Brenham Tech Daily

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Using Tech to Empower Students W/ Special Needs

By, Katie Nieves @Ms_KatieNieves

This article connected with me in so many ways.  As a father of two amazing school-age daughters, one with special needs, I enjoyed reading this article that helps shed light on the problems educators encounter with special education students having self-esteem issues:

It's wonderful to read about how Kathryn brings student interests into her resource rooms.  She includes ALL her students in all things G-Suite/Technology without placing limitations on them.  She also gives her students the two most important things you can have in a classroom:

Allowing her students the freedom to work on "Passion Projects", letting them have individual pacing, and using proper tools to aid in discussion and collaboration, are just some of the many reasons Kathryn Nieves is so awesome in her classroom!  Please read the whole article HERE via Edutopia!

For more info on Kathryn Nieves... go HERE.
Twitter: @Ms_KatieNieves

My daughter, Ava, would love having you as an upper level teacher, Katie!  Keep rocking in your resource rooms!  And thank you for allowing special education students, who are already self-conscious of many aspects of their lives, the ability to have a voice in your classroom, and feel completely comfortable with using technology in your classroom!  You are awesome!  

Monday Reflections: Educator, Colyncia Powell, @ColynciaPowell

Monday Reflections with 4th Grade Educator,
Colyncia Powell, @ColynciaPowell

What do you enjoy most right now about your campus?
Everyone works so well together, we are all a team.  It's nice knowing that you can depend on multiple people around the school.  We have great communication amongst the staff and complete appreciation of each other and our roles.  The leadership is awesome here at Alton Elementary School, the positive leadership truly sets the tone on this campus.

Describe a recent lesson that you have enjoyed?
I really enjoyed teaching my students multiples of ten.  Once they saw the pattern it was like they discovered gold!  They grew in confidence and truly saw the connections.  They knew they could do so much more in mathematics with that one strategy.

What technology tool do you like using most in class right now?
I LOVE using Google Classroom.  It makes it so much easier to get the assignments to the students.  A break from paper and pencil.  Much easier to give feedback to each individual student.  Helps build confidence in the students that struggle with technology.  Easy tool to use and learn for all students in my classroom.

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What is something that your admin does that you appreciate?
Wow, there's a lot of things... I can't really just give one.  My principal (Mr. Ogg, @PrincipalOgg) helps me see my potential.  He's incredibly encouraging and makes coming to work fun.  He treats us all as an equal.  Mr. Ogg makes you feel comfortable about your mistakes and continues to help you improve upon them.  Also, our AP, Rachel Peterson (@AES_AP_Peterson) is so efficient!  She gets stuff DONE!  She's always willing to lend a hand and assist in the classroom.

In the past month, what is a new teaching philosophy, idea, strategy, or pedagogy you have tried to adapt in your classroom?
I'm trying to reward good behavior more instead of focusing just on the bad behavior.  I'm also trying to get more student-centered in my classroom.  I want them to collaborate more, talk more, and be more successful individually.  I'm trying to build autonomy into my students.  I also use Class Dojo for immediate feedback and behavior management.

What are you looking forward to most this school year?
I'm excited about being able to integrate technology a lot more into my lessons.  I want my students to use it more.  Instead of just throwing them on a game or website, I want them to be more creative.  I'd also like to try to integrate Skype and/or Google Hangouts into my lessons.  I'd like to conduct joint virtual lessons with other 4th grade classrooms and also vertical lessons with both 5th and 3rd-grade classrooms.
Suggestion for new educators:
Forming relationships is very important to have with your students.  Once they realize that everything comes from a place of love and respect it makes the classroom environment much more manageable.  Everything just flows. 

Fab Find Friday - ClassClimate (updated)

Ever wish you had a way to really see what mood your students are in.  Sure somedays it's easy to tell if they are ready to climb the walls or look like they want to fall asleep.  But with ClassClimate you
let the students tell you themselves confidentially online.

As a teacher you create a class and then students can join via a code (easy to push out through Google Classroom).  Then you can see how they are feeling for that day or week.

Great way to keep track of over a long period of time as well.

New Feature: SPEED READ - lets students show how they feel from teachers URL for their class. 

Twitter Thursday: Tweets Around BISD This Week

Tweets Acround BISD This Week

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Are you following us on Twitter?
Follow us for blog posts and more- @BISDwiredTeam

Web Tool Wednesday: Google Docs Revision Update

Google Docs Revision Update
As we have discussed many times, Google is constantly coming out with updates to make their products better. One of the updates they have come out with is in their Google Doc. Now, when you go to the revision history part (remember it says the "last edit was..."), you can retitle the revision updates.

Here's how it works:
1. Beside a revision, click on the three dots.
2. You can now name the version of this revision.
3. You can also click the "Only show named versions" to see only the versions that are titled.

Why is this helpful?
You are able to see what revisions the student has made. Sometimes, you may ask for several revisions, rough drafts, Works Cited, etc., so now you or your students can name the different revisions with a title (and the date is below), and you can see the different versions of the paper nice and neatly. At any time, you can switch off the button that says "Only show named versions" to be able to see all the dates as titles.

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Headband Vocabulary Review Fun

Headband Vocabulary Review Fun

Last Friday, I did a blog post on Charades/Heads Up app for vocabulary review. This week I saw one of our Geography teachers using the non-digital version. It was great! What I discovered is it doesn't matter if you do it digitally or non-digitally, the students love it both ways. The students love it, but most importantly, the students are learning the vocabulary.

How does it work?
After talking to the teacher (Mrs. Ruiz), she explained how she did this in her classroom. 
1. Have students make vocabulary flash cards (the drawings used with the words were amazing).
2. Have the students get in partners.
3. Put the flash card into the headband.
4. One student places the headband on their head.
5. The other student gives clues to what the word means, so the student with the headband can guess what is on his or her head.
6. Then the other student takes a turn wearing the headband.
7. See how many each student can get correct. The student with the most cards guessed correctly wins.

Where did Mrs. Ruiz get her headbands from?
Mrs. Ruiz got it from the kids' game, Hedbanz. The game can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, and pretty much any other store that sells games.

Monday Reflections with Students: Litzy Pastrana

Monday Reflections with Students: Litzy Pastrana 8th Grade Student @ Brenham JH

What are do you like the most about BJH right now?

I like that so far almost everyone is following the rules.

What lesson have you enjoyed the most in your classes?

Learning about symmetricals in Art class.

What technology tool do you most like using in class?

Using Google Classroom makes it easier to turn in work.

What is something that your teachers do that you appreciate?

I really appreciate Mrs. Evans recording her lessons so if we missed or don't understand something in class, we can watch that lesson at home.

In the past week, what is one new concept to you that you learned in class?

We learned about the 13 colonies in history class.

What are you looking forward to this school year?

Learning new things that I don't already know.

What kind of profession do you want when you finish school?

I want to be an elementary teacher.