Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nearpod and Nearpod Homework=Powerful Blended Learning Opportunities

"Can we try ONE MORE PROBLEM, PLEASE??" This is what I heard from several students in a fifth grade class last week I was asked to teach a lesson about multiplying decimals. In our district we are using Pearson Envision Math and the day in which I would be teaching the lesson 7-4B I decided to use Nearpod to teach it rather than project my display and ask the students to take notes on what they are learning.  I used the school's iPad cart and each student opened the free Nearpod app. They entered the PIN for my lesson and we were ready to learn. Multiplying decimals by decimals and/or whole numbers can be an abstract mathematical concept for 5th grade, especially when the lesson called for the students to utilize models to represent their problems.

One of the reasons I volunteered for this particular lesson was that I wanted to experiment with combining some of my favorite tech tools. The lesson, shown below, utilizes Haiku Deck for the slides because it makes great looking slides. I used Doceri for the 0.3 minute whiteboard video demonstrations. Finally, Nearpod supplied the great interactive activities that engaged the students. It worked so well that the kids were enthusiastically asking for math to be taught this way from now on.

Our district in the process of purchasing a large scale subscription 3-year license for this amazing Nearpod service. This development has the potential to change the way teachers teach and student learn in the classroom. We have such great access to technology in this district, Nearpod is an exciting new way to implement positive classroom practices. In one lesson, using Nearpod, I was able to meet many of the instructional priorities our district has emphasized:

  • Feedback
  • Maximizing Opportunities to Respond
  • Explicit Instruction
  • Acquisition, Automaticity, the Application

In order to gain access to this district-wide license, we will be doing short trainings for elementary and secondary teachers to share with you the features and be sure that you have what you need to get started.  For more information, contact your Ed Tech or me (

This the Nearpod presentation I created and used for teaching the multiplying of decimals. Even though I presented this live to the students in class, it is posted here as a self-guided presentation via Nearpod Homework. Go through it yourself and let me know what you think. If you can't see this embedded presentation, you can click here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wanted: Student Filmmakers!

Do you know a student interested in film? How about a group of students interested in working with a local business? Besides being a great learning and leadership opportunity, filmmaking helps students develop communication and organizational skills through a hands-on, student lead project. 
This year for the 6th Annual Canyons District Film Festival we are encouraging more students to step into a leadership and film-production role by being partnered with a sponsoring business in the community to create an advertisement.

This is an exciting opportunity for students and businesses alike, so if you know of a company or small business in the area that would like to help sponsor the 2015 Canyons District Film Festival, please connect them with your Ed Tech as soon as possible! Student and business intent to participate forms must be turned in by 5pm on December 4, 2014 so that interested businesses and students can be partnered to start creating those fantastic advertisements! 

Even if you can't participate, don't miss out on the chance to see these and other student-created films make their Film Festival debut on April 16, 2015! 

For more information about filmmaking in the classroom and the Canyons District Festival, visit our Professional Learning page.