Here’s a list of ten resources for middle school ELA and high school English that will help you teach digitally and remotely. I've been creating digital, Google-based lessons since 2015, but here is a look at ten of my favorite. To check out all of the resources, search SMARTePlans on my TPT store. Sentence Combining Bell Ringers These sentence-combining bell ringers are the perfect way to help students improve their writing skills. This unit includes an introductory lesson that shows students a step-by-step process for how to combine sentences. It also contains several example slides and plenty of daily warm-up slides for students to complete Growth Mindset Digital Escape Room One of the most important things we can be doing right now is helping our students with their social and emotional learning right now. This Growth Mindset Escape Room is the perfect way to introduce students to growth mindset and provide them with a fun, engaging, and challenging task to complete. ...
At first, the shutdowns started slowly. School districts here and there across the nation closed for just a couple of weeks. And then things got serious -real fast. The week before my district closed was unlike any other week. In essence, my students were a bit more on edge, daily attendance slowly started dwindling, and I kept the news open on one of my computer tabs constantly refreshing it and checking it during each passing period. Schools around us started closing. The numbers in LA County increased. Entire school districts. Disneyland closed. In all honesty, it felt like the beginning of an apocalypse movie. As an avid fan of The Walking Dead, I kept thinking that this is what it must have felt like in that fictitious world as the infection started to spread. However, this isn’t fiction. It’s reality, and it is a reality for which we weren’t entirely prepared. We did not become teachers so that we could teach remotely in quarantine. And yet, here were are. However, this a...
With so many schools shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators around the world are scrambling to turn their warm, cheerful classrooms into effective digital classrooms as they attempt to master remote teaching. One thing’s for sure: It isn’t easy. That is why I recommend sticking with platforms you or your students already know. In addition to creating interactive Google-based assignments for my students, I will also be relying on educational websites. For teachers who taught in 1:1 classrooms, used Google Classroom regularly, and tried out new tech often, the switch isn’t as cumbersome. For teachers who haven’t implemented tech or who teach in areas where students don’t have access, it is an entirely different story. I cannot emphasize the importance of being flexible, compassionate, and understanding at this time.  Here’s a list of educational websites I use in my classroom that will help with teaching remotely. Please note, this is not a sponsored post, and these ...
With so many schools closed, teachers around the world are scrambling to find ways to hold classes and engage their students in remote learning. For some teachers, the ones who have been using technology consistently in the classroom and who have students with access to the Internet and devices, this isn’t a big challenge. However, for many teachers, those new to educational technology and those who teach students who do not have equitable access, the new challenge facing them seems unsurmountable. I am very fortunate to be in a 1:1 classroom. I have a set of 40 Chromebooks dedicated to my classroom, and (for the most part) I have a reliable Internet connection in my room. Since I have access to tech in my classroom, I frequently use Chromebooks, Google Classroom, and a wide variety of tech sites with my students. Also, the majority of my students have access to wifi and at least a smartphone at home. However, I am not naive enough to believe that everyone is in that situation. Wit...
This is the second post in a series of blog posts about using Google Forms in your classroom. Visit HERE to see the first post. Ever since I started using Google Forms in the classroom, I keep thinking about more ways to incorporate the forms and the data into my instruction. Using the data validation tool embedded in Google Forms, I’ve discovered how to force students to submit the type of work I expect. This tool allows me to digitally demand excellence from my students. One of the most common phrases I hear in my classes is, “Do we have to answer in complete sentences?” You would think that students know the answer for this question, especially in their English class, is yes, but that isn’t always the case. When students work in a Google Form I’ve created, I am able to set data validation to make sure that my students are not only answering in complete sentences, but that they are also restating the questions in their answers. By setting the data validation, I am making sure ...