Easy Summer Planning with Edcite’s Social Pages

Easy Summer Planning (3)

You switch off the classroom lights and turn in your key. Then you rev up your car’s engine and hit the road. Summer! Summer is time for decompression, whether that means watching Netflix, reading some good books, or getting out and enjoying the warm weather.

We know how important it is for teachers to have this time to recharge. We also know that teachers spend part of the summer planning ahead for the next school year. Thankfully, we can help make the planning process easy!

Our new Social Pages allow you to easily organize and find the best assignments for your new classes in the fall. Read on for three ways to use the Social Pages.

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My Profile

On this page, you can showcase collections of your favorite Edcite assignments. Organize your collections by month, unit, topic, or however you plan your lessons. After you’ve created a great collection, share it with other teachers!

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Featured Collections

On this page, you’ll find dozens of Edcite-recommended assignment collections. Follow your favorite collections and make copies of assignments to send to students in the fall. When you follow this social page you’ll be notified when a new set of Featured Collections appears!

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Discover Teachers

Search for teachers at your school or in your state. Follow teachers and their collections, and easily make copies of assignments.

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Discover Teachers

See how easy it is to plan ahead for the next school year? Now you’ll have even more time to head to the beach, hang with your friends, binge watch your favorite show, and get in that much-deserved relaxation!

Did you make an awesome collection? Share the link with us, and your collection may be featured!

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Teacher of the Month: Tracey Tisdale

Tracey Tisdale

We are so thrilled to honor our February Teacher of the Month, Tracey Tisdale, an elementary teacher from Ohio! According to the teacher who nominated her, “[Tracey] is inspired to give her students the best, most relevant education possible. By doing this, she seeks out and implements 21st century teaching on a daily basis. Although she is a seasoned teacher, she is always seeking out new ideas that bring education to the next level.”

Read more about Tracey and her use of Edcite below.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a teacher at Millersport Elementary in Walnut Township School District. I earned my BSED from Ohio University in 1983.  I hold a MSED  in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New England. I have been teaching for 23 years (full time) and have been at Millersport for 22 of those years. I am married  with three children. My own kids’ ages range from 29 to 14. I have seen education through two sets of eyes in my life (through my role as a parent and as a teacher). It has changed dramatically.

What do you teach?

I teach 5th and 6th English Language Arts.

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Why did you become a teacher?

I became a teacher because it has been my goal since I was a Jr. High student. As a high school student, I had the opportunity to tutor kids in the 2nd grade. I knew then that it would be my chosen career path and I never hesitated on that decision.

How did you hear about Edcite?

During a common core (PARCC) conference,  I heard about Edcite through another teacher. After looking at it the first time,  I was hooked. Nothing could be more exciting than to have the proper tool to prepare our kids for what they need to know.

What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?

Where do I begin?

  1. The ability to create my own assignments and tests using a platform that is necessary for my students to understand.
  2. The various choices of question types
  3. The ability for my students to have instant feedback on an assignment or assessment.  
  4. The option for students to learn from the mistakes they’ve made, by seeing what the correct answers should be for a given question.  

Sorry,  it’s hard to pick just one or two reasons.

Tisdale 3How do you use Edcite in the classroom?

My students take all their summative assessments on Edcite. We also use Edcite for Webquests and discovery assignments.

Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users? 🙂

How lucky are we to have such a wonderful support staff in Edcite? One of my favorite things about the Edcite community is the access I have, as a teacher, to someone who can help me. I recall just starting out on Edcite, and I had so many questions. My questions were answered within minutes of my request. You just don’t find that everywhere. The Edcite team is also constantly changing to meet the teachers’ needs. I love how they take our suggestions with sincere interest and, more often than not, apply those suggestions to the site. They respect our role as teachers.

You can also learn more about Tracey in this Lancaster Eagle-Gazette news story! Interactive lessons help prep students

Time To Give Thanks

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As we celebrated our two year anniversary last month, we couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge the help we’ve received from teachers than by giving back to our teacher community. This is why we committed to releasing weekly ‘product presents’, implementing at least one change each week that our users would find valuable. Read on for more information about our new and exciting updates. Enjoy!

