Engaging Colorado Students with Edcite Question Types

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Bri Chittenden, an Education Technology Specialist in Eagle County Schools in Colorado, has been impressed with what Edcite offers teachers and students. Bri was previously a science teacher in various other districts for ten years, and during that time a colleague recommended Edcite as a tool to help students prepare for the state tests (Colorado Student Assessment Program), as well as a tool that could be used for formative assessments.

Now Bri is excited to pass on that same recommendation to the teachers in Eagle County Schools. She said that “[Edcite] allows teachers to assess students at a much higher skill level than basic recognition or basic comprehension. Questions can be set up that have students compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, and more!” She also explained that Edcite is easy to use, allows teachers to know exactly what students have mastered, and helps teachers assess students’ depth of understanding.zoom number line

Bri said, “Edcite has been an amazing tool for all teachers, and math teachers have especially liked it.” Her math teachers love the graphing and autograding capabilities on Edcite. She noted that on Edcite there are advanced question types that can be auto-graded — something that is not possible through paper and pencil assessments. She appreciates that the question types are engaging and students can practice continuously with different math functions on Edcite.

A student is graphing points and line segments on an xy graph ranging from 1 to 18.

Bri also explained that assignments can be customized for ELL students by embedding videos and pictures, making Edcite a more robust tool than other programs. ELA teachers in her district have also appreciated the PARCC-aligned question types on Edcite and the ability to incorporate higher-level question types that go beyond multiple choice and true or false.

A student is clicking on the central idea in a table.

Bri hopes that more teachers in Eagle County Schools continue to use Edcite. Her goal is for teachers to create question/assessment banks that can be shared with others. She emphasized, “Edcite can be used with all K12 students. It really engages them.”

 

chalkboard-620316_640Bri shared her Edcite Story with us, and so you can you! We publish Edcite Stories so that educators can learn about different ways Edcite is used in schools and school districts. If you want to submit your own Edcite story, click here.

 

5 Ways to Use Edcite as School Starts

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Welcome back to school! The first month of school is a busy time for teachers, but using digital assignments on Edcite can save you some time. Here are five ways to use Edcite in the beginning of the school year.

Getting to Know You Surveys

Knowing and understanding your students is an important part of teaching, and these Getting to Know You Surveys will help. You can even refer back to your students’ answers in the Assignment Report throughout the coming months.

Baseline Assessments

Once you’ve started to learn about your students, a baseline assessment is a great way to begin your curriculum. The Edcite Math Baselines will instantly show you what math skills students have as they start the school year. The Edcite ELA Baselines will give you a sample of students’ writing skills.

In-Class Assignments

Many teachers have students work on Edcite during class. Visit our curated Featured Collections to find great assignments to assign to your students. Then use the Live Assignment Dashboard to view students’ progress in real-time.

Exit Tickets

You can also use Edcite to create a digital exit ticket for students to complete at the end of class. You will see answers and scores as soon as students finish the exit ticket, and you can use that data to inform instruction the next day. To create your own exit ticket, visit the Create Question option in your navigation bar for our 60+ tech-enhanced question types.

Homework

Students can use Edcite on any device, so teachers often give Edcite practice for homework. If you allow retakes, the Summary Report will give you the option of selecting which retake score you would like to view, and you can upload this to your report card system.

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How do you plan to use Edcite the first month of school? Let us know in the comments or share your ideas on social media!

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.

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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!

Best Digital Assignments of 2015

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With over 11,000 assignments in Edcite’s assignments library, it can be difficult choosing which ones to use with your students. We decided to chip in, and analyzed which assignments were most popular this last year. Check out the assignments below, and please share them with the other educators you know!

English 

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Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

K Long vowels vs. short vowels https://edcite.com/14yvzm
1 Penguin Babies https://edcite.com/14tygi
2 Baby Bao Bao https://edcite.com/18zfzl
3 Grade 3 Fable: The Lion and the Mouse https://edcite.com/1qyeck
4 Excerpt From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer https://edcite.com/125×19
5 Too Much Soda https://edcite.com/1ll40n
6 Figurative Language Practice https://edcite.com/19r8m5
7 Nonfiction Article — the Kudzu Plant https://edcite.com/1o640l
8 The Black Pearl https://edcite.com/1pnryx
9-12 Batman Begins Learning Parallel Structure https://edcite.com/11swia
Maya Angelou — Reading Informational Text https://edcite.com/1t0b3u
The Tell-Tale Heart Part 1 https://edcite.com/1wm4ir

Social Studies

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Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

4 Archaeology Pair — Grade 4 https://edcite.com/1k3614
5 Sequencing Lesson — Multiple Passages — Segregation + Civil Rights https://edcite.com/19yja4
6 Timelines https://edcite.com/177z41
7 Democracy in America: the Women’s Rights Movement https://edcite.com/11cfzv
8 Patrick Henry https://edcite.com/1y2fj4
9-12 Gettysburg Address https://edcite.com/1ukmq1
Kennedy Space Speech https://edcite.com/177l0k
Gains of the Great Depression https://edcite.com/1zczoc

 

Math

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Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

K Sorting and Counting https://edcite.com/1grjav
1 Reading Graphs — Measurement and Data https://edcite.com/1pw9d0
2 Number Sentences https://edcite.com/1h79vx
3 SBAC Practice Test https://edcite.com/1m42ht
4 Basic Fractions Formative #1 https://edcite.com/1ta22y
5 Performance Task — Fractions — Grade 5 — Numbers and Operations https://edcite.com/1crgkb
6 SBAC Practice Test https://edcite.com/19ytlk
7 SBAC Practice Test https://edcite.com/1hbsvr
8 Math 8 Slope + Linear Equations https://edcite.com/113eqr
9-12 Exponential Functions https://edcite.com/11v5a5
Int Math 1 https://edcite.com/1yyyhr
Working With Slope https://edcite.com/1oyslu

Science

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Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL
3 Respiratory System — Speaking + Listening https://edcite.com/111gtb
4 Grade 4 Force and Motion Unit Assessment https://edcite.com/1ebxbh
5 Ecosystem Review https://edcite.com/1hfggh
6 – 8 Volcanoes https://edcite.com/1cc9an
Universe & Space Quiz https://edcite.com/1d026p
Cell Diagrams https://edcite.com/10ebqp
9-12 Early Stage of Automobiles https://edcite.com/1is79n
Sickle Cell Anemia + Evolution https://edcite.com/1xzi4h
Photosynthesis https://edcite.com/1mrlsa

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! 🙂