- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher’s View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts – Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
- New School Year Advice from a Ten Year Teacher - August 1, 2016
- Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: The Planning Stages - July 18, 2016
I am a big fan of work smarter not harder, but I am not a fan of technology. Technology is fabulous when it actually works like it should. That being said, here are a few apps and websites that I have used and had a pretty positive success with. Of course, they may not always be perfect, but they are definitely worth a shot if you are looking for ways to save time and looking for new resources.
1. Remind.com. (app and website) It is an app that allows you text reminders to parents and students. They do not receive your phone number at all. They can message you, but you can turn this off if you would like. Make sure you let the parents know about it because they benefit just as much as the students do and you will have to remind your students to sign up for it few times because they will forget. I love sending out reminders about tests, due days, school events, or even when I updated grades.
2. Zipgrade.com. (app and website) This app allows you to print out and make answer sheets for multiple choice items. You can make multiple sizes, then you can scan the answer sheet with your phone or table and it grades it for you. What is really amazing besides the time you save grading, is the way you can analyze data. You can see how many times a question is missed and it makes it easier to see the standards students miss most often. (100 scans are free, but then you have to pay, but the $12.99 a year is worth it).
3. Dropbox.com. (app and website) Drop box is great for several different reasons. You can set up a place for your students to turn in papers and projects online for free if you school does not have blackboard or a similar application. It allows you to save documents and access them from any device. I really like this site for sharing curriculum with other teachers. Sometimes we just have files that are too big to email and passing around a flash drive can be dangerous, but you can allow other teachers access to certain folders in your dropbox which is great for teacher collaboration, especially between schools. (2 GBs are free, then you have a choice of different plans if you are interested)
4. Groovy grader. (app) Remember those old school sliders, our teachers had? The ones that tell you how many items you missed and what grade percentage the score was? Well, there is an app for that. And there is no sliding involved. (free)
5. Common Core. (app) There is an app for common core. You can access the standards easily on your phone, making lesson plans so much easier. It also gives you access to resources. (free)
6. Coffivity. (app) This app makes sounds making you feel like you are in a coffee shop. I know some people like to work in silence, but I can’t. When I am on prep and I am in my classroom alone, I like to play it. It just gives you an option. (free)
7. Webenglishteacher.com. (website)A fabulous collection of resources, including tests, handouts, and literature. (free).
8. Ms. Elfie’s Life Savers. (website) This amazing teacher has a variety of AP resources and prompts for your class. Use the resources for both your AP and regular classes. Please donate to her site. The majority of her resources are free, but they did take lots of time and effort.
9. Teacherspayteachers.com. Of course, we all know this website and love it. If you are not using it, you really need to take the time to check it out. Who knows, maybe we will see your name and resources on the site soon.
10. Commonsensemedia.org. (website). This site allows you to typing in any type of media and gives you an unbiased review of the work. If you are thinking about teaching a book, type in the title and the site will tell you want is in it including violence, sex, language, etc. Then you can see parent and child reviews. It is really a great time saver.
There are so many apps and websites now that make our lives easier as teachers, use them. I always tell my student to find apps that help them. Phones can be used for more than just social media. They are walking around with mini-computers in their hands, I wish I could have that luxury when I was in school, even college. I hope these help and I hope you can use them. If you have any apps or websites, you use please share below.