Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Google Classroom, how do I love thee?

Happy, happy July friends! Apologies for my absence from the blogosphere - I'm living the "Developmental Psychology" chapter here at home with Baby George...who just STOPPED crying (pretty much) since his birth date in April. Good times. With less "Shhhh....shhhhh....please.....shhhh...." - there will be more time to think Psychology and get ready for the school year!
Gratuitous Baby George photo 

Anywhoo - the point of my post. Google Classroom. This classroom app available with Chrome is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Why do I love it so much? It has made my life so, so, so much easier.

How do I use it in my classroom?

1. Classroom management - I post every assignment (Unit FRQs), practice test (any teacher keen on retrieval practice!?), powerpoint, prezi, etc....that I use for easy access for my students. After the first few days of class, I NEVER hear, "I was gone yesterday...what did I miss?" They start knowing RIGHT OFF THE BAT that anything they miss is there for them. And then they stop asking that dreaded questions. Which. Is. Awesome.

2. Paperless Classroom - I have gone away from a lot of paper copies of things and have found that it is much easier for kids to grab things off classroom. Win-win.

3. IEP/504 Accommodations - I have found that a classroom management site like Google allows my students with IEP or 504 accommodations to be more self-sufficient and that it lessens my workload in this situation. Students can go right to the webpage and print off notes or follow along in class on a smartphone or Chromebook. This is huge for kids with note taking needs or for parents who want to help their students organize themselves or study.

4. Parent communication with what's going on in class - I allow parents to join my classroom and for some of them who want to assist their students - this keeps them in the loop. Parent emails have dramatically decreased. (Not that I don't want to hear from parentals.)

5. Students may submit homework or assignments on Classroom and you can grade them digitally. You (literally) never lose a paper. You also know who has their stuff in, and who's out. (Project Runway, anyone?)

6. When I want students to do something in class (a quick web-based activity, a Socrative.com quiz, or when I have them do stations activity days) - I can link up the webpages right to Google classroom. NO MORE will you have to hear "This website doesn't work." Ugh....every teacher's worst nightmare.

I'm sure there are many, many more uses for Google classroom. How do you use it?

----Posted by Amy Ramponi

Monday, July 4, 2016

Psychology Teacher Mapping Post--A Request for Information

OK, this idea has been around for a while now and it seems it has not gotten off the ground.

Let's give it a go here. This is a trial run. If you have problems, please email me at thspblog@gmail.com

I made a short Google Form that, when the questions are answered populates a Google map, with the information available for each person.

Link for Google Form--please go here and fill in your information:

When taken, the only data in the spreadsheet was mine, so that is why only one icon exists. I will post periodic updates in the future. The name of the high school is listed at the top of the information.

The Map can be found here:
Version 3 https://drive.google.com/open?id=160BjGqEoTJILVCAwef7NLn8uk_U&usp=sharing

When you click an icon, this information pops up:

At the moment, we have not created any guidelines as to the relationship and expectations between mentors and mentees. The College Board has done a trial version of this for APUSH. No word on when it will reach psychology.

For now, if you are willing to mentor, look for people in your area who are in need. If you are in need, reach out.

Please do not just ask for materials, but rather, make this a working series of discussions to become better psych teachers.

Post Update: 7/5/2016 10:10 AM PST

Mapping the Psych Teachers Update:

--I changed the parameters and got rid of latitude and longitude and used zip code for location. Fewer errors, but still some exist.

--For some reason, google sheets does not accept a "0" at the beginning of a set of numbers, making the east coast zip codes only four digits - not totally sure how this is impacting the mapping

--I must update the map manually

--The map must be used to get an idea only--it seems it will not be perfect, but will get us a pretty good idea of who is around us

--All this data is in a spreadsheet that I can share with people willing/interested in organizing regional conferences

--The spreadsheet will have the accurate information even if the map does not reflect that

--I'm hoping this will spark some regional/state PLCs and connecting psychology teachers with one another

--at the moment of writing this post, we are at 340 teachers

-----as of 7/7/16 we are up to 448

posted by Chuck Schallhorn