Google Sign-Up

Teachers and students can create accounts and sign into Edcite using Google emails. If you already have an Edcite account, with a non gmail address–don’t worry. We have created a process to link your existing Edcite account with your gmail account. Go ahead and follow the instructions on this one pager.

We hope this will make the sign-up and sign-in processes way faster for you and your students!

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Improved Rubrics: For Teachers AND Students!

A. Grading With A Rubric:

Teachers can now grade rubrics more easily because of 2 enhancements. First, teachers can now use more complex rubrics that grade along 2-dimensions. Also, teachers can now see the entire rubric at once and merely click on the score of their choice, rather than needing to chose from a drop-down.

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How does this look for kids? On their summary reports, students can see when rubrics are available for a question. They can also open the rubric and see which rubric scores were selected by their teacher.

B. ACT Rubrics

We added the ACT Rubrics for our site for teachers in states using ACT Aspire. You can also find useful Common Core rubrics in our ‘Rubric Library’.

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3. New Assignment Settings

We’ve had lots of teacher requests about different assignment features, and we were able to add a lot of them this month! We now have settings that can help teachers administer summative assessments more easily on Edcite, such as: setting a time window for each assignment, restricting access to assignments, and disabling features like question by question feedback.

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4. New Report Features:

A. Summary Report Is Clickable:

When you click on a name in a summary report, you will pull up that student’s individual summary report. And, this leads to Part B below…

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B. Individual Student Reports Can Now Be Printed:

We also have a printable version of each student’s summary report, so now you can print the report and send it home with students!

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We hope you enjoy these product presents. At Edcite, we are committed to enhancing the value of our platform for teachers and students over the long-term. So stay tuned for more in our 3rd year!

Please reach out to us anytime (hello@edcite.com) with any suggestions you have! Even when it’s not our birthday month, we’re committed to accommodating our beloved community and hear your suggestions.

 

We’re 2 Years Old!

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It’s here! It’s here! Our 2nd birthday!

Two years ago, when we released the Beta version of our website, we had no idea how the site would evolve. We didn’t know how teachers would use our platform, we didn’t know whether they would like it. Now, two years later, we can barely believe how our site and our beloved community has grown. Over 64,000 teachers, and close to 600,000 students! Over 11,000 digital assignments and 40,000 interactive questions! Is this real life?!

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Here Come the Gifts!

Basic RGBWhat’s a birthday without presents?! In honor of our special month, we’ll be releasing a new product feature (or shall we say, product present?) each week! We’ll publicize our gifts on Twitter and Facebook, so keep your eyes peeled for those exciting updates.

Calling All Edcite Enthusiasts!

Help us spread the Edcite love this month! If you and your students use Edcite, tweet us a picture or email it to us at hello@edcite.com. Better yet? Send us a video clip and we’ll include it in our upcoming Birthday Month compilation! For every Tweet, Facebook post, or email we get, we’ll enter your name into a raffle for some outstanding gear! Because who doesn’t love free t-shirts and pens?! 

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Though we’re grateful to celebrate the amazing things we’ve accomplished so far, we’re even more excited to see where we’re headed. With your help, we know we’ll make year 3 our best one yet!

10 Ways to Use Edcite with your Students

If you’re anything like us, you’re spending your first few weeks of the school year soaking up any and all new ideas and tools you can use. We hope that one of those tools will be Edcite, an incredibly flexible tool that you can use to improve your efficacy as a teacher. You can give it a try for:

In-Class Practice

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Ms. Bermudez uses Edcite with her 1st grade students whole class.

1. Whole Group Instruction: Create an assignment you can do as a whole class on the smart board or projected on the white board. Great for modeling how to do a new skill or question type. Check out how these teachers do whole group instruction with Edcite.

2. Free Writes: Use free response questions to push students to explain and demonstrate their understanding. Edcite facilitates faster grading by allowing question-by-question grading and commenting. You can also use the free response or essay questions to facilitate more open writing prompts to get students’ creative juices flowing!

3. Exploration of a new skill: Give students an Edcite assignment designed to help them master a new skill by allowing students multiple attempts to answer a question. You can add hints with videos or written instructions and provide solutions with explanations. Students will be able to see whether they are correct immediately and fix their answer.

