Skip to main content

My Flipped Upside Down Classroom... Thank You Google Drive!

So, the first five years I was a teacher I took approximately 1/2 of a sick day.  I prided myself on my New England Puritan work ethic and by the time I had my first midget I didn't even blink when I had to take maternity leave.  Fast forward six years and I had to take off three days in the past two weeks.  First, the midgets got the flu, then my husband got in a car accident, and finally the little ones got a fast and furious stomach bug.  My students had been working on an entirely digital unit and I had already abandoned them to a sub one day so I was feeling really guilty.  My school was able to get me tech savvy coverage so the kids were able to spend class in the computer lab and finish up their projects.
Because I was feeling guilty my head started racing with how I could help the kids.  We are a Google school and all of my kiddos needed to open their Google Drive accounts to read the "Do Now" directions.  As I thought about that my plan began to hatch.
1. I edited their "Do Now" to give them directions on how to independently finish their projects.  With Google Drive's real time editing my kids were able to see whatever I was writing from home.
2. I used my iPad to shoot a two minute video explaining the directions to the kids and telling them how proud I was of them.  I even showed them the sick kids in their PJ's and the very happy dog that was celebrating because he wasn't home alone.  I uploaded the video to my Drive account using my Google Drive app, shared it with my students and put the link in their Do Now.
3.  Google Drive allows you to chat with collaborators on any document.  Once these classes started, I typed into the Do Now that I was there and available for chat.  From here I was able to answer questions and help the kids with their technology issues.

The kids got the biggest kick out of it!  They looooved the video and they thought it was so cool that they could talk to me in real time.  My high flyer class mostly used the technology to say hi but my class that tends to struggle.... they had me working my butt off!  Seriously, I was troubleshooting and answering questions for the entire forty five minutes.
I know this couldn't always work. Usually I can't leave anything with technology because I can't be assured that a substitute can even figure out how to turn on a projector   A couple of weeks ago, I hooked up a DVD player to the projector, figuring everyone knew how to run a DVD player.  I left copious amounts of notes on how to turn on the projector and left sticky notes all over it labeling buttons.  Surprisingly, my substitute had no idea how to run a DVD player.  Using technology to teach from home just worked this time.  My students were working in the computer lab and happened to be using collaborative web tools.  Everything just fell together perfectly.  I love when little things happen by chance and they expand your horizons.


Popular posts from this blog

Grudgeball.. a Review Game Where Kids Attack!

I have long been a huge fan of using games in the classroom.  Much like sneaking broccoli into the pizza sauce, I have always felt that games were that perfect balance of teaching and engagement.  When I first started, my consummate go to was Jeaopardy but..... Holy work Batman! Setting that all up was extremely time consuming.  I wanted to find a way to have a quick go to game I could use with any set of questions.  I bought myself a Nerf hoop and did a straight game of answer the question, get it right, shoot the ball and earn points.  For a majority of the kids this was enough but for one of my classes, nothing could get them excited.  For them, this game was accompanied by the sound of crickets, followed by awkward silence, followed again by crickets.
I came up with the solution one night while watching Survivor.  The contestant competed in a challenge where they answered trivia questions about their teammates.  For every question they got correct they got to put a coconut in the…

250 Virtual Field Trips.... most of them are free!

If you have been following my blog lately, you will know that I am absolutely (and probably ridiculously!!! ) obsessed with virtual field trips.  I promise I will blog about something different soon but I have one last thing.  I have been working on organizing all the field trips I find into one sheet and I was just able to make it into a searchable database!   So search away and make some connections!  Let me know if you take any of these field trips!  I would love to hear how others are using them in their classrooms!!! This list is ever growing so bookmark this and keep coming back when you are planning next year!

Crime Scene In The Classroom!!!!

*** I have updated the resources and website for this activity.  Access the resources here and the website here!
*** If you would like to see how the simulation evolved, click here!
I had such an amazing class today I just couldn't wait to blog about it! I've been doing decent teaching since I started at my new school but every time I chat with my Teach Like A Pirate peeps (#tlap Mondays at 9 eastern and #sstlap at Thursdays at 9 eastern) I feel really inadequate. I knew I had to try to do a lesson I could sell a ticket to and even though I almost decided to scrap it five different times I finally made myself do it and it was fabulous!

I decided to create a detective agency where we were going to determine if the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre were guilt of murder or simply acted in self defense. I borrowed very heavily from this website and got a lot of inspiration from a video that I now can't find but I'll post it as soon as I find it. In the video, th…