Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Google Sites Help Students Organize Informational Text

Students in Mr. Gembicki's classroom have been working on identifying and organizing informational text. Students looked at informational text on books and organized it in a Google site to make it easier to identify what was being said about the book. Students identified text that gave them information about the author, the book and reviews of the book. Using Google sites students were able to add pictures to help them organize the different types of informational text and create a multi-media presentation that was easy to read and look at. Students also learned the basics of creating a visually appealing website. Some examples of students work is shown below.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Students Use PowToon in Texas History

Students in Texas History are studying Texas Land Grants and were asked to create an advertisement for their colony. Students in Mr. Maynor's class used Pow Toon to advertise the benefits of their colony.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Avatars Help Teach Socialism

Mrs. Bloch's 6th Grade World Cultures Class is studying economies of the world. Students used Dell Venue Tablets to create Socialist Androids and listed the characteristics of the society. Students showed off their creativity as they picked socialist traits of the android. Students enjoyed creating their androids and learning about socialist economies..


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quizlet Helps Students Study for Tests

Quizlet is a popular test review website for teachers and students at Hernandez Middle School. Recently students in 6th grade World Cultures used this popular tool to review for a World Cultures Test. Quizlet allows the teacher to create study guides, which students use to study for a test. Students are able to review using a variety of methods from flash cards to timed matching to racing. They can study in test mode or review mode. Students in Ms. Bloch's World Cultures class used Dell Venue tablets during class to study and review for the test. Quizlet is also available to students as an app for their phones and can be used at home on a computer. Students in Ms. Bloch's class did very well on their test. And while we can't say for sure that Quizlet contributed to higher test scores, we do know that students spent more time studying for their test because Quizlet made it fun for them to study.

Using Quizlet's Scatter, Students race against a timer to make terms and definition disappear.

Google Classroom and Edmodo at Hernandez Middle School

Teachers at Hernandez Middle School are using Google Classroom and Edmodo to deliver course content to their students. Social Studies teachers Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Maynor, Ms. Lee, Ms. Saggiante, Ms. Reale and Ms. Bloch are using Google Classroom for a variety of activites for their classes. Google Classroom is available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs.
Google Classroom is part of the Google Apps for Education suite available to Round Rock ISD students. It is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments online and to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. Students can check and see when assignments are due and turn them in with a click. Teachers can see what turned in an assignment and who has not. Teachers can grade student assignments and give them feedback all online. 

Edmodo is popular with Mr. Smosna, Ms. Gamas and Mr. Sherman. Edmodo also delivers course content, quizzes, activities and feedback to students. Edmodo has more of a Facebook look which appeals to students. Parents interested in looking at their students work in Edmodo can receive their own log in to view their students work. Check with your child's teacher for parent access. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mrs. Bloch to Pilot Digital Classroom

Hernandez Middle School 6th Grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Bloch will be piloting Dell Venue Tablets in her classroom as part of Round Rock ISD Next Generation Digital Classroom Pilot. Students in Mrs. Bloch's classroom turned on the tablets for the first time this past week. Students will be using the tablets to create, collaborate, communicate and think critically. Mrs. Bloch will be introducing lessons that use the tablets to help students think globally and develop their technology and social studies learning. Mrs. Bloch attended training over the summer and is seen below learning on the interactive display. The classroom in Mrs. Bloch's room has been equipped with an interactive projector as part of the pilot. Students in Mrs. Bloch's classroom seemed pleased with the tablets and look forward to using them this year. Stay tuned for more news on the pilot as students start using them in their Social Studies curriculum.


Mrs. Bloch test out the interactive screen.

Dell Venue Tablet with Keyboard

Friday, May 30, 2014

Google Forms Popular with 7th Grade ELA

7th Grade ELA teachers Sofie Vastano and Julia Ross have been using Google Forms to get information from their students as they study Traditional Tales. Students were asked to fill out a Google Form on the Characteristics of Traditinal Tales students were reading. As a result of the survey, Ms. Ross was able to generate a graph of the the characteristics of the tales that students used to take their test over Traditional Tales.



As the school year comes to a close, students have been using google forms to reflect on the school year and give their teachers feedback for the next school year. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Students use Google Sites for Cause and Effect

8th grade students in Ms. Morgan and Mr. Gembicki's Language Arts classes closed the fall semester with cause and effect. Students created Google Sites to demonstrate their cause and effect topics. There were many good sites and good cause and effect topics. Most of the sites are only visible to Round Rock ISD google apps users, but Abby J. agreed to share her Dancing on Pointe site and so I have linked it to this blog post.

Student have also created google sites for their stories and received feedback from other students. This particular lesson covers the 8th Grade Technology TEK requiring students to use creativity and innovation to create, present and publish original works.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Students Create Google Maps

Mrs. Bloch's 6th Grade Social Studies Classes have been busy creating Google Maps to learn about the countries they are studying. Students import a spreadsheet with place markers on the countries they are researching and studying. Students complete facts for each country. Students are able to associate the location of a country with the the facts. Students enjoy working on the computers and can refer to their map to study and compare the countries in the region they are studying. The maps are shared with Mrs. Bloch so she can review student's work and comment on their work.















Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Learning Vocabulary with Technology

Hernandez Middle School is focusing on Vocabulary this year. Our research question for the year is in part "How does the intentional instruction of academic vocabulary and mortar words improve the academic achievement of all student groups ....?" We won't know the answer to the question until the end of the year, but already teachers are seeing results with a little help from Technology.

8th Grade Language Arts teacher Mr. Gembicki is using flashcards to help teach vocabulary, but not the paper kind. Using a website called Quizlet, available as a free app at the Chrome Store, Mr. Gembecki has turned flashcards into a fun interactive digital way to teach vocabulary. Are you as smart as Mr. Gembicki's 8th graders? Try one of the flash card sets created by Mr. Gembicki at Quizlet.

Reading Specialist, Ms. Kathleen Green and 6th grade Science teacher Mr. John Simpson use Freerice.com to help students learn vocabulary. Freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice for every correct answer a student gives. As students answer the vocabulary question correctly, the difficulty increases. If students struggle, the questions become easier so students can learn words they don't know. Students are motivated to learn vocabulary and get answers correct so they can contribute rice to The World Food Program to end world hunger.  Try Freerice.com and feed the world as you test your vocabulary skills.

Ms. Sofie Vastano, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher recently added Drillster and Newsela apps for students to use with their google accounts. Drillster allows Ms. Vastano to customize vocabulary terms for students and drills students so they retain the vocabulary words. Ms. Vastano reports that Drillster has helped students do better on tests. Would you pass one of Ms. Vastano's test? Try one of her drills and see how well you do.

Newsela is also an app available in the Chrome Store. It provides current event articles at different reading levels for students to read. Students are given a quiz after reading the article with vocabulary words and content questions.

Teachers at Hernandez are discovering that Flocabulary is a great tool for teaching vocabulary. Ms. Stephanie Stoebe, reading specialist has provided teachers with a list of flocabulary lessons for teachers to use in Science and US History. Flocabulary uses rap music to teach vocabulary. Because rap music is something middle school students relate to and can memorize, students are able to memorize vocabulary definitions by learning the songs.

How good are your vocabulary skills? Parents, can you define some of the words your students need to know. Try some of the activities your students are participating everyday at Hernandez Middle School. Follow the links above to practice your vocabulary.