We spoke with Ms. May, a 10th-grade English teacher, about how she uses TeacherMade to help her students practice and develop their skills. She's also reduced her need for paper copies by using TeacherMade's digital activities in her classroom.
How much faster and easier is TeacherMade to use compared to other platforms?
Because TeacherMade can be used with almost any handout, it has given me back more of my prep time. Although assignments are integrated into Schoology, I prefer grading in TeacherMade because it is much quicker. I can easily swipe through my students' assignments with auto-grading and the easy left and right arrows. On other platforms, I would have to load and exit each student's assignment to go to the next one. I can also easily write comments on the grading page. Navigating in and out of each assignment to grade or comment might not sound like much, but time does add up. And teachers are always pressed for time.
How do you turn regular paper assignments into engaging digital activities for your students?
TeacherMade has streamlined my work and made things much easier, from planning to student engagement to grading and giving feedback. For example, if I need to do a mini grammar lesson, I can use a PDF, scan a worksheet from a grammar workbook, or type my own worksheet and upload it into TeacherMade. Once uploaded, I can transform the once paper worksheet into a digital one that is engaging for students.
What digital assignments have you created for your students using TeacherMade?
The Dropdown Tool
My tenth graders had to complete a unit on syntax. After reviewing sentence fragments, I found an online worksheet that I liked. It had three parts: identifying sentences and fragments, fixing fragments, and writing and speaking applications. In TeacherMade, I used the drop-down tool to create a drop-down box for each question in section one of the worksheet. Students read each group of words and selected either sentence or fragment from the drop-down choices. It gave them a 50/50 chance of getting the correct answers, which is important to build their confidence. The drop-down answers were auto-graded. That saved me time, and students were able to see their scores for that section right after submitting.
The Open Answer Tool
For the second part of the digital worksheet, I used the Open Answer tool to create boxes next to each fragment. Students read each fragment and wrote a complete sentence using it. What is great about using the Open Answer box is the students are not limited by the small space in the original worksheet. I also chose the color, size, and font of the student's answers. A little splash of color made the worksheet look cute.
Color Block and Teacher Text Boxes
In the third section of the worksheet, the original directions wanted students to write sentences and read them to their peers. Because I like hearing my students' voices (some of them are quite shy), I modified the directions using the Color Block and Text Box tools to have students record themselves telling me what a sentence fragment is and how to fix it. It was wonderful hearing their voices when I graded the assignments. The recording added personality to the assignment.
How have you used TeacherMade's digital assignments to replace paper copies for formative assessment?
As a tenth-grade English teacher, I want to help my students be proficient with reading and writing. In order to help them, I need to offer my students plenty of opportunities to practice and develop their skills. Some of the best formative practices are handouts that target certain sections of a unit.
I am lucky that our school has a copy person. Teachers submit copies two days in advance, and the copy person makes copies for them. At my previous school, teachers had to make their own copies. There were times when the copy line was super long! However, even with a copy person at my current school, I sometimes make last-minute changes to my handouts, decide to use a completely different handout, or forget to submit a handout two days in advance. The copy person is sweet and would make last-minute copies for me, but I don't want to be that teacher.
With TeacherMade, I hardly need paper copies anymore. The few times I submitted for copies (I feel bad saying this), the copies ended up just sitting in my room. Given the option of paper or digital worksheets, most of my students chose the digital version. Once in a while, there might be two or three students in a class of 30 who actually used the paper copies. Having a stack of paper on my counter seems like a waste. With TeacherMade, all my handouts are digital. If needed, I can print two or three copies from my computer for the students who want paper.
The Takeaway: TeacherMade offers features to help teachers create engaging digital activities for their students. Teachers use TeacherMade to reduce printed copies and to speed up grading with the auto-grading feature.
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