Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lesson Plan Creators

   Here's another fun post to add to my learning list: Lesson Plans!

   Blendspace was the first site I visited and I was instantly impressed. Last summer I learned a lot about the idea of a Flipped Classroom and have had my reservations because I didn't know where to start. This website makes it easy to create a flipped classroom lesson. All I have to do it pick a topic, pool all of my resources, and create the lesson. This site is that is was easy to navigate. It reminded me of powerpoint with the flow between slides.
   As an example, I teach the play version of The Diary of Anne Frank to my 8th graders. Their background knowledge of WWII and the Holocaust is all over the map, so building background knowledge is always a cornerstone to teaching this unit. By using Blendspace, I can link a virtual tour of the secret annex, a YouTube video to the Frank family going into hiding, and a short worksheet of questions for the students to answer or journal - all before coming to class! Something else that was neat about Blendspace is the viewers ability to comment on the lesson.
   I think a key point to using Blendspace would be allowing my students a good amount of time to complete the activities instead of just one night for a flipped classroom experience. It could also be used in class with teacher monitoring and assisting. Kids have the ability to review anything they didn't understand or want to see more than once. I love that feature!

   Knowmia was the second site I spent some time exploring. Here I can type in a topic I am working on with my students and find a bank of videos made by teachers on the topic. I found a variety of videos on Knowmia. Some were very professional videos with cartoons, and layers of writing, and speech. Some videos were teachers at their desks talking, and other were screencast-o-matic videos. Something I liked about this site was the ability to copy and paste the link to the video in an email, on a webpage, or Twitter. This could really come in handy for the future.

   TedEd looks like another easy site to use for the flipped classroom approach. I can search for the perfect YouTube video that goes with my lesson, then add questions for kids to answer before coming to class. Blendspace seems more in depth, so this website would be better to use in shorter assignments with less links to things I need the students to do. I can make my own videos to save to the TedEd site or use the ones other teachers have made.

   The final website I really think could be helpful is MasteryConnect. This site seems like it would make my job of collaborating with my colleagues much easier. Sharing with people in my circle looks easy and the grading feature looks like it takes much less time than typical paper-pencil grading. My principal's current focus is professional development and I signed up to take part in an online sharing forum for this next school year. Since it has not started yet, I am not sure how much it has in common with MasteryConnect, but I cannot wait to find out!


  1. Good summary, Lisa. I like how you hit the important points for each option.

  2. Lisa, I agree with you on Blendspace. It is a great tool for providing students with background knowledge before they walk into class. It is very easy for the teacher to create with Blendspace and very easy for students to learn using Blendspace.