Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 14- iPad Apps for Assessment

I am a music teacher, so I am constantly looking for tech tools that engage my students, and give them a hands on approach to music theory and music practice in Elementary school.  I have found a few iPad apps that really help me get a base-line assessment on my students in rhythm reading, fluency of playing, and musicality. I've also created my own using Google forms, and save the link to my home page.  This allows me to take each Music standard and create a plan of action for each child in my classroom.

These are a few of the apps I found for music assessment.  

Rhythm Cat is free with a paid for higher levels version that the kids tap the beat to.  It gives stars kind of like Angry Birds.  The kids try to get their own best score, and I can observe them playing a rhythm! 

A full review of this app can be found at  Joy Morin is a pianist and piano teacher with great passion and dedication for helping her students experience the wonders of music making. She has over seven years of teaching experience and holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy. Joy maintains a blog about piano teaching at

Dust Buster Piano is a piano practice app that I use to observe fluency and ability to follow along with early music reading.  With many levels and cute graphics, kids can play to the familiar songs, as they gain confidence and fluency, just like reading a favorite book.  

A full review of this app can be found at

These are some other apps for assessment that I found:

IEP Pal Free - A great tool to have at your fingertips when you need to track IEP goals for your students. It allows you to input relevant data so you can keep track of your student’s goals. Additionally, it now allows you to record individual notes while tracking student progress.
K12 timed Reading $1.99 - Fluency app. It allows more than one student levels K-4th grade. improving fluency allows readers to read smoothly and quickly so they can focus on comprehension rather than on decoding words.

Nearpod -  an app that allows teachers to log in and students to use a code to access the same material as the teacher on another IOS device.
Google doc teacher evaluation template- Add this to your Drive as a template to evaluate teachers.

For this post, my question is what apps for assessment are you using in your classroom or building and how are you using them...with small groups, large groups, or individual students?  What subjects are you finding more resources in, and how do you see us using them in the future?

The next question is how to record the information, do you use a Google doc to make a spreadsheet, or fill out a form as the kids take their turn, and how do you mark their progress?  Do you assess each standard, or skill, and how?

If you don't have an iPad yet, what web applications have you found for assessment?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 13 -

Paper Rater: A teacher's best friend!
Are you tired of seeing the same silly mistakes on papers that students should have caught if they  would have read the paper before submitting? This is a site that can help you even if you are not an English teacher.  It can grade the mechanics of the paper, rate the vocabulary and sentence length for grade level,  and it will help to detect plagiarism; all you will have left to grade is the content. It is a great tool for students to use before submitting their papers and its FREE and oh so easy to use.

Your Challenge:

Go to and compare a student paper that you have graded with what paperrater rates it.  I am sure you'll agree, this is a great tool for any teacher.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 12 -


For teachers looking to improve grammar and fluency at a student's pace, is the place to be! It offers individualized options for students to practice using apostrophes, subject/verb agreement, commas, fragments, and run-ons, and commonly confused words. In the premium edition (currently in beta, requires schools to apply for the pilot program), NoRedInk offers even more!

Once you sign in, you are taken straight to the dashboard:

This shows you all of your various options as a teacher/administrator of the classroom settings. You can immediately create a class.

Once you create your class, you provide students with the invite code and they can sign up on their own:

It will even prompt them to select their interests:

Then, when you assign work, it will include sentences using the interests each student specified! To create assignments, simply click on the "Assignments" tab.

NoRedInk will let you select the type of assignment, the number of questions, which students receive the assignment, and so forth:

Students can also opt to practice on what they like:

You can also assign quizzes:

And view student progress:

NoRedInk even allows you to see what students see in their dashboard: is great about responding quickly and they love feedback. To leave a testimonial, click here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 11 - NBC Learn K-12

NBC Learn K-12 is a terrific resource for multimedia content generated by NBC over the past eighty years and available now as streaming content. The site consists of videos, most between one and six minutes in length, as well as primary source documents. It is not just news reports, however. NBC has gone to great lengths to provide a wide variety of resources that cover almost every content area and has aligned videos to state and Common Core standards.

What makes NBC Learn truly terrific, however, is how easy it is to find the resources that best meet your needs quickly so you have more time to devote to planning other areas of your lessons. The site is fully searchable, but also browsable by content and standard. Check out the screencast to see a demonstration of how easy it is to locate resources.

NBC Learn can be accessed by Indiana teachers by visiting Once there it is recommended that you create an account by clicking register in the top right corner of the page. This will allow you to save videos to a playlist, add notes to videos, and download videos to your computer.

Here are some other resources:

A Getting Started Guide that takes you step by step through both the
account creation process and locating resources by standard and subject.

NBC Learn Video Tour

NBC Learn Welcome from Brian Williams

NBCLearn K-12 is free right now for all Indiana teachers, students and parents/guardians thanks to the Indiana Department of Education Office of eLearning. This means that your students and their parents/guardians can also create accounts and will have the same functionality that If you find it useful please pass this along to someone in that department.

Your Challenge:
Find a few resources that you can use in your classroom to enrich instruction. Examine the resources available on the video player "flipcard." What are some ways you might use this resource other than just playing