Teacher of the Month: Rachel Brown

We are thrilled to present our September Teacher of the Month, Rachel Brown! Rachel is a fantastic Language Arts teacher from Indiana who has created dozens of her own Edcite assignments, which she shares with her Language Arts team.

Read on to learn about Rachel and how she uses Edcite in her school.

rachel-2

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a teacher at DeKalb Middle School in Waterloo, Indiana. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in 2012. I am starting my fourth year teaching, having spent two years teaching 4th grade before moving up to the middle school level. In my spare time I also help coach the DeKalb girl’s soccer team.

What do you teach?

I teach 6th grade English Language Arts

Why did you become a teacher?rachel-1

I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was very young. Amazing teachers along the way helped confirm this desire and strengthen my conviction to reach my goal. Throughout high school and college, I found ways to get active with kids to learn all I could from them by tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and volunteering. I loved working with the children and knew that I had made the right decision in my profession.

How did you hear about Edcite?

I learned about Edcite through another teacher. I was really excited about the opportunities Edcite provided for my students to interact with technology while being prepared for new types of questions.

How do you use Edcite in the classroom?

I use Edcite in a variety of ways in my classroom. Most of our assessments are taken through Edcite. We also do reading comprehension assignments and home E-Learning assignments on Edcite.

What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?

giphy-47I love how students are able to interact both with texts and questions in new and innovative ways. Being able to have students highlight, sort, categorize, write responses, and use multiple choice formats really won me over. My students love using Edcite and being able to know how they did immediately.

I love being able to quickly see what students understand, and where their gaps are so I can adjust my instruction.

Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users? :)

Use the assignment library. There are so many great assignments out there to help you get started if you are hesitant about creating your own assignments at first. It’s great to see how others make use of the variety of question types before starting to create your own assignments. Once you get started using Edcite, you will wonder how you managed to get along without it!

Teacher of the Month: Melissa Christensen

We are so excited to present our first Teacher of the Month of the 2016-17 school year: Melissa Christensen! Melissa is a fabulous math teacher who teaches at Lamar Louise Middle School in Miami, Florida.

Read on to learn about Melissa, our August Teacher of the Month, and how she uses Edcite in her school.

I am married with one child who is off to college this fall. When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, watching Marlins baseball, and cheering on the Florida State University Seminoles. I am in my 12th year of teaching Middle School Math (6th through Algebra, Regular, Advanced, IB, and Gifted students in blended classes).

Mel 2What do you teach?

I currently teach with a co-teacher in a technology infused middle grades math class called iPrep Math. Our curriculum is computer based and we follow a project based learning format where students are encouraged to work individually or in small groups. My job is to facilitate learning by addressing the needs of individual students.

WMel 1hy did you become a teacher?

I have a BA in International Relations and a M.P.A. I decided to teach math because I remember how hard it was for me and I felt that I could empathize with students and give them confidence that they could succeed.

How did you hear about Edcite?

I heard about Edcite through an email that I happened to open…the email talked about computer based test questions, and I knew that would fit perfectly into my class and help my students prepare for the new FSA Florida state exam.

Mel 4How do you use Edcite in the classroom? What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?

I like the variety of Edcite questions. I like the variety of reports that can help me better use the data to help my students. I am impressed with their customer service as they are always available. Also, I am using Edcite to make our district Topic Exams more closely resemble the FSA.

Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users? :)

The software is powerful, but there is a “learning curve.”  Do not give up, and don’t hesitate to contact hello@edcite.com because they are ready and willing to help.

Olympians Who Persevered Playlist

The third playlist in our Olympic Games series focuses on assignments that teach students about perseverance! Students will learn about Olympians who faced great obstacles but never gave up. These are the perfect assignments to give as the school year closes and the Rio Olympics approach. Also, in case you missed our first two Olympics playlists, you can check them out here and here.

Never Give Up (2)

Elementary

  Lower Elementary: “Olympian Never Gives Up

In this assignment, students will watch a heartwarming video and answer interactive math, science, social studies, and ELA questions.

Lower Elementary: Kerri Strug and the Vault

In this assignment,  students will watch a video about an unforgettable moment in Olympic history and answer interactive math, science, social studies, and ELA questions.

Middle School

ELA: “Olympic Hero Jesse Owens

In this assignment, students will analyze an ESPN article about obstacles Olympian Jesse Owens faced in 1936.

Math: “MS Math Olympics Assignment – Perseverance

Students will analyze Jesse Owens’ amazing performances and solve problems related to speed and distance.

High School

ELA: “Understanding the Power of the Paralympic Movement”

After watching a video and reading two articles, students will summarize the Paralympic movement and analyze the way in which the athletic events are impacting society at large.

Math:HS Math Olympics Assignment – Will It Happen Again?

Students will analyze probability questions about how likely it is to win a gold medal at the Olympics.  

shutterstock_371636536Pass the torch! Did one of our Olympics assignments catch your eye? Share one with a fellow teacher by sending them the link!

 

Assessing Interactive Science Simulations

With growing expectations for students to engage with material online and the desire of teachers and students to experience the learning process, it is no wonder that PhET Interactive Simulations have become so popular.

PhET Interactive Simulations, produced through the University of Colorado Boulder, have more than gotten the attention of science teachers across the world. Specifically in the US with new Next Generation science standards and assessments (NGSS), teachers are looking for high quality digital resources to enrich and align their teaching.

PhET Interactive Simulations, like Edcite, wants to give back to education through free content which is why all of their simulations are available under Creative Commons licensing. PhET’s open source policy enables many teachers to embed these simulations into homework, in-class practice, or assessments. In fact, we learned about PhET from our teacher community. Earlier this year, we heard from teachers in Ohio that these simulations were fantastic complements to their lessons.

