Brenham Tech Daily

Fab Find Friday: Finding the Coders in Us All at BISD

Coding In BISD

December 5-9 marked the 4th annual #HourofCode event for Brenham ISD.  The Hour of Code is the largest global education event in history. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science in celebration of the National Computer Science Education week. This global movement is available to anyone, anywhere and there's no experience needed. Whether you're a kindergarten teacher or a high school teacher, this experience is for ALL!  Brenham ISD has had a blast this past week participating in the Hour of Code event!  We can't wait to continue this coding experience in the weeks to come!

A lot of classrooms were participating in an #hourofcode. Lots of students were finding that they were a coder, too. Check out the pictures below-

T-TESS Thursday: Keeping Your Cool When Your Appraiser Walks In

Your appraiser just walked in........ what should you do?

Web Tool Wednesday: List of Chrome Extensions

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Students Love Variety/Change it Up

Changing Up Your Teaching- Adding Variety to Your Classroom and Lessons

1. Break it up: listening, activity, listening, activity
In the article, "Use Variety to Engage Students" by Marie Amaro, she states that young people listen for about half their age (example: age 12- 6 minutes, age 16- 8 minutes, etc.), so change the activity up.

2. Work in groups of 2, 3, 4, or on a team instead of individually every time. 
How can you decide who is going to be in your group quickly? Use Flippity Name Picker by pasting names into a spreadsheet, and Flippity will automatically group students into pairs, groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, or teams.

3. Make jokes every so often. 
Add some humor to your lesson. It breaks up the lecture when humor can be added in.

4. Use stories- 
According to educator and psychologist, Annie Murphy, you should try to capture your ideas in a narrative when presenting ("The Science of Attention..."). 
Why should you use stories, and how should you incorporate stories in your lesson? 
Read this great article by Edutopia here.

5.  Use a startling fact or bring in a quote. 
Use something that will capture your audience.
 "Lincoln really was a wrestler. Lincoln was documented as taking part in wrestling bouts. We don’t think he wore a mask or had a manager."

6. Hold your class in a different location. 
This is easy to try! Why not hold class or part of class in the library, auditorium, cafeteria, outside, in an unused room, or in the hallway?

Need more ideas?
*add a game
*use new or a variety of resources/materials
*student choice- let students choose how to show they understand the lesson, let students choose how they learn, etc.
*hook your students in the beginning of the lesson
*team teach with students
*have discussions
*let students move around

Check out these great sites on changing it up.

Monday Reflections with Students: Marqez Bimage

Monday Reflections with Marqez Bimage

What are you liking the most about BHS right now?
There is a lot of school spirit in our school. Senior year has been the best because of the school spirit.

What lesson have you enjoyed the most in your classes?
Mrs. Thibodeaux class has taught me to be responsible.

What technology tool do you most like using in class?

What is one thing that you appreciate when teachers do?
I appreciate when teachers let us work on group assignments.

In the past week, what is one new concept to you that you learned in class?
In engineering design, we learned how to design Model Ts.

What are you looking forward to this school year?

What are your plans after high school?
My plans after high school are to attend the University of Houston and play football.

Fab Find Friday: File Upload Option on Your Google Forms

Have you noticed that Google Forms has added an option? Students can now upload a file (picture, pdf, doc, slides, etc.) into the form.
file upload.png

When you are making a form, you simply click the "plus sign" and click the option "file upload" from the drop-down menu choices. Imagine asking students to find an example what you just taught. Now, they can upload it to their quiz. 

These are the options of file type choices:

Keep in mind that once the student uploads the file, the ownership is transferred to you, the owner of the form. The form is then stored in a folder in your drive. See image below.

*This file upload option is only available for G Suite customers with a Google Form shared within their organization (this is why they will be required to sign-in to their Google account). 

How can you use this new file upload option in Google Forms?
*Students can upload an example on a quiz.
*Students can submit certificates to you through the form.
*Students can upload pictures of their winter or summer break.
*Students can upload permission slips.
*Students can upload a picture of their t-shirt design or idea.
*The possibilities are endless!

T-TESS Thursday: Technology Use in the Classroom

T-TESS Has a Larger Component in Technology than in Past Evaluation Tools

According to an article from The Classroom Teacher (2016), Karen Jackson is seeing T-TESS as more of a component for technology. As well as, teachers are looking at technology as more of a way to incorporate into instruction versus just using it to get a check on the evaluation for using it. Read the short article below and then check out technology incorporated into the rubric:

T-TESS rubric, performance levels reflect technology use in classrooms

Karen Jackson is a teacher of teachers. 
As a Temple ISD instruction technology specialist, she helps other educators integrate technology in the classroom.
When the Central Texas district began piloting T-TESS two years ago, she was pleased to see more references to technology, including changes in the observation rubric that help distinguish between the top two teacher performance levels.
“T-TESS has a larger component of technology on which (teachers) are evaluated,” she said.
That change reflects the greater use of technology in classrooms. Jackson said many Temple ISD teachers are integrating online tools to communicate with students and assess their comprehension of lessons. 
“I’m helping teachers understand (technology) is a tool for instruction” rather than just something they need to add to their repertoire to get a check mark during evaluation, Jackson explained. Technology can provide real-time feedback and help teachers gauge what students are really learning. As an example, she said some teachers get their students to use tablets or laptops to create presentations to show their understanding of a subject. Others use poll questions or quizzes in class to engage and hold students’ interest.
While not evaluated using T-TESS herself, she likes how it created five performance levels to rate teachers instead of the four in PDAS, and how the top tiers cite use of technology in the classroom as a means for evaluators to differentiate “proficient,” “accomplished” and “distinguished” educators. 
While it’s too soon to tell exactly what influence T-TESS will have on use of technology in classrooms, Jackson said she likes how it recognizes teachers who have already found ways to use technology more “efficiently and productively.”
Here is how technology is viewed in the rubric. Link to rubric here- (click on image below to make larger):