Category Archives: Assessment

Innovation in Tech with Student-centered Learning

Here’s a brief overview of a ‘spark/ignite’ session that I did this morning with all of our High School teachers at one of our sites.

  • There are opportunities for staff to further explore creativity and the design process – read Innovator’s Mindset and Launch as they are two solid books with practical strategies that teachers can employ the very next day. (If you want to listen to George, Katie, John and AJ speak on this topic check out #IMMOOC Season 2 – Episode 1 video that was streamed just 5 days ago.) I had my ignite groups listen to 8:45 – 10:30 and then at the end of my session to 58:00+.

LTPF Policy Direction 1

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to access, share, and create knowledge.

  • With so many websites, apps, extensions out there sometimes teachers can be overwhelmed, check out for vetted resources.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate the competencies.

  • Have you ever been to an Escape Room? What if you could bring that into your classroom and have students dig into the curriculum in a different way by problem solving, thinking critically, collaborating and communicating in authentic and engaging ways. Check out for basic information and to see an existing list of immersive games that you can play. (Password – showyourwork.)

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate what they know and are able to do, through effectively using a range of resources and media.

  • All of our students have access to Read&Write for Google Chrome – for use in GDocs, .pdfs and websites. Many ways they can provide teachers with information.
  • GSuite of core services – GClassroom keeps getting better and better, students enjoy access to online materials whenever and wherever they are.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to monitor their learning progress and inform decisions through the use of data and evidence-based reasoning.

  • There are many formative assessment tools, check out some of them below:





Graphic Organizers in Google – Say What?

graphic organizers

As the educational world becomes more blended in the resources, materials, ideas and information that we use in the classroom, so too have Graphic Organizers.

As noted on the Inspiration website, Graphic organizers guide learners’ thinking as they fill in and build upon a visual map or diagram. Graphic organizers are some of the most effective visual learning strategies for students and are applied across the curriculum to enhance learning and understanding of subject matter content. In a variety of formats dependent upon the task, graphic organizers facilitate students’ learning by helping them identify areas of focus within a broad topic, such as a novel or article. Because they help the learner make connections and structure thinking, students often turn to graphic organizers for writing projects.

I find that some teacher’s who are used to having students use a paper version of graphic organizer that is really effective are somewhat hesitant to move towards using that same graphic organizer in an online manner. (And I don’t mean .pdf’ing the original paper version.)

As I work in a GAFE environment, checking out Google drawings is one viable solution. Each drawing can be shared with specific permissions in mind – view only, comment only, or editable. I have scoured and collected a variety of these graphic organizers, all found in a GDrive folder HERE (this is view only, make your own copies). I’ve ensured to give credit to whomever has created the GDrawing.

I hope this inspires you to use digital graphic organizers. Feel free to share some of yours!


5×5 Learning: ChromED Responses

Asking questions, polling, surveys, they are all viable and used within the classroom, but how can teachers easily and effectively create these? One specific tool is the Google Form, or GForm. Found within the GAFE environment. It is really a quick way to create and continue a conversation with your students, parents, and community.


Some basics:

GForms for PD, Administrators, Teachers, Students

5 Ways to Use GForms


If you are already using GForms but want to take it up a notch, check out Using GForms and Add-ons within GClassroom shared by Synergyse.

And with some recent updates to GForms, see some other ideas in 9 classroom uses.


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5×5 Learning: No Patridge in this Pear Deck

One of my favorite tools is Pear Deck because it allows a teacher to use any PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF and incorporate different student activities to check for understanding and engagement. Pear Deck is free for students and teachers (freemium) and it fully integrates with Google Apps for Education, especially connecting directly with Google Classroom.


You can sign in/create your Pear Deck account with your GAFE account. Start to create a new interactive lesson by selecting “New Deck” and then create a slideshow from scratch or import a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF. You can easily go through and edit the slides by adding free response (text), free response (number), and multiple choice questions within the slide.


Introduction to Pear Deck

Check out how you can use it with GClassroom

And Student Takeaways are a phenomenal way to have “notes” stay with them in their GDrive


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5×5 Learning: Give a Hoot w/Kahoot!

This is day two of this week’s 5×5 learning. Another online formative assessment tool that I really like to use in K-12 classrooms is the infectious online tool, Kahoot.

Below Megan shares how to create your own Kahoot questions, however you can also take a look at the thousands of Kahoot Quizzes already created and edit from those ones. It’s quite an exciting assessment tool, very competitive. Each student or a small group of students will need access to a WiFi-connected device in order to participate.

Teachers go to in order to get started. And students will go to (this will be shown on your quiz while students are signing in). I remind staff and students to use their first name when joining the quiz (no need for any silly names or I will delete them from playing).



