Living Life Like a Border Collie

Several years ago, I went through turbulence in my personal life unlike any I had ever faced. The details aren’t important but the lessons learned are something I cherish. Truly, I am grateful for the experience. One of these lessons has been rolling around in my consciousness as a blog post for a while now and as the school year draws to a close and the snow (yes, snow on May 18 in Denver) continues to fall, it seems today is the day to turn the rumblings in my thoughts to words on a screen.

A little background: I absolutely adore border collies. My facebook page is often littered with border collie videos, border collie cartoons, and pictures of my own border collie, Darwin. I’m a little weird about it and I’m okay with that.

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Using Flubaroo to Give Meaningful Feedback to Students

Flubaroo is a google add-on tool for google sheets that will automatically grade submissions based on the criteria that are set by the teacher. It’s an extremely popular add-on. In its first iteration, it was a tool that worked best just with multiple choice or single word text/number questions. Recently it has undergone improvements that make it much more student-centered and teacher-friendly.

You can now “hand-grade” student short answers and leave specific feedback without leaving the window – a huge time-saver for teachers. In addition to that, and even better than that – flubaroo now includes an option to send the quiz/exit slip to your student’s google drive.

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Common Core, Cross-Curricular Learning and a really Cool Venn Diagram

Robert Kaplinsky often has interesting thoughts about education. He’s a math teacher by trade and he recently wrote a blog post titled, “How do the Common Core Math, ELA, and Next Gen Science Standards Overlap?”  I *love* the Venn Diagram he shared.

Creating a Venn Diagram for standards holds promise as a concrete way of moving away from the silos that get created when each content area plans in a vacuum. Kids often have the same silos. For instance, how often have we heard some variation of “why are we doing English in science class?” The diagram is a powerful construct for building out true, rigorous learning across curriculums. Take a look:

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