Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Teacher Apps

Browsing through an ASCD Smartbrief that I received and I come across this article about a teacher that created a useful classroom app...Stick Pick...popsicle sticks (free)! This app let's you do a number of things. You can create a class, set up each child with a Blooms/ELL questioning strand, and monitor their progress.

If you teach middle air high school and have numerous classes thats no problem because you can set up as many classes as you need. If you are an elementary teacher and have a group of children all day that's no problem because you can copy a class multiple times so that you can have different question stems for each subject area.

You can choose whether to deliberately or randomly choose a student. Once chosen you get a list of question stems that could be used with that child. And then click on the checkmark next to their name and you can assess their response on a rubric. Their results are recorded. Once you feel they are ready, you can change the level of questioning for them.

I was thinking that this app, Stick Pick, would be a great tool for me to use when conferring with my students. In conjunction of my use of Evernote, it would help me keep track of who I have met with and still need to meet with. Instead of carrying my growing ring of cards with question stems it's right there in this app. I could also use it throughout the year as a way to randomly choose students to do various things such as choosing a partner, lining up, or an unexpected task that I need help with.

While downloading this app, I noticed another one, Teacher Pal (free). This app let's you create classes, too. This app let's you do a few different things with your classes. When adding a student, I can input their email address and add a picture to have a face to a name. I can also add their parent's name, email, and phone number. This is fantastic, because once your class is set up, you can then write and send emails to the entire class or all of the families!

Once your class is created you are just a click away from entering attendance. All you have to do is choose your class and tap on the student to show that they are here. The same is true for when you are ready to enter their grade or completion of an assignment. One of the things that I really liked about this app was the ability to create a seating plan, pictorially! All you do is move the students' pictures around to where you would like them to sit! And wait...there is more...you can email all of these things to anyone who may need them or if you need to print them.

Even though The school year is coming to an end and for many has already ended, it is something to look forward to for next year. I know that I will be meeting my new students on Wednesday and I am already thinking of a couple of ways I could use these two apps before, during, and after meeting them!




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