4. Group Work: Have students work on content in pairs or small groups and collaboratively work through an assignment. You can have students work together in a variety of ways, ranging from answering together to reading to each other and answering questions. Read about how one teacher used Edcite to facilitate dialogue between students.

Assessments

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Assess students on computers, tablets, or even phones. Edcite works on all devices.

5. Exit Tickets (Formative): Create an exit ticket for the day’s objective on Edcite and use the automated grading to quickly score it and analyze the data to know what to review the next day in class. Some teachers also like to give a weekly exit ticket to adjust any of their RTI (Response to Intervention) groups; you can easily differentiate your exit tickets to assess various groups at the appropriate level.

6. In-Class Checks for Understanding (Formative): Prepare a set of questions covering the lecture material and guide students to complete each question at strategic “checkpoints” during a lecture or other instructional time to get instant feedback on how well students understand the new concepts. Check out how one teacher, Meghan Gieg, incorporated these questions into her lesson plan as checks for understanding!

7. Summative Assessments: Use Edcite to make a quiz or test for your students. The questions can be randomized and the assignment can be timed. Plus, you can easily export the data from Edcite and import it into your grade book! Check out these tips on how to set up a great summative assessment.

Outside of Class

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A student working on homework after school.

8. Homework Assignments: Many teachers create weekly homework “packets” or send home homework daily on Edcite. You’re able to see how much time a student spent on the assignment and get the data before they walk into the classroom. Save the time that you would usually spend checking homework and instead go over the common misunderstandings or target specific students with remediation. Our Edcite Teacher of the Month last September, Mrs. Pallitto, would send one math and one reading assignment home each week for her 4th graders.

9. Flipping Your Classroom: Upload videos explaining new concepts for students to watch at home, and create questions to correspond to the video. This allows students to learn and practice a skill independently, and frees more class time for reinforcing skills, broadening application, and deepening understanding. Read more about flipping your classroom here.

10. Student survey questions: Add a “fun” student survey question at the end of assessments or homework assignments to gather information about the type of music your students like, their favorite celebrities, etc. and use this information to make examples and future assignments more engaging. Maybe you could then use the data from the survey for a class project?

Add to this list! Take an existing assignment or unique activity that you do in your classroom and create it on Edcite! See the benefits that come from quick grading and share it with other teachers!

If you’d like to share how you are using Edcite or are interested in learning about how some schools have begun using the site as a department, school, or district, reach out to hello@edcite.com.

Tips and Tricks: Converting Your Math Assignments on Edcite

shutterstock_164604038Calling All Math Teachers!

 

 

We know that converting your paper-and-pencil assignments to digital ones can be quite the challenge. But, with every challenge is an opportunity. On Edcite, the digital assignments you create can help you save time and engage your students through a high-variety of interactive question types. This blog post gives you an overview of our top 10 math questions and how you can use them in a math assignment. We hope it’s helpful to you!

What is it?

Why use it?

How it’s used in math? / example?

Multiple Choice /Select Answer (PARCC or SmarterBalanced) Students select an answer choice (single select) or several correct choices (multi-select)
  • Autograded
  • Adaptable for single or multi-select
  • You can add as many answer choices as you want
  • Useful for the first question in a scaffolded sequence of questions.
  • Can easily be followed by a free response (how did you get the answer above) to make this question more rigorous
Numeric Response (PARCC) An open-ended question where students type in a response
  • Autograded
  • Teachers can program in a margin of error in the answer
  • Great for open-ended questions where you want the student to solve fully on their own
Fraction Response (PARCC) Visual question type for student,  multiple fraction grid shapes are available (rectangle, circle, etc.)
  • Autograded
  • Great for visual learners
  • Has multiple grid shapes available (rectangle, circle, etc.)
  • Used to help students practice fractions in a visual way.
  • Really great  for earlier grades!
Math Keyboard (PARCC or SBAC) Students answer question by entering answer using a math (calculator) keyboard
  • Autograded or free response
  • Use the same calculator that will be on your test (SBAC or PARCC)
  • Good for entering algebraic answers
  • Free response allows students to explain reasoning mathematically
Number Line Zoom (PARCC) Students select a segment of the number line, zoom in on it and then place their answer.
  • Autograded
  • Can be set up with fractions or decimals
  • Excellent for having students practice estimating fractions or decimals
  • Change the intervals to uncommon ones (i.e. go by sixths) and have students try to place familiar numbers
Touch Image (Image Types) Flexible item type that allows you to choose an image and have students click parts of the image based on your prompts
  • Autograded
  • Can set number of tries for each answer for a student
  • Works well with graphing questions where students should click on parts of a graph to answer question
  • See number line example in next blog post!
Graph Points and Lines (PARCC) Basic graphing item type that students use to plot linear equations, points and segments.
  • Autograded
  • Students can plot more than one figure per answer
  • Can graph points, segments and lines
  • Questions where students are constructing a graph
  • Graphing practice (paired with Graphing Inequalities, this is great for middle school and early algebra)
Drag and Drop (SBAC): highly flexible question type that makes student construct response. Students drag their answers to construct a response.
  • Autograded
  • Multiple answer types (i.e. digits, expressions, strings)
  • Advanced Scoring
  • Questions where you want the student to construct their answer instead of choosing it from a list
  • Advanced scoring questions
Group by Dragging (SBAC): you can set up categories and answers. Students drag the answers to the appropriate category. Students can sort the answer choices into categories created by the teacher
  • Autograded
  • Answers can be text, math type, or images of graphs
  • Add a “Does Not Fit in Any other Category” category to make it harder!
  • Good for learning and reinforcing new vocabulary
  • Example: Sort the functions according to what type of function they are

