Classroom Strategies, GSuite

Getting to Know You with Quizlet Live!

After the first few weeks of school, I struggle to keep the “getting to know you” activities going. In middle school, as much as I try to collect student information and spend time chatting with all of my students, it can be difficult to sustain this as we dig into content. Plus, my students are adjusting to middle school, and need a lot of energy and love guide them through this transition.

One of my favorite activities I did last year with my students was a getting to know you Quizlet Live game! When I first tried it, I had students write their name and something interesting, unique, or fun about themselves on a piece of paper. Then, I typed in all their answers into Quizlet. Luckily, I first tried it in a class of 16 students, where this was manageable. With my larger classes, I iterated and created a Google Form to more quickly collect responses.

Students playing Quizlet Live!

What is Quizlet Live?

You may be familiar with Quizlet, an online flashcard making and studying tool. They also have a game called Quizlet Live! Students join the live game with a join code, then are randomly sorted into teams of 3-4. Everyone on the team is shown the definition, and they each have a list of 2-4 unique words. Only one person has the correct answer, so they must communicate. Don’t be discouraged if teams are frustrated during the first game, it takes a couple minutes for them to get the hang of it.

Setting up the Quizlet deck

After gathering fun facts about each student via Google Forms, I copied and pasted the names and facts into Quizlet to create a new deck (watch this tutorial video)!

My students had so much fun with this, they begged to play again! We ended up making a second set of trivia, and playing another couple rounds. Plus, it’s easy to squeeze this in over multiple days. Collect trivia as an exit ticket on one day, then play Quizlet Live during the last 10 minutes of the next day. It’s fast-paced, and requires very little set-up on the teacher end (bonus!).

To get started for your class, make a copy of this Form (view form). Since you’re just copying and pasting data, you can use this same Form for multiple classes. Just sort by class period, then copy just that class’s data.

If you’re an administrator, this would be a fun way to start the school year with your staff. Not only is it a fun getting to know you activity, but also it models a technology tool your teachers can try out in their classrooms!

Goals, Reflections

2019-2020 School Year Goals

I’m already 4 weeks into the school year, and I haven’t yet posted my 2019-2020 school year goals. I’ve been blogging a ton at my Mari’s EdD Journey blog, mainly because I was taking a blogging course, and felt like I’ve been blogged out lately. Not burned out, just a lot of effort directed to blogging for a different purpose.

That being said, I am hoping to maintain both blogs this year. I know it’s a lot, and my goal is to post weekly, and alternate blogs each week. I enjoy sharing, and I like to think I have something of value to add to both spaced (edtech/teaching in general and the EdD process).

This year, I am only teaching 7th grade science. It’s a huge difference from the last few years, where I’ve had 1 class period of technology resource plus 8th grade AVID. It’s strange to have 5 sections of 7th grade science and nothing else.

Science

One thing I am most excited about with science this year is that, since our enrollment is low (not a positive), there are only two of us teaching 7th grade science. The other teacher and I had a rocky start when he joined our team about five years ago, and since then, we’ve really worked hard to collaborate better. Now, we’ve built a solid friendship and partnership; I’m grateful to work with him!

Another thing I am looking forward to is supporting student teachers this year. I will have at least one student teacher placed with me, and I will be supporting two intern teachers (they are contracted .6 and .4 teachers of record, in lieu of student teaching) as a coach. We have a district grant that funds Residents and Resident Coaches to provide additional coaching and support to enhance the student teaching experience.

Ultimately, my goals in science are to help my students love science, help them collaborate effectively, and teach them how to write claim-evidence-reasoning (CER) paragraphs. If I can achieve that, then I’ll be happy. All of this comes with loving my kids to bits, and making sure they know how much I love spending time with them.

EdD program

As I shared previously, I started an EdD program in May (read more here). I just finished up my second summer course, and I start fall semester in a couple weeks. I know it is going to take a lot of intentionality to balance the demands of work and being in school. Luckily, I have other friends in masters and doctoral programs, so I’ll have some weekend coffee shop study buddies.

I’m excited for this new adventure. I plan to blog about my learning, research, and reflections on the program on my Mari’s EdD Journey blog.

Ultimately, I want to have fun, relax, and do great work! It seems simple, and I know it will take a lot of time and effort. My kids are worth it!

Books

Announcing Fueled by Coffee and Love: A Brew Perspective

I am so excited to share that Fueled by Coffee and Love: A Brew Perspective is published!!

Selfie with my copy of Fueled by Coffee and Love: A Brew Perspective in my classroom!

Fueled by Coffee and Love: A Brew Perspective is the third book in the Fueled by Coffee and Love series, and is available on Amazon. These books are collections of “real stories by real teachers” and feature a diverse subset of teachers, coaches, and administrators.

How did Fueled by Coffee and Love start?

As I’ve shared previously in the Fueled by Coffee and Love and Fueled by Coffee and Love: The Refill blog posts, this project started in response to the negative media attention teachers get, especially from individuals who have never worked in education. This third book was propelled by individuals who were interested in contributing their own story.

The book is self-published via Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon). I hired Ray Charbonneau (y42k publishing services) to assemble and upload the book for finished publishing. If you’re interested in self-publishing, he’s the best!

Why Fueled by Coffee and Love?

This project aims to shine a positive light on education through the joys and challenges of everyday in classrooms and schools. Each story uniquely shares someone’s heart for their work and their kids.

All proceeds from this project are donated back to classrooms through organizations like Donors Choose. We have been able to support dozens of classrooms and projects.

How can I help?

Interested in writing for future Fueled by Coffee and Love books? Join the Interest List!