I've been waiting for over a year and a half to use this tool! I learned about Adobe Spark over a year ago at a CUE event, and my awesome colleague, Mrs. Sage reminded me about this software.
Instead of using a paper and pencil for students to construct reflections, have students use software to create a video. There are some many benefits to using videos, like students' creative sides are activated, their voice comes through, and their personality shines. And, you can practice different writing skills like POV, as shown in the videos below. I challenged my AVID students to reflect on their grades, but students had to maintain a 3rd-person POV! This made for some very entertaining and unique reflections.
Example 1 (Working Progress)
Example 2 (Working Progress)
How All Student Videos
Collect student links on Google Classroom by asking students to copy and paste their video link.
Or, my favorite way to showcase creative visual digital media to the class is on Padlet.
On Padlet, I can have all students submit their links to their creative projects where I can rate the videos, leave comments, and post the videos for the class to see them.
How-To Set Up Accounts
1. Send students to Adobe Spark (spark.adobe.com)
2. Have students select "Continue with Google"
3. Have students register
4. Make sure students use first name and last initial to register
5. Create a video!
6. Share the video (to render and get a link!)
7. When students publish videos, turn off the "Get Noticed" feature
One problem - students have to be 13 or older to register to use the software. You can imagine my painful realization when I tried to use this tool last year for a unit with my 7th graders. That was a huge failure because some of my 7th graders were 12 years old while others were 13 years. FAIL!
If a student who is under 13 years of age tries to register for Spark, then his or her account will get locked. Therefore, I highly recommend that only 8th graders or older students use this software.
My students in ELD need more practice with this grammar rule, and I was having a hard time finding an efficient way for them to practice and for me to check their work.
So, I created a Quizlet Deck for students to practice subject-verb agreement with just pronouns. They use the game Gravity and the Write feature. Both the Gravity and Write tools are designed for students to read the phrase, and then to type the correct subject or verb.
I keep students engage by announcing the name of the student with the top score, and I only give students time to play these games at a station during rotations. I should add, that students need to be enrolled in a class to save their progress. They DO not need to be enrolled to play the games, however.
This deck does not work with "Live" because I use the same term multiple times.
Here's how it works
1. Assign the link to students (I post my links on Clever)
Link to Subject-Verb Agreement Pronoun Game (beginners level)
2. Show students how to set up the game options
*Select "Answers with TERMS"
* Require one answer only
*I encourage students to select "Medium" or "Hard" because they earn more points and the speeds increase with the difficulty of the level.
3. You can make a copy of the deck and modify it or assign it as it is.
When we transitioned to six-period teaching day, it was difficult for me to keep up with grading for so many classes especially since I've never taught in a six-period day. I struggled because I wanted to check and provide feedback to most assignments as I used to in block schedule, but this approach was not sustainable for me.
Now, a second year in, I am better at identifying what is critical to grade and why. That's why I want to share this post by Catlin Tucker, a blended learning expert and author, who explains how to prioritize grading. In addition to this post, I'd like to add that I like to use the feedback I give students and data I collect from the "Work Towards a Product" stage to pull students into small groups for targeted instruction. If you're interested in learning more about station teaching, then here's another of Catlin's post. Finally, her recent post explains how to use stations for real-life feedback for written assignments, a strategy I want to implement after SBAC testing.
I recommend you consider following Catlin on Twitter because she's an expert in small group instruction, station teaching, and blended learning; strategies and methods that we can implement in 1:1 classrooms.
In my next blog post, I will provide examples on how I group students for small group instruction, and how I create stations to target specific skills.