.  I now can review their work before they hand it in as well as monitor student progress on the work.  Teacher Dashboard has been a huge help when organizing work to give to students.  I now know exactly which handouts students have as well as what work they have done on their handouts.