 

Use Your (Summer)Time Wisely

Monthly Mondays with Meghan

Summer: the time for a little R&R, vacation, and, if you are like me, GETTING AHEAD!

Thus, here is a little “To-Do” list (including both ideas and resources) that we can use to prepare for next year!

  1. Familiarize yourself with any additions or changes to your curriculum and end of year assessments. If possible, TAKE THE ASSESSMENT YOURSELF. This guarantees that any materials you create align to the end goal and give you accurate data that indicates which students are on-track toward reaching the goal and which students need additional support. (PARCC Practice Tests, Smarter Balanced Practice Tests)
  2. Edcite-itize your current curriculum:  This is what I will spend MUCH of my summer doing. I currently have a word document containing the lesson materials for each day of the school year. I am working to turn each of these into Edcite assignments. (Ex: HERE is the original lesson in word document form. HERE is the assignment now that I have Edcite-itized it!)
  3. ReadWorks: Free to register!! AND they are consistently updating their bank of fiction and nonfiction passages. Download the passage onto your computer and then use it to create an Edcite assignment!
  4. iXL: You need a subscription in order to access the full program. However, you are still able to access MANY practice problems without a subscription!! Also, because this is a computer-based program – it gives additional ideas for creating strong Edcite assignments for your class!!
  5. Engage NY: THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES HERE! WOW! I have only gone through 2 modules. It would be possible to create a year’s worth of assignments simply with utilizing the FREE resources Engage NY offers. You can view either as a word document or a pdf, download the answer key, and Edcite-itize away!!
  6. BULK UP YOUR RESOURCES!
    1. I have posted on random websites/blogs/etc and had teachers who are retiring offer to donate books, whiteboards, projector screens, etc.  One of our teachers wanted to do a hot air balloon theme – she posted her idea on a hot air balloon forum – had an old basket and balloon donated and used it as her reading corner!!  We posted on a skydiver’s forum to get old parachutes donated for our use in our elementary P.E. classes!  The ideas here are endless!
    2. Donorschoose — always a great way to gather additional resources!
    3. Thrift Shops — Because it is the end of the school year, many people are donating books, book bags, belts, etc. to the local thrift shops.  THIS MEANS IT IS A TEACHER’S PRIME SHOPPING TIME!!
    4. First Book — Free to register and books are up to 80 & 90% off retail price!
    5. Ebay — It can be easy to forget about, but there are consistently great deals here on calculators, protractors, science lab equipment, books, personal white boards.  Often you can get free shipping as well!
    6. Scholastic Fair — Find out if and when there is a local fair near you.  School supplies at great discounts!!

Use the extra time wisely: gather useful resources and get ahead with curriculum planning, but make sure to take time for yourself as well — you deserve it!!!

 Thank you to Meghan Gieg for all of your great Monthly Monday Posts this school year. Have a fabulous summer! 🙂