Case study,  Teacher Tips

Weekly writing assignment ✍️

Everybody’s classroom is different, so it’s always interesting to learn how other educators use tools and apps to engage their students.  

Let’s check out Instructional Technology Coach from Beaufort County School District, Eve Heaton’s tips and tricks when using Kami in her school.

 

How have you helped others work with Kami?

I work specifically with Title 1 schools within our district and I conduct monthly professional developments where I routinely train on Kami or link it to other training. We have full access and I love showcasing Kami as a way of communicating, collaborating, and providing a way for students to creatively showcase their knowledge (while saving paper!).

 

What subject(s) do you teach?

I provide technology instructional support in all subject areas.

 

What are your favorite Kami tools?

  • I love the Video Comment tool because I think it adds a level of personalization to an assignment. Students can click on your Video Comment and see you actually giving feedback or instructions. It is easier to interrupt meaning and tone from a video than from a text comment.

 

  • Recently, I discovered that the Signature tool also allows you to upload an image which I use to create “stamps” for assignments. I created a file folder on my computer labeled “stamps” and filled it with transparent images that I use as “stamps” (check marks, question marks, etc.). Recently, I have added several of my Bitmoji images, which personalizes the comments I make. Bitmojis is a fun way for students to get visual feedback on an assignment.

 

  • The Speech to Text and Text to Speech tools are great for my struggling students. The Speech to Text feature allows students who struggle with the keyboard, or writing, to verbally record their responses and have their answers typed out for them. Much like any Speech to Text tool, the student still has to proof and correct mistakes and punctuation, so as a teacher I am happy they get to work with the basic conventions of writing before turning in their work. The Text to Speech tool is great for students who are emerging or struggling readers. It allows students to hear the instructions, the passage, or work in front of them quickly without having to pull the instructor to assist with that task. It also helps students of all abilities when proofing their writing. The embedded voice will only read what is typed into the program, so while students might visually overlook mistakes in their writing it is harder when they hear mistakes when their writing is played back verbally.

 

If you had other superpowers, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superpower it would be the ability to understand and speak every language in the world. It seems like an odd superpower to want but I think it would be great to be able to communicate with anyone in the world regardless of geographical location or background.

 

Show us how you use Kami 💡

Weekly Weekend Writing: This may not seem like a “wow” assignment but I use it when highlighting how Kami can reduce paper on a typical weekly assignment (What I Did this Weekend). I explain how have the grading requirements on the top and how a student can record what they wrote to help practice reading fluency and check for errors. The bottom area can be used for illustration purposes.

Teachers can also leave a Video Comment prior to assigning to share what they did this weekend as a model. It is a “simple” assignment that is easy for teachers to implement immediately that incorporates so many of the Kami tools. I often get requests for the template after training on it.

Source: Eve Heaton

 

When I highlight this assignment with teachers I am showing them:
  • How easy Kami is to work into existing assignments without being overly complicated (in this case I made a template in Word and reuse it every week).
  • It can be integrated into a Monday morning work routine without having to make copies for the class.
  • You can include your grading requirements in the directions….instead of posting on the wall or on the interactive board.
  • You can use shapes to separate work (in this case the writing area from the drawing area). The drawing area may be superfluous but I get a lot of great art and it gives something for the early finishers to do.
  • How easy it is to go paperless…even one day a week (think “Meatless Monday” concept but with paper).
  • It gives students an opportunity to practice their keyboarding skills (our state tests for grade 3 up are all computerized).
  • It is easy to give feedback (in a variety of ways) via the Kami integration feature in the Google Classroom grading window.

 

I am also currently in love with the zoom feature! It seems random but I have the elementary students I work with add drawings to their work and the ability to zoom in and out of the page allows students to produce finer detail work in smaller areas. I recently started sketch noting with students and the zoom feature allows them to create multiple drawings related to the topic on the page.

 

Inspired? Learn more about what Kami has to offer your classroom today!

Eve is an Instructional Technology Coach at Beaufort County School District. She's also a Kami Hero!