Mr. Kamrowski

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." –Sitting Bull


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How To: Spice Up Your Syllabus with Google–Part 2

This is part two in a two-part post.  Part one, where I explain how to make a syllabus using Google Slides, can be found at the following link.  Note:  There will be no post next week in celebration of Labor Day.

So I have my syllabus; I’ve made it visually appealing, embeddable and even included some multimedia elements.  So what?  There is little to nothing engaging about my new tech-savvy syllabus.  It may prove to be more efficient for me in the future as I can edit one document and impact all my courses; parents can see it posted on the internet, and it has some links and videos that students can simply click to learn about aspects of the class.  However, I need to do more to engage students in getting to know basic procedures and expectations in the class and then to check for understanding:  Enter Google Forms. Continue reading


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How To: Spice Up Your Syllabus with Google–Part 1

The start of school is right around the corner and I’ve been spending time preparing for the first few days.  They are crucial days as the tone is established; relationships develop or don’t and procedures are put in place.  Within the first few days, I have several objectives:  make my class unique, build relationships, establish an expectation of self-directed learning and communicate basic class procedures and expectations.  While I have consulted many resources (Check out this resource built around Alan November’s first five days project.) and planned some great activities, the presentation of the syllabus remains a challenge.

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How To:  Gamify Your Classroom

This past week, MJ Linane, founder of www.guildway.com, Shawn Young, founder and CEO of ClassCraft, and myself conducted a webinar about gamification of the classroom.  Our purpose was to inform interested teachers of the why, what and how of gamification.  The full webinar is posted below and I encourage you to view it and post any comments or questions you may have.  I, being the interested, but the non-experienced teacher pertaing this topic, will not answer them but will ask MJ and Shawn, the “Game-Masters,” for their feedback.  Watch the webinar and view the outline below. Continue reading


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Reach Them to Teach Them

Recently, I attended a music festival that involved embarking a bus at 9 a.m. in the morning, waiting in line for one hour, trekking through rugged terrain to secure decent seats (With my own bag chair), paying exorbitant prices for food and drink, and arriving back home at 2:15 in the morning.  And, the truth is I loved it and will do it again next summer.   As I look forward to another school year, I wonder if I or another teacher can make their course so engaging that students will be as motivated to attend class as I was the music festival?  Dave Burgess, in his book titled Teach Like a Pirate poses the question: ” If students were not forced to come to your class would they?  Or, better yet, would they pay to come to your class?”.  Continue reading


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App Tested: Zaption, EDpuzzle & EduCanon

Description

In the winter and spring of 2013, I piloted a one-to-one classroom using the flipped learning model.  Content lectures were recorded and assigned to students as homework.  Students then came back to class, took a short quiz to show their understandings, and worked on a higher order thinking lesson for the day in the classroom.  The process was fairly efficient and somewhat effective.  I still use video within my courses, albeit differently than I had that first year.  The flipped model and methods have since become popularized and tools to make video-based content more interactive have been produced.  Three companies that have capitalized on the popularization of this method are; Zaption, EDpuzzle, and EduCanon.

In the 2014-15 school year, I incorporated the use of Zaption and EDpuzzle in some of my classes to see how they could benefit my instruction.   I used the premium version of Zaption until the free trial expired.  I then downgraded to the basic account.  EDpuzzle has always been free and I tested EduCanon features this summer.  The following is what I learned.  Continue reading