World language teacher, Ms. Elena Baker, uses TeacherMade to streamline her lesson planning. She creates fillable PDFs from her existing worksheets, and uses auto-grade tools to simplify her life. Read more about how Elena uses TeacherMade in the classroom.
What tools have saved you time as a teacher?
Teaching is a rewarding profession, but it is also one with an extremely demanding workload. I started my career in education two years ago, teaching French in grades two through eight. In my first few months of teaching, I often worked from the early morning until nine or ten at night, creating activities, grading, and planning. However, I soon found this lifestyle unsustainable and began searching for resources to help me achieve a better work-life balance.
I was very happy when I found TeacherMade, an app that has helped me to save countless hours of prep time over the past couple of years. In particular, I have used TeacherMade to quickly create digital worksheets, auto-grade many of my assignments, and help me leave rich feedback for my students.
How do you make a PDF fillable?
TeacherMade makes it easy to make a worksheet digital. When my school went fully online in 2020, I wanted to turn my preexisting worksheets into fillable forms so I could track my students' progress. At first, I tried tools such as Google Slides and Google Jamboard. However, this method was very time-consuming, and my youngest students had trouble interacting with the resources I created.
When I started to use TeacherMade, all of this changed. The app makes it easy to upload a worksheet PDF, then use the editing screen to create interactive activities. Even as someone who is not the most technologically savvy, I found the app intuitive. My students also had an easier time completing their work, as the student view of the worksheet is user-friendly. Nowadays, I can turn a worksheet into a fillable online activity in just a few minutes, eliminating hours of wasted time.
How do you auto-grade online worksheets?
Using the app to grade assignments also has saved me a lot of planning time. TeacherMade has an auto-grading feature that can be used for many different types of assignments. I use it for activities with objective answers, such as grammar and vocabulary quizzes. I like that the app allows me to insert many different types of questions, such as short answers, multiple choice, and matching. Once I create an answer key for the activity, the app grades it automatically when a student submits their work. Then, all I have to do is look it over and send the score back to the student.
This saves countless hours I would have spent marking by hand and the time it takes in the classroom to distribute and collect paper copies. I love this feature on TeacherMade so much that I even used it when conducting my students' end-of-term exams so that the app grades certain sections of the exam.
How do you leave online feedback for students using digital worksheets?
TeacherMade also makes it easy to send scores to students with written comments and corrections. I type a lot faster than I can write by hand, so being able to send feedback digitally is a huge timesaver for me. I use this feature mainly for longer written assignments or if students have submitted audio clips of themselves speaking. TeacherMade has a comment box that I can type suggestions into, and the students will see my feedback when they next open the worksheet. I can also draw directly on the worksheet with the writing tools if I want to circle specific sections to be corrected. For my younger students, TeacherMade includes digital stickers I can add to their assignments to congratulate them on their good work.
As well as saving me time, TeacherMade allows my students to get their feedback faster. Students no longer have to wait a few days until their next French class to get corrections, when I can send feedback directly to them digitally.
How did you find a better work-life balance as a teacher?
While teaching full-time can be difficult, many great resources are available to make educators' lives easier, including TeacherMade. Automating and digitizing some of the more time-consuming parts of teaching can end up making a huge difference in an educator's overall quality of life. After two years of using TeacherMade, my prep time has been reduced significantly.
Now, I have more time to spend on the exciting and creative aspects of teaching that make me love my job, rather than struggling to create digital resources, grading, and spending hours writing comments by hand. In the end, when teachers have a better work-life balance, the whole school community benefits. I am very grateful for the resources such as TeacherMade, which are committed to helping teachers achieve this goal.
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