After seeing how useful embeddable simulations were for teachers, Edcite now allows PhET Interactive Simulations embeds! So teachers can further enrich their Edcite interactive assessments with awesome PhET simulations to further engage and challenge their students. Dave Limbaugh, an 8th grade science teacher, has used PhET simulations in his class throughout this year, but now is able to use them on his summative or formative assessments on Edcite.

“With the additional Edcite feature of embedding a PHET simulation, I have been able to assess my Science students higher order thinking skills by having them apply, analyze and evaluate collected data. Using this technology allows me to incorporate 21st Century skills into my 8th grade classroom. ”
-Dave Limbaugh, Oakwood Middle School, Canton, OH

Check out these formative Edcite assignments that assess students using different simulations.

Click here for some directions on how to create your own Edcite assignment using a PhET simulation—and don’t forget to share it in the library. 🙂

 

History of the Olympics Playlist

Our Olympic Games series is continuing, and this time around we have fantastic formative assessments related to the history of the Olympics! In case you missed our first Olympics post, you can check out our playlist here. Be sure to stay tuned for more when our Olympics series continues next month!

Elementary

In this assignment, students will watch a video and answer interactive ELA and math questions related to how the Olympics began.

In this assignment, students will watch a video about Olympic high jumping and answer interactive math and ELA questions.

Middle School

In this assignment, students will analyze a news article about sports eliminated over the years by the International Olympic Committee.

Students will watch videos and work with word problems to answer, “How fast are Olympic athletes moving in their events?”

High School

Students will analyze two texts about the return of the modern-day Olympics and will then write a speech, giving opening statements on the first day of the Games.

Students will watch videos and work with interactive math questions.


shutterstock_371636536Pass the torch! Did you enjoy one of our Olympics assignments? Share a message on Twitter or Instagram by tagging @EdciteTeam, or share an assignment on Facebook!

 

Women of the Summer Olympics Playlist

Women’s History Month is in full-swing, and you may be looking for assignments to use in your classroom. Your students may also be talking about the upcoming Olympic Games, which makes this the perfect time to share Edcite’s formative assessments focused on women of the Summer Olympics! In fact, we think these assessments deserve gold medals!

shutterstock_315555992

 

Elementary

In this interdisciplinary assignment, students will learn about Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt and will answer a geography, ELA, math, and science question.

Students will read and watch a video about U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and answer questions related to ELA, math, geography and science.

Middle School

Students will analyze videos and text to learn about the first time women competed in the Summer Olympics (1900), ran in an Olympic marathon (1984), and participated in Olympic boxing (2012).

These questions give students the new and old scoring systems and ask them to calculate scores using the systems. It starts with simple decimal operations and moves to cover mean, and finishes with an open-ended question asking students to choose a strategy weighing the new system.

High School

Students first break down a scholarly article about gender schema theory, read the 1928 depiction of the race, watch the video of the race, and then respond to the NYT depiction with a tweet and letter to the editor.

This assignment starts off simple with mean and median calculations as well as testing student knowledge of what constitutes a statistical question. It then has students analyze multiple data sets with videos and come to their own conclusions.

Olympic rings

Do stay tuned for more Olympics-themed blog posts, with relevant Edcite assignments, over the next few months. You can also create your own Olympics-related assignments on Edcite and share these with other teachers in our Library. And, if you tell us, we may just feature your assignment in our next blog post!

 

Teacher of the Month: Carol Raff

Each month we honor an exceptional teacher from our Edcite community, and we are proud to honor our January Teacher of the Month, Carol Raff, a middle school teacher in Ohio! According to the teacher who nominated her, “Carol not only uses Edcite to prepare her students for a digital world, she has also energized the entire staff of Oakwood Middle School to use Edcite in their classrooms. Carol provides support for beginners like me as well as those veteran users who need a refresher. Carol has made me an Edcite believer.”

Carol Raff 4
Read more about Carol and her use of Edcite below.

Tell us a bit about yourself.Carol Raff 1
I am currently in my 18th year of teaching and have spent all of my years in the Plain Local School District in Canton, Ohio. I have 3 awesome children and one beautiful daughter in law. I enjoy traveling with my fiance, Mike and visiting warm tropical places. Summers (when I am not in classes! ) I enjoy poolside with my little dog Sadie.

What do you teach?
I currently am teaching Informational Technology 2.0. I am excited about this class because it is a class that I have developed. I also help with tech integration at our school. This is the first year that we have a 1:1 initiative.

Carol Raff 2Why did you become a teacher?
I originally got into the field of education because I loved little kids. However, all of my years have been spent at the Middle School level. I enjoy this age because they are a good mix of independent and inquisitive learners.

How did you hear about Edcite?
I first began using Edcite last year. I was looking for an assessment program that utilized the same tools as the PARCC Assessment. I was very fortunate to have other teachers in the building who were looking for the same type of Assessments so we became an Edcite Team!

What aspects make you most “Edcited” about Edcite?
I like Edcite because the tech team is so very helpful. I was first introduced to Talia and without her help I would have really struggled. As time went on creating and using questions and assessments became much easier. I love that the Edcite Team is always looking for suggestions to improve. They really do listen and make requested changes and additions.

How do you use Edcite in the classroom?
I use Edcite in my classroom in a variety of ways. At the beginning of lessons to get an idea of where my students are with the new concept,  in the middle to see if learning targets are being reached, and at the end to see what I need to do to make sure all students have achieved the learning target.

Carol Raff 3
Final Words of Wisdom for other Edcite Users? 🙂
I have found the more I use Edcite the better I get! Making assessments no longer takes as long as it did when I first began. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Edcite Team as they are so willing to talk you through any questions you might have!