Melissa Percontino uses TeacherMade every day for her ELA. She finds it useful for literacy, grammar, and even teaching poetry. We broke down how Melissa brings digital worksheets to her ELA classes.
How do you increase student engagement?
“Beuller, Beuller…” Let’s face it, as a lifelong student and lover of all things from the ’80s, there is nothing that gets students’ eyes rolling more than an ’80s movie reference or assigning an activity we call "fun," even though it really isn’t. In an effort to escape that boredom and monotony, I found some great tools in TeacherMade that can bring to my lessons some fresh and enticing ways for learners to show what they know. It’s been my pleasure to toy around with the new tools and features Teacher Made has to offer. What’s better than getting free lessons that showcase these new features? Having students learn and love them, of course!
You know we are up against instant gratification that comes from lots of music, video games, and other things these days. You guys have helped tremendously and stepped it up once again. Planning a poetry lesson? Link that video to help them remember iambic pentameter, and as an extra bonus, have the students record their own audio of them reading it! I used to assign a Flip Grid and a Google Doc. Not anymore. What’s better is it’s just audio. With masks gone after virtual learning, the last thing kids want to look at is themselves on a computer monitor, and I don’t blame them. Thank you, TeacherMade, but that’s not all.
How do you bring multimedia to your worksheets?
Let’s start with the video links. I have been using them for over a decade. Usually, I have to link them in Google classroom, and the students would have to split their screen with their worksheet or watch it before and go back and review it. The struggle is gone now. TeacherMade has links to Youtube videos that teachers far and wide have all come to know and love. Thank you!!
How do you draw on a PDF in your classroom?
The next fun tool is the free draw tool. We all know the benefits of one-pagers and student annotations, thanks to Kelly Gallagher. Active and engaged reading is where it’s at. TeacherMade knows this and allows for annotations with the free draw application that I use for symbols and emojis and the text box for thoughts and written reactions. It allows for multiple intelligences for my creative drawers and visual learners, as well as plain old writing for my more crafty and elaborate writers. I’ve even begun giving my older higher-level students their own notes and letting them practice annotating the notes sheet. Highlight, underline and asterisk away. Once again, thank you, TeacherMade.
How do you do acomodation with online assignments?
We all have the students who get additional time on a task and don’t necessarily need fewer options for multiple choice assessment and work, but rather just additional time to think a response through. I am following IEPs like no other with ease, thanks to you guys. The quick grading and feedback to the students empower them to try again. They don’t fall behind and need an extra period. I don’t either. I can look it over instantly and reopen the work for them with their original responses. I could have cried when I saw that I had the option to wipe all their answers out or just let them work on specific numbers I annotated for them because they got them wrong. The amount of time I’ve spent trying to fast-track this process. I really wish I had thought of it first :). Since I didn’t, I share all time-saving and stress-reducing tips with my grade-level leaders near and far. It has helped me become fast friends in my relatively new school, and for that I must thank you again!
What would you like people to know about how you use TeacherMade?
To wrap up, I am ever so grateful for the chance to work with your platform. I’ve been teaching ELA for 15 years. The majority of my time has been spent in upper elementary grades as the lead teacher of 7th and 8th-grade classrooms. I work with children of all abilities. I have also worked with students as young as 3rd and 4th grades in a Push In/ Response To Intervervention Setting. I much prefer teaching students how to read to learn, but I love that with TeacherMade, I can push out a silent E worksheet with ease to a kid who needs it and move on with my day. Many learners have fallen behind and still need a teacher who can slam a learn-to-read lesson down quickly and efficiently. It is even, dare I say, fun. :)
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