Triptico Classroom Resources


A few years ago I downloaded a classroom resource application called Triptico.  It had a great graphics look and some nice and easy tools to use in my classroom.  Recently Triptico launched a web-based application where you can save your activities to the cloud for easy use anywhere.  It’s great!

There are tools in Triptico that any teacher can benefit from—regardless of content area or age group.  All of the resources are dynamic and visually appealing to your students.  So besides being useful, they are fun to look at.

Below are some of my favorite uses of Triptico:

  • Student Groups  I created a class list for each of my classes.  On days when we do group activities, I bring up the Triptico Group Maker resource, load that class list and remove any students that are absent.  Then I tell Triptico how many groups I want and it will randomly generate them for me.  The kids love watching the colors pop up and waiting in anticipation to see who is going to be with them.  And it’s very easy for me to use.
  • Timers  There are a lot of online timers and stopwatches out there.  These timers are dynamic and visual.  I like the hourglass timer because it doesn’t show students the exact amount of time they have left (or that you set the timer for) so instead of being focused and worried about seconds, they can just get a visual snapshot of time remaining.
  • Selected Spinner  I’ve only used this one recently but it has been fun!  I put in a list of questions and answers.  Then when I’m ready to run the activity for a class, I put in the names of the students.  With the click of the button, Triptico will randomly choose a question and then randomly choose a student to answer it.  It’s fun to watch, totally random and the kids were glued to the board.  A great way to do a simple review for any test or quiz.

Check out Triptico for these resources and more!

No Red Ink Grammar Review


Edmodo has quite a few “apps” that could easily be integrated into your classes if you are already using Edmodo.

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One I came across last week is called NoRedInk and it generates grammar exercises, assignments and quizzes using pop culture references.  A great resource for upper Elementary and Middle School teachers — great review site for High School.

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The app is free.  Students will have to get the app from the Edmodo App store and then all of your students will automatically be registered and be able to do your NoRedInk activities.  I created a practice activity to demonstrate how NoRedInk works.  I “assigned” everyone in the Denver Edmodo Training Group a grammar assignment.  If you get the app from the app store and access it, you should be able to complete that activity and see the student side of it.

 

Here are some additional features:

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When creating a grammar activity, you can choose the category.  Each category has subtopics.  The possible categories: Apostrophes, Commonly Confused Words, Subject/Verb Agreement, and Commas, Fragments & Run-ons.  If you want to focus on a specific subtopic, you can checkbox just that topic (like who’s vs. whose) or leave it wide open.  You choose the number of questions and points.  You can schedule it for a specific time or make it available right away.

 

You can also make it available for only a few students.  This would be great for intervention.

I also like how the data for each class is displayed.  I breaks down each category and color codes each student’s proficiency in each subtopic.  You can easily scan to see if many students struggle with a certain topic, etc.

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Socrative


Socrative is a great online resource for teachers that want to do quick, formative assessment or informal checks on learning.  Teachers can create a teacher account that works like an online “classroom”.  Students go to that online classroom to participate in any activities the teacher makes active.  Here is a list of some of the things a teacher can do using Socrative:

Screen Shot 2012-10-06 at 2.36.51 PM Create Quizzes

This is biggest thing that Socrative can do.  Teachers create multiple choice, true false quizzes using Socrative and invite the students to their classroom to take the quiz.  You can choose between student paced quizzes, where the students cycle through the quiz questions at their own pace, or teacher paced quizzes, where the teacher controls when the next quiz question will be displayed.  I like to use these quizzes as informative formative assessments.  I check for understanding, analyze the results for patterns, and determine whether or not we are ready to move on to the next concept.

Exit Ticket

This is a great way to do a formative assessment.  Students can type in their own words, answer specific questions or give just a general reflection on the lesson of the day.  The teacher can craft these to narrow the scope, but I usually just have a couple open ended questions that I use to get information from the student.

Space Race

It isn’t a perfect game, but Space Race takes any quiz a teacher has created and makes it a game where spaceships fly across the screen with every correct answer.  The objective is to be the first spaceship across.  The thing my students have enjoyed about SpaceRace is the random grouping feature.  I will set it to randomly group the students into 6 or 7 different groups, each assigned a specific color.  Then, once the quiz begins, they know their color and always call out “Who else is Purple?”.  They are cycling through the same old quiz questions, but wrapping it up in a game makes it a lot more fun for the students.

 

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Results:

Results for all activities on Socrative are stored on the website and can be automatically emailed to you.  The emailed results show each response and totals up the number correct too.

How to use it:

Students can access Socrative on the web or through the Socrative App that is available at the Apple ITunes Store.  In the past, I’ve had students download the app to their phone or Ipod and they seemed to like that.  Today, I just have my students go to www.socrative.com, enter the student portal and enter my personal Socrative classroom number.

Lesson Planning in the Cloud


My school district utilizes a program that allows parents and students to check updated grades and lesson plans on the internet.  We are required to update lesson plans so that parents know any work their child missed throughout the week.  But the program where teachers input their lesson plans is incredibly tedious, especially for teachers that teach multiple sections of the same subject.

Last year, instead of typing all of my lesson plans into this archaic program, I created a GoogleDocs document with my weekly lesson plans.  Then I just copied that shared link into the parent communication program so that parents could find the most up-to-date lesson plans.

As great as that turned out to be (having the ability to update lesson plans in real-time), I wondered if something else would be better for this upcoming school year.  I stumbled upon a free web program called PlanbookEdu, which lets users create lesson plans online.  These plans can be shared through a link or directly embedded in a webpage.

The layout of the lesson plan templates of PlanbookEdu were very similar to the table I created in GoogleDocs, but it was cleaner and crisper.  I was able to create as many cells, or “courses”, as I wanted.  My husband (also a teacher) used PlanbookEdu to create a lesson plan template for all of the hours he teaches (1st hour, 3rd hour, 5th hour, etc.)  I elected just to set mine up for the courses I teach (Spanish 1, Spanish 2 and Spanish 3).

Right now I’m just using the free version of PlanbookEdu but the Premium version seems reasonably priced and includes some enticing perks: ability to upload documents for downloading to the lesson plans & the ability to share lesson plans with anyone on the web.  I will have to move to the Premium version to share these plans with parents, but for only $25 a year, it seems worth it.

I really like what I’m seeing with this program so far and think that it’s a great program for any teacher looking for an easy way to keep track of lesson planning and scheduling “in the cloud”.
http://planbookedu.com/e/37952/week