Posted in Google, professional development, teaching

Google Voice Part 2: In Any classroom

Google Voice: In Any Classroom

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Ah, the dreaded exit ticket. 

Really, it sounds like such a great idea at first. Hold the kids accountable. Use those last few minutes of class productively. Get a quick snapshot of student understanding. Have something quick to grade for a daily grade. Have kids actually apply the standard you just covered.

Win-win, right???

Ha. Wrong.  You see, first you have to cut out all those exit tickets. Pass them out. They have to do them. <–All of that is the easy part. People suggest these exit tickets as a regular part of the routine. Several times a week or even every day. The only problem is: there are some things that paper clips can’t fix. i.e.: my desk. See sample below.

messy-desk

You see, for teachers like me, who are moms and wives and department chairs and, you know, 12 other responsibilities to mention, we don’t have time for that. I don’t need another tiny slip of paper (or stack of them) to try to remember not to lose.

How can Google Voice help?

With Google Voice, you get a phone number. Not only can students leave you a voice message (as mentioned in Part 1 of this series), but they can also text the phone number as well! The messages collect in your Google Voice account, and are also sent to your email account.

This is life changing. 

At the end of class, kids put their things away, and I ask them a short question. For me, usually, this is a short production task (in Spanish), perhaps, a question to answer or a topic to write about. Students text the phone number and the assignment comes to my email.

Why is this so awesome?

  • Sometimes kids need more time to finish than time allows. They can take the cell phone with them.
  • You can provide feedback! Text back!
    • Are you worried about the privacy implications of that? Well, worry a little less. Texting through Google Voice creates a paper trail. All messages to and from the account are saved. Its the ultimate teacher “CYA”.
  • Students without phones can still complete the assignment on a sticky note, or from the phone of a friend.
  • It eliminates (or nearly does) the tiny stacks of paper ravaging your desk.

Other ideas: I haven’t tried but really want to!

  • Give this phone number to parents instead of your regular cell phone number. Keep the conversation going via text.
  • Encourage kids to text questions about homework, projects and more.
  • Create lists in Google voice to text extra credit opportunities, links to important info and more.

Have any ideas yet??? Comment below! 

-CL

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Posted in teaching, Uncategorized

Things that work: Spanish Pronunciation

A trick I learned from a friend when I was in college about Spanish pronunciation has come in handy for me in the last few years.

The trick is: after learning the sounds that the Spanish vowels make, to practice pronunciation, try saying normal English words in Spanish.

…its not very easy… but it has two effects: 1.) practice 2.) understanding why some Spanish speakers say certain English words in a specific way.

I’ve been using this on my husband… and he’s having fun with it, and it is helping him say words better in Spanish 😉

Brush up on your Spanish Vowels here:

Spanish vowel help, 1

Spanish vowel help, 2

Spanish vowel video

Hope this helps!