Sunday, January 17, 2016

5 Great Ways for Teachers to Use Their Phones in the Classroom

Fitting everything in is one of a teacher's greatest challenges. A great way to keep on track is to use the clock functions on your phone. If you have a regular schedule each day, set alarms for each subject or transition. Never be late for specialists or lunch again by setting it to go off 5 minutes before they start. Use the timer to pace workshop rotations. The options are endless.

Conducting reading conferences and taking running records is a valuable use of time, but can be time consuming. Increase your efficiency by downloading an app that not only does the calculations for you, but also enables you to record a student reading to document progress. Running Record Calculator is my favorite.

I hate to think about the countless hours I spent organizing student portfolios and managing student work samples. Streamline documenting student work by simply snapping photos of the items you would normally file, scan or photocopy.  Set up a folder on your computer for each students and quickly upload and drag the photos into those folders. Two things I LOVE about using the camera for this purpose . . .
  • photographing hands-on work samples like math patterns and science activities
  • being able to share the work sample with parents and colleagues using a projectable board during conferences
Remind (formerly Remind 101) is a free, safe, and highly effective tool for communicating with parents (or even keeping your older students on top of things). Teachers can send text messages to families to remind them about conferences, assignments, forms that are due, etc. The parents never have access to or see your phone number nor can they respond. The best part is you can set up the texts ahead of time so when you book a field trip you can set reminders for signing permission slips, packing lunches, etc.

I love a sticky note as much as the next girl, but I also know I will misplace them. Instead of jotting notes to yourself on paper use the note section of your phone. Make the process even easier by using the voice to text option.

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