NCSS 2019 Austin, Texas

Image result for ncss austin

We'd love to see you!  We are excited to be presenting at NCSS 2019!  Come and join us in a session or two talking about primary sources and how to utilize technology tools for inquiry and engagement!  


Friday, November 22, 2019
Join Two Geeky Teachers as we App Smash Your World with Primary Sources! We will be in Exhibit Hall 5, Classroom F this morning from 9:50-10:45!  

Saturday, November 23, 2019
8:30-9:25 am Break Out of the Normal with Inquiry and Technology
Room 4C Level 3

Saturday, November 23, 2019
4:10-5:05pm Google Arts & Culture More Than a Pretty Picture
Room 8A Level 3


Discourse with Technology Tools

Moving your classroom discussion into those higher levels of Blooms can be daunting.  Teachers work on their inquiry questions, wait time, cooperative learning techniques and partner discussions.  If discourse and student to teacher ratio talk time is a classroom goal for you. Academic discourse and vocabulary work together hand in hand helping students to intelligently present their thoughts and arguments. We have some ideas that utilize technology tools to elevate the discussions in your classroom.  

Poll Everywhere allows for different kinds of questions.  Try the word cloud with your students. Open a Poll Everywhere Word Cloud question and watch the cloud develop in real time with the words that are used repeatedly getting larger on the screen.  Students can discuss what they are seeing and why they think the words are related to the question, why some words are larger than others and what it means.  

Flashcard Factory is simply amazing.  Pear Deck has taken on the 4 C's in a big way!  Teachers create a vocabulary list, students sign in and are assigned to teams.  They stick close to the factory theme throughout the whole experience!  You even "clock in" when you head into the factory.  The teacher acts as the factory foreman and the students are put into groups of two and assigned to the day or night shift.  Students then work together to illustrate and give examples of the vocabulary word.  One student will get a drawing screen to create a picture and the other will have a screen asking them to give an exemplar of the term.  They work together to make these additions and then turn in their flashcard!  The class then discusses the cards in quality control and decides if they should leave the factory.  The foreman can then give them a stamp of approval and send them on.  Flashcards can be exported to Quizlet and Gimkit!  It's simply amazing!  One of my students told me it was the most fun he had experienced in school all year!  Try it out!  

Quizlet Live utilizes vocabulary flashcards in an engaging collaborative way.  Students are assigned to a team of three.  The teacher has the game posted so that all can see the progress of the teams.  Once students find their teammates, they line their computers up together.  The correct answer is listed on ONE of their computer screens.  The teacher screen can project the race progress and see who wins.  Its an amazing way to familiarize students with difficult vocabulary or sentence starters what will help them have a more meaningful discussion!

Learning managements systems like Schoology and Canvas offer discussion features that require students to respond to a post before seeing what their classmates have posted.  They can then have threaded discussions with each other and will often express themselves and join in a virtual discussion when they won't say a word in class.  It is a great way to give all students an option to "talk" and be heard.  Using Google Classroom?  You can use its question feature in much the same way. Try an online discussion today and see if your students respond in a different way.  You may learn more than you wanted to know!

Flipgrid is an online video platform where students can quickly create a video response to any prompt or discussion point.  This week, we had students give feedback to their peers through Flipgrid.  They completed a feedback form about their peer's writing and then posted it to Flipgrid.  The students were excited to receive the individualized feedback and enjoyed creating the video complete with selfies and stickers!

We are using the Screencastify Google Chrome Extension on all of our student chromebooks.  Students can create screencasts that include drawing tools and even have the option of embedding a webcam view of themselves while they are explaining their screencast.  We have used it for students to explain their math thinking, create videos for their parents about how to access the parent portal and grades, giving feedback to other students, explaining their thinking about their google doc.  The sky is the limit with this tool and we are loving it for promoting more discourse in our classes! 

Want more ideas about using discourse in your classroom?  Check out our presentation which includes readings, information and tips for getting those kids talking!


Pear Deck

Pear Deck Bills Itself as the Fastest Way to Transform Presentations into Classroom Conversations and We Agree!  

Take your google slide show and transform it into an engaging interactive lesson for your students.  You can do this as a class and control the pacing of the lesson or you can set it so that students can work at their own speed.  Pear Deck is offers a trial subscription.  Once the teachers in my school tried it, they decided to include a school subscription in their building budget and use it almost daily! Just load a google slide show, add the Pear Deck add-on and start engaging students.  You can use the library of questions already created in Pear Deck or make your own.  

Pear Deck offers a library of resources, slides, tips and ideas for implementing Pear Deck.  They also partner with Newsela and a Daily Deck!  Wow!  Start with the classroom culture and move to other presentation ideas! 

Here are some Geeky Teacher directions and specifics about how to get started! 


VOYA STEM Fellows FB Live Session 7: Collaborating with the Community

Thank you VOYA for partnering with NNSTOY and supporting our research and learning in STEM. We are pleased to share some of our collaborative resources right here as an addendum to the FB Live Chat  which you can view right here: https://www.facebook.com/NNSTOYTeachersLeading/videos/2322816238034980/

Real World Connections for STEM: FB Live Research List

Voya Teacher Voices: 

Voya STEM One Pager: 

Softy Skills and Hard Skills for Real World Learning:
Link Here

Rock Star STEM Teaching 

STEM Research: 

STEM team Resources from Other Districts: 

Hacking STEM Activities and Ideas from Microsoft: 


Do Places Matter in the Classroom? Yes They Do!

Learning about the Devil's Den at Gettysburg National Park (March 2019) 

As educators one of the most important things we can do for our students is give them a connection to place.  By incorporating contemporary and historic sites during instruction, we are not only supporting our students in connecting to the world around us but we are also helping them to understand how places create the tapestry of the world we live in.  As you teach, feel free to access resources that have been on this blog ( ust search place and you will have them pop up!) before or the ones listed below- and feel free to reach out for ideas, collective brainstorming, and a little bit of fun too!

Ways to Use Primary Sources and Technology: 


Thinking ABOUT sheets: 

Thinking About ( Social Studies) 
Thinking About ( LOC Sheet )
Thinking About ( Preservation )

Links to Teaching with Historic Places Resources:

Teaching with Historic Places ( NPS )
Colorado Encyclopedia
Rocky Mountain PBS Colorado Experience Resources/Lessons
Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation COMPASS
Postcard Resources

How to Get Students More Involved: 

The Preserve America Youth Summit 
NPS Junior Ranger Program - Web Ranger