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Tech Lesson Plans

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Technology Tools for Foolproof Sub Plans

Technology Tools for Foolproof Sub Plans


Sub plans are all about the routines in the classroom

If you want your students to have a "normal" day then the goal is to give the substitute teacher everything he/she needs to maintain the classroom routines.

Provide the sub with a quick video tutorial of the tech in your classroom

When I taught technology, this meant giving a tutorial for all of the technology tools in my classroom. It really helps when you can use the same sub every time, but having a tutorial in place will save you time when someone new comes in to sub. My tutorial wasn't anything fancy, just a video recording I made of how to turn on the projector, document camera, laptop, and student computers as well as where things were stored if needed. I put this on a flash drive that I left in the sub folder along with a card that had a substitute teacher computer login. I wish I could share the video with you but it had very school-specific details. By the way I just recorded the video with my iPhone and then transferred it to my laptop with the dropbox app. You could also use the google drive app if you have it.

Create a screencast for student directions

This is my favorite tip. Even though it takes time to make a screencast of the assignment directions, they are incredibly helpful to students. You can find an example screencast that I made for my student's typing unit here. Having a video really holds students accountable for completing the assignment. They can watch it as many times as needed. Absent students can watch it when they come back without you having to take the time to work with them one on one. Videos are also amazing for students with special needs because they can watch the video with the resource teacher or with their parents at home while working through an assignment. I use the software Screencast-o-matic and love it, but there are several options out there. I don't usually even edit my videos. If I mess up, I just correct myself and keep going.

Keep the classroom routines the same

If your students are accustomed to doing a certain thing when they enter the classroom (mine do 10 minutes of typing) then don't change that just because there is a substitute teacher. Your students need the consistency and your sub will appreciate that your students know how to get started on their own. That goes for the early finishers, too. In my tech lab the procedures are always the same. 10 minutes of typing, the lesson itself, and early finisher activities. As long as I tell my students which lesson to find on our class website, they can basically work without me. I'm just facilitating their learning and there in case they have any questions. Working this way changed my whole way of teaching.

Give the sub a feedback form so you can adjust if needed

I'm a huge fan of feedback because it makes me better. The stuff I shared with you in this post only came to be because of helpful feedback I received from substitute teachers. I let them know in my notes that I want to know what would have been helpful and ask if they feel like they had a successful day.

Plan A and plan B

For last minute subs (or a TA pulled from a classroom) I always provide a non-tech option. I love a good read aloud book and built a classroom library of tech themed books for early finishers or days when the wifi wasn't working. The sub can decide to read to the class or just have the students pair up and read together. What do you do for sub plans that include technology? I would love to hear other perspectives. Please share this post with your teacher friends so that they can try some new technology tools, too! If you loved this post, be sure to subscribe by email so that our blog posts are delivered directly to your inbox.
  technology tools for foolproof sub plans pin
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Brittany Washburn
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10 Attention Grabbers To Try when using Tech

10 Attention Grabbers To Try when using Tech


10 Attention Grabbers To Try when using Tech

10 Attention Grabbers

When our students are using devices it can be really challenging to get their attention. Sometimes they have headphones on, sometimes they are just really engaged in the lesson. These 10 attention grabbers are something to try with your students. Some will stick with your group and you can add them to your regular rotation of classroom management strategies. These attention grabbers are split up into 2 categories

Call and Response

The teacher says a phrase and the children respond to it with a specific response (usually also requires a physical response from students like putting their hands up, etc.)
  1. Hands Up - Buttercup (students raise their hands from their devices and look at the teacher)
  2. Mac - Cheese, Children - Freeze (this one is two parts to give students a moment to prepare to stop)
  3. Hands on Top - That means stop (hands on head)
  4. Floppy - Disk (fun tech themed one)
  5. Light Show - Time to go (teacher flashes lights and then says the phrase. This one is great for when they are wearing headphones)10 Attention Grabbers To Try when using Tech

Teacher Phrases

This set of attention grabbers doesn't require a verbal student response, but rather a physical one. 6. Clap it and Lap it (to get your students to remove their hands from the keyboard) 7. Flip the Flap (for use with iPad covers, "Close the lid" would work well for laptops) 8. T-Rex Arms (again, to get your students to remove their hands from the keyboard) 9. Horn signal 10. Chime or music with specific patterns or songs for different effects 10 Attention Grabbers To Try when using Tech
 Give these a try and let me know how they go for you. Do you have another suggestion? Leave it in the comments so we can all learn from each other. This list was compiled by dozens of Tech Teachers and Media Specialists in the Facebook Group Technology Teacher Tribe.  Request to join today!
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Brittany Washburn
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Easy Parent Communication with the Technology Tool Edmodo

Easy Parent Communication with the Technology Tool Edmodo


It can be really challenging to engage parents in their child's classroom activities. Blended learning adds to this challenge when students aren't bringing home as many papers. Edmodo is a technology tool that helps to solve this problem.
  Easy parent communication with the technology tool Edmodo FB

What is Edmodo?

If you haven't come across Edmodo yet, it is a learning management system. That means teachers load content into the system to share with students through assignments. Students access their assignments, work on them, and then turn them in through the system. Teachers then grade the assignments and give students feedback. It is all done digitally, paperless.

How do Parents fit into Edmodo?

A teacher invites students into their Edmodo "class" through a Class Code. Teachers can also make a Parent Code but it is a little different than a Class Code. With the Parent Code, a parent uses the code to make their account and then can add all of their children under their account. They only need one code and then they are in (but students need a Class Code for each class they join).

How can Teachers communicate with Parents through Edmodo?

