Monday, February 29, 2016

GCISD Conference with George Couros

Save the date and join us on June 14 at Colleyville Heritage High School for a day of learning with keynote speaker George Couros. George is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school--from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator, school and district administrator. He is the author of the book “The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity." Register in Eduphoria, submit a presentation, or visit his website below for more information.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday: IPEVO Whiteboard

IPEVO Whiteboard popped into my head the other day at an elementary PLC. I remember Vicki Tucker telling me about it in my first few months in GCISD. Sure enough, she wrote a blog post about it back in 2013! IPEVO Whiteboard is similar to other whiteboard apps like Show Me, ScreenChomp, Explain Everything or our usual favorite, Doceri

The app allows you to draw and add text onto a photo from your library, a white screen or a photo you take in the moment. You can record your voice as you're drawing and annotating, or take a photo after you're done.

The main thing I love about IPEVO over other whiteboard apps, is the simple user interface. Buttons are clear and clutter free. It's easy to see what buttons I might need to push to get it to work. At the bottom middle you can see that you can add new pages or slides with ease. Also, when you're done recording, it automatically saves it to the Camera Roll for easy uploading to Google Drive. 

Having students add their voice reflection or thinking as they're working through a math problem or analyzing text or reading a story aloud is a great way to get students involved in deeper learning and connecting with the content. Give it a try!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Math Learning Center Apps

Free Math Tools Apps from The Math Learning Center

The Math Learning Center has 9 free apps for elementary students to use to create models and develop their understanding of number sense, geometry and money.  We first blogged about Number Pieces in April 2013, Number Frames in February 2015 and Geoboard in November 2013.

They just recently released a new app called Money Pieces.  This app combines coin values with base ten blocks to "help students visualize and understand money values and relationships."  Read more about all the features in Money Pieces on their website:

While you're in the App Store, don't forget about the other great math tool app for elementary students... Schoolkit Math!  More on our blog here:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Infographics

Angie first blogged about Infographics in October of 2013! Infographics are a visual way to represent data and research. They are a great option for another way to create a product and engage in deeper learning. They also make great backgrounds for things like ThinkLink or Tellagami. 

A successful infographic should be simple, unique, include research & data, draw the eye, and have a clear purpose. Canva,, Piktochart, and are four of the more popular infographic sites for use in education. See below for the Terms of Use for each site.

Terms of Use: 

Piktochart: Use of Piktochart for under 13, with parent permission
Canva: Any use or access to the Service by anyone under 13 is strictly prohibited Students under 13 can use if you use Group feature. Students under 13 can use if you create a class.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Today's guest post comes from Erin Gerdes, 3rd grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary.  You can follow Erin on Twitter @ErinGerdesSLE or on her blog 


Finding new, exciting ways to check students for understanding is an ongoing need for all educators. We want to keep students engaged while respecting each individual learner's needs and pace. A while back I learned of Quizizz and tested it with my PLN. We enjoyed how easy it is to use and how the feedback is organized for the teacher. Most often, before I try something with my students, I test it with my peers. Some times I have my students test apps and sites and such and report back to me if they find a purpose in the new activity. However, sometimes I need to try it out so I can execute it efficiently. My PLN approved of Quizizz. I was so excited to try it with my students!
Each month we meet to collaborate. We tested Quizizz with Starbucks in hand.
Getting started was easy. I went to and created a new account. Once I logged in, I searched topics we were currently studying. I was able to find a ready made Quiz and use it in my class. (I have not yet created my own Quiz.) 

My third graders were able to type in easily in their browser and find the game. If your students cannot type in the browser to find the site, make a quick QR Code for them to scan that leads them directly to the site. Once they are there, have students 'add to home screen' for easy access in the future. 

Quizizz is similar to Kahoot! My students and I enjoy using Kahoot! however over time it has lost it's affectiveness. Students have begun pressing any answer to try to make the leaderboard instead of trying to think about the correct answer. Kahoot! is fun but my students can get very competitive and lose sight of the purpose of the activity. If the results are not accurate, there is no reason for us to complete the Kahoot! I cannot use the results if they aren't completing the activity with purpose. Quizizz is individually paced, where Kahoot! gives students the same predetermined amount of time to answer the question. Quizizz does have a way for students to see how quickly others are completing the quiz, but it doesn't celebrate the leader after each question. Kahoot! asks all students the same question at the same time. Quizizz asks the questions randomly among the classroom. I've noticed my students watching how others answer to make their choice (again, trying to hit that leaderboard) Quizizz has an option to show silly memes after they submit their answers. My students love this student feedback feature! They found it fun and motivating.

Another feature I like about Quizizz is the teacher feedback. As students work through the quiz, I am able to view the progress per student. I choose not to show the leaderboard but I can see it on my computer. I can see overall class progress, overall student progress and even have each question broken down to see who needs what or if everyone is needed reteaching on a skill. My students took a fraction quiz. We had just started fractions and had completed a pretest, but I wanted to see what they had remembered that week plus there were a few questions covering skills we had coming. It provided information that allowed me to specifically plan what we needed to focus on as a group, and what I could reteach in small groups.

I know both Kahoot! and Quizizz have ways to adjust their features. I find both have a place in our learning and I'm thankful they each have different options. Educators also use Quizizz for homework, to preassess students or flip their classroom. I'm excited to learn more about Quizizz. How do you use Quizizz? Follow @quizizz on Twitter and share ideas.
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