If you really liked Kahoot, there are other tools that I have spoken about at Effective Classroom Instruction Using Tech: Providing Feedback and Teaching w/Powerful Online Tools


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5×5 Learning: What’s Your Answer?

This week I’ll be showcasing various online formative assessment tools that can be used in the classroom. 5×5 refers to the 5 minutes of time you’ll need to read and check out the tool for each of the following 5 days. Have fun, try them out, share with students and colleagues.

Sometimes you just want to ask a quick question to your students. It’s very easy with Answer Garden. Teachers just need to create a question or input a topic on the website and then students respond via any online device.

Watch the video tutorial below to see how easy it is:



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Teaching w/Powerful Online Tools


As I work closely with teachers in supporting them to create learning environments so that all their students succeed, my most requested assistance with professional learning, resources, online tools and strategies come down to three main supports. Support for Inferencing, Summarizing and Metacognition.

I’ve shared these tools and resources throughout my blog, during PD opportunities and workshops like the one I just did today at the ERLC Ed Tech Summit. The importance to these items below is that teachers and students can use them RIGHT NOW and they WILL make a difference.


    • Explaining the Image – images allow students to gather so much information without even having to take a look at text. It is important to show them HOW to “read” an image. Using 5Ws template and modeling this for students is key, also having them in small groups to work on Row A, Row B….is important. Using a collaborative document like a Google Doc will also allow students to see what others are typing in their own column. Great learning.
    • It Says, I Say, And So – easy to set up on a collaborative document, poster paper or own sheet. Teachers are to input the “It Says” piece from the specific text, transcript, etc.
    • GDoc – keyboarding, Tools > Voice Typing, Add-ons Speech Recognition
    • GDoc > RW4GC (Read&Write for Google Chrome extension)
    • GDoc > Tools > Research
    • GSlide > Tools > Research
    • GDoc – Add-ons > SpellRight, Mindmeister
    • Fotobabble – website and iOS app – have students take a photo or a collage of photos and speak to what they learned.



    • Readability a chrome extension that declutters websites
    • SpeakIt! – chrome extension that uses text to speech. Great to use if you don’t have access to RW4GC.
    • Announcify – chrome extension which is paragraph text to speech reader as it blurs out the extraneous text leaving only one clear paragraph at a time
    • RWGold/Google – chrome extension
      • free for teachers (to register –
      • Reading Tools – – I gathered all the reading tools together and then show how you can use them. I go into classrooms and use about 60 minutes to go through these tools and students try them out at the same time.
      • Writing Tools – – another sheet that I put together.
    • Google Dictionary – chrome extension
    • GDoc – Add-on > tag cloud generator
    • Connected Mind – chrome app, mind map tool
    • Instagrok – chrome app, research/info mind map tool that is one of my favorites for research. It builds an interactive map as you pin things. Can use the slider in the top left corner to change the reading level from grade 2 – 7 instantly. Also keep the link by clicking on the Share button.
    • Newsela  – chrome app, differentiated news articles in a variety of topic areas. Also one of my favorite resources that allows all students to engage in a particular topic AT THEIR own reading level.
    • Flocabulary – subject area topics learned via rap songs
    • 60 second recap – of various literature that is video represented by a Librarian.
    • SparkNotes – online literature summaries (watch for mature ads)
    • Litcharts – online literature summaries
    • Text Compactor – text summarizer
    • Rewordify  – text simplifier
    • Graphic Outline – tiered and shared via a template through GDrive/GClassroom



    • Exit Slips –
    • Plickers – instant feedback using one iOS device
    • Kahoot – game-like
    • Polleverywhere – polls, surveys
    • Socrative – feedback
    • Formative Assessment Tools from A to Z –
    • Gallery Read/Talk w/comments (text or audio) within a Google document
      • GDoc – Add-on > Kaizena Mini



    • LearnAlberta – Online Reference Centre is chalked full of amazing resources for research and reading.
      • > Inclusive Ed Library > Language Arts > Writing Rubrics and Sample Writing Tips
    • 2Learn for curricular and image resources. 
    • Discovery Education Canada
    • Google search – choose the appropriate reading level by inputting the search topic > search tools > all results > reading level.
    • ReadWorks – skills, strategies, comprehension, novel study, passages
    • ReadWriteThink – lessons, activities, PD
    • TC2 – The Critical Thinking Consortium for critical challenges, etc.
    • Tween Tribune – like Newsela, articles at different reading levels
    • Unite for Literacy – K-2 ebooks



  • What are you going to do now?


Take time to write down some tools/resources that you will use and/or share.