From Paper to Digital Notebooks: Evernote!

evernote

Last year in the Academic Center, each student was given a composition book for notes and activities. They worked well, but the need to find storage for each one was cumbersome, and students were often misplacing them. So, as we are pushing to be a dedicated BYOD (Bring Your Own Device Classroom), we are starting this week replacing our black and white notebooks with Evernote!

The Plan

Each student will create an Evernote account on their mobile device or classroom computer via the web. Students will create a notebook to be solely dedicated to our class, Learning Strategies. Within the notebook, each note will be for a different topic that we cover in class. While we will still occasionally use worksheets for group activities, we will do the majority of our work in Evernote.

Why Evernote

Students will have access to their accounts from anywhere and every device, whether it is web-based or through the Evernote app. This will eleviate the issue of misplacing notebooks. Students will learn to imbed pictures in their notes, such as pictures they take from activities they do, upload documents they have that relate to the topic, as well as set due dates through Evernote’s newer feature of reminders. An email or app popup is sent to the person when a due date is approaching.

Generalization of  Evernote

As with every new idea or concept we teach our students, our goal is to move students to carrying over their knowledge to their other classes. Students will become proficient with using Evernote and can use it to take notes in their other classes, stay organized and share their notebooks with others. Last year, many students would take pictures of teacher whiteboards as they were heading out of class. This information was often important to the student, and they might not have had a chance to write it down. Now these once miscellaneous pictures could be embedded into a note that correlated with the information that student have from the picture into a note.

A great post, done by a fellow educator, Mr. Abud, shows how he uses notebooks for Chemistry to track student progress on lab reports. Student teams create notebooks, share them with him, and upload steps to labs along with pictures and documents. Check it our here!

Additionally, I can see Evernote accounts being shared by paraprofessionals and co-teachers with support teachers, such as myself, to quickly share information being taught in the classes in which they are supporting. This would eliminate the need to constantly be walking down the information to our program or emailing it. Great option for everyone involved!

Interested in learning more about Evernote?

Check out this Haiku Deck   

Using To-Do Lists in Evernote

 

 

Building Relationships in the Classroom: What To Do in The First Weeks and Beyond!

Huddle

In a previous post by Juile on Relationship Building in the Classroom, we were introduced to the ideas of how important this relationship building can be with students.

You agree with the concept, but are wondering what are some specific ways to build relationships with students as well as student to student relationships.  Here are some which we plan to use in the first few weeks of school, a KEY time to connect with students to build year long positive relationships.

1. Marshmallow Challenge: Simply put, students are randomly placed into groups with a few simple materials: one marshmallow, string, scotch tape and uncooked spaghetti noodles. Students work on team building as they try to construct the tallest free standing structure. See here for more info!

2. Where do I belong? Each student is given a card with a word. Four words fit in each category to make groups. Some words can fit into more than one category, so it really gets the kids thinking. After trying this out, have students find one thing in common outside of the cards (think grade, age, favorite hobby etc) that they all share. See here for more info!

3. Mingle, Mingle. Create get to know you activities that ask students to find another student in the room that matches a statement. Have teachers be a part of the list as well.

4. The Weekend Update: On Mondays, spend 3-4 minutes sharing what happened over your weekend and allow students to share too. We remind students to keep in school appropriate. Great way to connect students as well as continue to prove that teachers have lives too!

5. Student surveys: Give students the chance to share their strengths, weaknesses, goals and fears for the year on a quick student survey. We also add what types of rewards students like.

Building relationships with students are the single best way to enrich your classroom environment for students and teachers. What things do you use in your classroom?