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The Creator's Guide to the NEW Flipgrid Camera

  With all of the new updates that were released to the Flipgrid Camera in August, I updated The Creator's Guide to the Flipgrid Camera. You can access it at My favorite new addition is the ability to add Backdrops to the camera. This is a built in green screen where users can choose from a gallery of backdrops or upload their own image! I won't spend more time in this post because I'd rather have you check out the guide and then play around with the new camera! So again, check out the guide at and share it as you see fit.
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National Board Certification Post 3: Culminating Assessment

  The final part of portfolio 2 National Board Certification is explaining the culminating assessment of the unit and reflection on the unit as a whole. Portfolio 2 focuses on differentiation in instruction. In this post, I'm presenting the culminating assessment for the energy unit in my physics class and a reflection on the unit as a whole. Culminating Assessment The culminating assessment for the unit on energy assessed 3 key outcomes: 1) Analyzing Energy Data 2) Applying Mathematics to Energy Data 3) Constructing Explanations Related to Conservation of Energy. Students were given 6 different choices for how they would like to demonstrate mastery of these 3 outcomes: 1) Traditional paper test 2) Flipgrid Bingo 3) Energy Simulations 4) Virtual Labs 5) Evidence Presentation 6) Infographic. These options were designed with learner preferences and student feedback surveys of preferred modes of expression. All assessments covered the same outcomes but in a different format. The tradi

National Board Certification Post 2: Analysis of Instruction and Student Work

  As a part of Component 2 of the National Board Certification process is a portfolio documenting Differentiation in Instruction. This portfolio is intended to demonstrate how instruction is differentiated in unit. In the last post I documented how I designed instruction in a unit to meet the needs of different learners. In this post, I'll focus on analyzing that instruction including student examples. I have removed student names to preserve their anonymity. Analysis of Instruction and Student Work The major outcome that carries across all three of these activities is being able to conduct investigations and analyze data related to the law of conservation of energy. In all 3 activities students are looking at phenomena and relating it to the law of conservation of energy. In order to do this, students are asked to identify the forms of energy present at different points during a process.  In activity 1, students are working with only gravitational potential energy and kinetic ener

National Board Certification Post 1: Planning Instruction

As I embark on the National Board Teacher Certification process, I am using this space to post some of my work and thoughts. Component 2 of the process is a portfolio documenting Differentiation in Instruction. This portfolio is intended to demonstrate how instruction is differentiated in unit.   There are multiple pieces to the portfolio to document the process and the results including Instructional Context, Planning of Instruction with Activity Samples, Analysis of Student Work with Samples, and Description of the Summative Assessment. In this post, I'd like to focus on the Planning of Instruction. Before I do that, though, here is a little snippet from the instructional context. The class that is being featured is a general physics course with 25 students. The students are in grades 10 and 11. Their ages range from 16 to 18 years. Twenty one of the students were in-person learners and 4 were attending virtually. This is a general algebra based introductory physics course. The

National Board Certification Post 0: Back to the Lab Again

In 2019, I had big plans of working on my National Boards. I began researching and determining exactly what the process entailed. I put together documentation of what goes in each part of the portfolio. I mapped out important deadlines. But then, 2020 happened and everything got put on hold.  About a month ago as summer was approaching, I decided that the timing would be right to start again pick up where I left off, which was at the beginning.  So, this is the one professional related task I will be working on over the summer. As I go through the process, I hope to use this blog as a place to reflect and share my progress in the process.  So this is not so much of a blog post as it is a way to hold myself accountable to truly start the process and post updates to the blog.  So, here we go...

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

Many Uses for Pear Deck

Pear Deck is a tool I have been using in my classroom for over 5 years now. It is consistently the #1 tool my students say helps their learning in our classroom. So, I'd just like to give a brief overview of the different ways we deploy Pear Deck for Google Slides in our classroom. Instructor Paced Notes This is probably the most traditional use of Pear Deck. Essentially having a lecture session built in Google Slides with Pear Deck interactions built in. This has been wonderful this year when I have a mix of students who are in person and virtual. All learners get a chance to interact and be heard by the teacher and their voice can be shared with the class.  While this might seem straight forward, there are some best practices to keep in mind. Start out with a question to preview content or tap into prior knowledge.This can be a good check to see what the class and individual students already know about a topic. It is also provides an opportunity use their words to help guide def