How I Used Tellagami to Teach to the Common Core

Use of Tellagami to Teach CCSS

As a public school teacher I try to embrace the Common Core Standards and use them as a road map to guide my instruction.  I am also constantly on the lookout for ways to use technology to encourage the integration of 21st century skills and mastery of the Common Core.  Recently I used the app Tellagami to reinforce the following Common Core State Standard with a group of grade three students:

Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

After reading the first two chapters in the book Ramona Quimby Age 8, a group of six students were asked to each write down a specific detail about the plot of the story.  Then we put the six details together as strips of paper on the table and the third graders had to discuss the sequence of the details within the novel.

Once we put the details in order from first to last, the students did a group recording in Tellagami.  They also had a lot of fun taking turns on the iPad to make the Ramona Quimby character.  A great activity for a classes with one iPad or an iPad cart.

Sphero STEM Bridge Building Challenge

Play is a powerful teacher.  As part of an engineering unit I had my students build bridges from a specific list of materials with the design requirement that they move Sphero the robot from desk A to desk B by driving it across the bridge.  The students were allowed to use one snippet of code to get the robot across the bridge.  We also talked about how the bridge challenge applied to Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.

Use of Google Forms to Differentiate in PD Workshop

Get Googly

Hello Everyone-

If you are a PD coach you are probably in a position where you have a limited amount of time to provide ed tech professional development to a wide range of teachers, many of whom have different ability levels.  Also, if you are like me and have a lot of experience at the secondary level, you have to provide PD for teachers from a variety of different departments at the same time.

In the State of New Jersey we are required to have a certain portion of our PD in a PLC group.  The PLC does have to be with teachers from the same department, there is some flexibility.  I am working with a group of teachers tomorrow in the morning and in the afternoon I am going to put them in PLC groups.  I created this Google form for a couple different reasons: first of all it gives the teachers a chance to self-reflect and self-assess, secondly it gives me some really powerful data to emply flexible grouping strategies during the PLC time.

Here is a link to the form in its entirety, also a great way to model the power of Google forms for educators.

Kahoot Tutorial: Increase Student Engagement + Disaggregate Data

I learned about this resource this summer from Richard Bryne when we both presenting at the Future Learning Summit in Chicago.

I like this Classroom Response System for a few reasons…

1- It appeals to a variety of learners… Kahoot lets you insert pictures into the questions and that works well with visual learners, special education students, and ELL students.

2- It has great prompting tools, you can adjust how much time students get for each question and students see the timer displayed.  Also, it displays a scoreboard so my students get very competitive about who is in the top five.

3- You can differentiate content by assigning different point values based upon question complexity.

4- There is an option to add other media into the question which relates to 21st Century Skills and the Common Core.

5- It is possible to download the class results into an excel spreadsheet and disaggregate student achievement dta.

Plickers: How to Use Tech if You May Not Have a 1 to 1 Environment.

I am fortunate that I teach in a school with a 1 to 1 environment.  However, our deployment took the first three weeks of the school year so I needed a way to use technology to engage my students without a room full of devices.  Plickers was perfect:  it is a hands-on kinesthetic classroom polling system that allows you to collect assessment data on your students.  Here is a video tutorial showing how it work.

Cool New Feature in Todays’s Meet + QR Codes


One of the great new features in Today’s Meet is that is now automatically generates a QR code for the room.  This is great when we are working with beginning and intermediate teachers.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming for an adult learner to create a room in Today’s Meet and then have to worry about how the students are going to access it.  Now you have one stop shopping, they can make the chat room and a QR code is automatically generated for them.

SAMR PD Activity

A great activity that I am using with secondary school teachers this year.  I am giving them a task in Educreations or Explain Everything where each person has to make a screencast of an activity that they enjoyed doing in the past year that involved technology and explain which level of the SAMR ladder it falls upon and why…

The First 5s with iPads


Great post from Beth Holland about what the first weeks of school should look like if you have iPads in your learning space. Found this post via Richard Wells as a conduit…

Originally posted on  IPAD 4 SCHOOLS:

This is just a quick nod to my EdTechTeacher friend Beth Holland, who has written another excellent post updating ideas around what teachers might do in the first 5 hours, days and weeks with iPads in their class. The original post can be found here on

Beth and the EdtechTeacher team are an excellent source of ideas and inspiration. Beth asked me to update my infographic for the post and so here it is:

i4S iPad First 5 v2

View original

The Connected Classrooms Challenge


Great relevant lesson for Generation Z – wonderful infusion of 21st Century Skills into the Learning Environment…

Originally posted on  IPAD 4 SCHOOLS:

i4S-The Connected Class Challenge


How might we develop young people’s obsession and engagement with social media and texting into a deep desire to learn and create together?

My first thought is to ask why people become so obsessed. In my digital citizenship programme, we cover social media addiction and why it effects people of all ages. One key issue is that when a post or message is sent into the system to people who can’t be physically seen, the unknown amount of time it might take for a reply keeps people watching. We all want to be appreciated and of course “Liked!”


People get locked into a “have I had a reply or a like yet?” universe and they develop habits for needing connection & recognition. Rather than worry and scorn, this might be a situation teachers can use to their advantage. I’m always keen on students working in teams for everything they do…

View original 591 more words