Once parents have their accounts, there are several ways to communicate. I'm going to highlight three.
  1. Weekly Newsletter to Parents. Parents, don't read this next sentence. Teachers, the parents can't send you messages (yay), but you can send a note out directed to them! You can post a note with an attached newsletter for parents and students to see. A weekly message that included updates and achievements is a great way to help Parents feel like they are informed.
  2. Direct communication. You can send a note with only one student chosen, which means their parents will be able to access it. This can also be great if the student has a tutor or someone else they work on homework with. Consider giving this other person a Parent Code too.
  3. Calendar. You can add events, key dates, activities, and assignment due dates to the calendar so that parents can see what is planned for the month. Note to parents
What other parent communication tools have you tried or heard of that are digital? Thanks for reading! -Brittany
  Easy parent communication with the technology tool Edmodo
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Brittany Washburn
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5 Technology Tools to Try for Back to School

5 Technology Tools to Try for Back to School



Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps.
  1. Padlet- "Padlet allows anyone to create a “Wall” without creating an account. Posting is very user-friendly, and your students should be able to use this tool independently."
Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps. 
Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps.  
2. Chirbit- "When I found out about this app, my jaw dropped. It is the answer to so much classroom frustration that surrounds giving directions and collecting data. The best part is that it is so easy to use and will transform your station rotation time. " Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps. 
3. Remind- "Last year, I downloaded this app (which you may or may not have heard about) called Remind 101. Seriously, amazing. I immediately downloaded, and created a space for parents to sign up at our Sneak-a-Peek, and what's better than me loving it? Parents loving it!" Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps. 
 4. Amazon Echo- "Learn some engaging ways for using the Amazon Echo Dot and Alexa in the classroom to infuse technology into morning meeting, math, reading, writing, spelling, and more! Students will love using the Amazon Echo Dot’s voice control to ask questions and get answers, but there are a ton of other ways to integrate the Echo Dot into the curriculum too." Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps. 
 5. ClassKick- " I like Classkick because teachers can create the lessons, students work during real time and they can receive instant feedback as they work. Students can even request help from the teacher or from other students while working on the assignment. Classkick is an excellent resource for students who are too shy to ask for help." Technology makes my teaching life so much easier. Over the years I've discovered 5 tools I can't live without and today I am sharing them with you. This post is a round up of 5 fabulous tutorials for how to use each of the apps. 
 So there you have 5 new Technology Tools to try this school year. They will help you get, and stay, organized as well as engage your students and their parents. What technology tools have you discovered that you now can't live without? Please share this post with your teacher friends and also follow our Facebook Page to stay updated.
 
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Brittany Washburn
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How to find Grant Funding for Classroom Technology

How to find Grant Funding for Classroom Technology


We all know that it can be difficult to find grant funding for classroom technology, but there are some ways by which you can collect as much money for your classroom technology as you need.
How to find grant funding for classroom technology

Devices are expensive! Most schools don’t have the budget to get multiple devices at a time even though we all know the benefits coming from the individualized education that technology can provide.

We all know that it can be difficult to find grant funding for classroom technology, but there are some ways by which you can collect as much money for your classroom technology as you need.

Some ways to get a Technical grant:
Technical grants or educational funds can be government-based and subsidized to help particular instruction laws, or secretly financed by non-benefits NGOs or business substances, similar to those that some tech companies support. This type of grant is usually offered to school administrators and happens automatically.

The way grants are organized, the amounts accessible, the particular due dates, the time it takes to be awarded after application, and the quantity of individuals on grant application audit advisory groups fluctuate greatly, which is the reason it's vital to investigate a wide range of sources and to apply to numerous organizations.

The main drawbacks of depending on grants are:
·       The application procedure can be tedious – and there are no promises it will pay off.
·       They are usually a one-time installment. Once the cash's gone, you need to apply for more grants (or just constantly be applying to new grant sources).

Any school that might want to make utilization of these Grants for continuous tech projects ought to likely consider employing a full-time grant writer, which is obviously its own cost. In any case, the quantity of grants accessible to schools and the measure of the time it takes to inquire about and apply for them could mean the interest in a grant writer pays for itself before long.

A large number of school regions have been successful with this. However, it's unquestionably trickier than the others. You require the participation of nearby government officials initially, and after that the help of neighborhood residents too. While few individuals cheerfully welcome higher charges, the instruction is one of those issues numerous subjects concur is a decent venture however maybe not the same number of as should.

These funding choices can enable schools to get around a portion of the planning challenges they face and give the students access to technology.

This list of grant opportunities is worth checking out:
·       Lowes Hardware Grants
·       Bright Ideas Grants
·       Dollar General
·       Target Field Trip Grants
·       Donorschoose.org
·       Voya Grants
·       Avid NC Grant Info
·       eSchool News
·       NCSLMA for NC Media Specialists
·       State Library of NC
·       GrantsAlert.com
·       Edutopia
·       GrantsWrangler
·       Grantsforteachers.net
·       Mackin Grant Channel

Opportunity to have your Donor's Choose Projects Funded:

*All proceeds from Zazzle sales will go to funding Donor's Choose projects.

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I will be funding projects that aim to add more technology devices to classrooms. 

We all know that it can be difficult to find grant funding for classroom technology, but there are some ways by which you can collect as much money for your classroom technology as you need.

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Brittany Washburn
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[name=Brittany] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Vk7QrALFyQ8/WIAomFYEmsI/AAAAAAAASHQ/6m9I7A4xpFwuWgn80KWNkkL-z_dESOdHwCLcB/s1600/authorbio.jpg] [description=Hi, I'm Brittany. I'm an educator obsessed with teaching with technology. I love creating and sharing teaching resources for technology teachers, media specialists, and technology facilitators. Take a minute to enroll in my Free 5 part email course for technology teachers. Click on the link at the top of this site.]

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