JustineLavoie

ESL Teacher

TRELLO-Free, Flexible & Visual!

trello

Trello is a free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.

What is Trello?
T
rello is a free web-based collaboration tool that allows you to not only organize your life, but also to:

  • add checklists, labels, due dates to cards;
  • manage projects;
  • share projects and delegate to members of your circle.

How does it work?
First, you need to create an account. You can do so by using your Google account or by creating a Trello account where you will need to fill up the sign up form. Then, immediately, Trello is ready for you to explore. You can drag, write, prioritize, arrange or delete cards. In order to be used by in a classroom, students need to be invited by email invitations on the Trello, and from that moment, the whole class becomes a big online platform.

For an ESL teacher,
Trello can be an amazing personal tool to organize oneself. Indeed, it almost thinks for you. If you enter everything properly, there is no way you are ever going to forget something again. But, it can be an even more amazing tool to use with students. You can publish assignments and due dates, and you can create assignments and assign them to all students or just certain students. You have the possibility to create the online agenda you have always wanted.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
Trello is a revelation. I had the opportunity to have it working around the last day of my Practicum I, and it relieved me from so much stress. I simply jotted down the tasks I needed to do, the elements I needed to present, and the things I needed to have signed or completed and there I was, all ready for a day with students. I downloaded the app on my iPhone and I could take a quick glance at it during lunch just to make sure that my day was going according to plan.

trelloboard1

The main perk of Trello, according to Julie Matkin, is that its possibilities are endless; they go as far as one’s mind allows them to go.

For students,
Trello is great because it is an online agenda that students literally carry everywhere on their electronic devices. Also, students really can make their Trello interfaces their own by spending hours personalizing them (if they want to). Nowadays, kids are more and more connected to technology therefore, it is a relevant tool for them to use because of the sense of actuality it provides.

For parents,
Trello can be also be used as a personal agenda, but it may also be used as a familial organizator. In 2015, families are busy: parents are working, children are in school and participate into extracurricular activities, therefore, time may be missing. Thus, if a parent creates a Trello and invites the other members of the family, tasks can be posted and assigned, and the meals can even be posted in advance. Important meetings as well as activities can be posted and marked according to their levels of priority. Also, Trello can be consulted by a parent wishing to follow and track his child’s progress. Indeed, every night, the parent can, if child permission granted, consult the assignments the child needs to do in order to help him stay on task.

There is an mobile application available on pretty much any mobile device.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the Trello Website, Trello presents a series of perks such as:

  • being free;
  • being available to any device or computer because its interface looks more like an app rather than like a site;
  • being incredibly fast (whether it is to update content or to add a new member to your circle);
  • having a really easy function that allows you to create tasks and assign someone to them.

However, Trello also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • lacking a calendar;
  • limiting the writing about boards to a small description;
  • lacking a gantt chart or daily global progression.

Reviews:
From a tech tester’s point of view, Trello is rated 4.3 out of 5 because of its “one-glance-see-all” aspect.
From a teacher’s point of view, Trello is a great site that can be used by teachers or students cooperatively working on a project.

unnamed

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although I am not a very organized person, I made myself a Trello account, and I have to say, it is genius! It is just too bad that I only started using it at the end of the semester because I could have really used all that organization.

Justine Lavoie.

Advertisements

STORYJUMPER-What’s Your Story?

Picture 1

StoryJumper is a place to create and discover stories for kids.

What is StoryJumper?
S
toryJumper is free site that gives parents, kids, and authors a fun set of intuitive tools for writing and illustrating kids stories and that allows anyone to:

  • create a new book;
  • finish a book;
  • share a book;
  • print a book;
  • read other StoryJumper books.

How does it work?
F
irst, you–kid, parent, teacher, author, or whomever you are–need to create an account by choosing a username, password and then enter your email and birthday (in order to have your account activated, you need to be at least thirteen of age or else you need to have your parents’ approval). Then, the whole process is vague, yet quite simple: whether you read other people’s books or you write one of your own. When you are ready, just click on the “create a book” icon, and you will be redirected to a blank space. On the left hand side are four distinct sections: props, scenes, photos and text, and these roughly represent the four steps of your book-making.  At the top of the page are the pages of your book. They go from the book cover and dedication to the back cover. You can select which page you wish to edit using the four previously mentioned steps. From there, all you need to do is use your imagination to create pages that follow each other and that will soon be your own personalized master-piece. However, if you do not intend to complete your book in one time, you only need to save it and your began book will appear on the home page. Once you are done, click on the “I’m finished” button and your book will be presented to you. If you like the way it is, you can print it, share it, or even have it translated into forty other languages. If you do not like it the way it is, you can edit it as much as you want. If ever you wish to publish your book, very affordable options that go from 1.95$ to as much as you are willing to pay, it is possible for you. StoryJumper offers this great tutorial, that is accessible and understandable for everyone, explaining every step to have your perfect book:

For an ESL teacher in the lower levels,
StoryJumper is amazing. It is because it develops students’ imagination and personal writing style. Also, it can serve as a long-term project that can be done by free times. It allows the teacher to evaluate two of the three curriculum competencies because if used wisely, the creation of a book englobes them. Indeed, competency 3 (to write and produce text), and competency 1 (to interact orally in English) can be part of the project is for starters, students write their own books, and then, present them to their teacher and classmates.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
am impressed by StoryJumper. I think the way one can create a personalized book is great. The only thing that bugs me a little is that this tool is whether for young children or for adults because of its childish appearance that would have older children or teenagers lose interest into book creating. Apart from that, this site shares a variety of scenes and props and that, totally free. Therefore, I can really see myself using it in one of my next Practicums or when I become a teacher. Creating a book is a project that can be used as positive reinforcement and done in special times as a reward for students when they behave well.

storyjumper1

Another great thing about StoryJumper
is definitely the Write-o-thon Fundraiser it offers. Indeed, a school has the option of creating a fundraiser in order to raise funds for school material, books, extracurricular activities, you name it! One teacher or one member of the school staff or school council has to get in touch with StoryJumper to enroll the school. After that, students of the school need to write books and find sponsors in their families or surroundings to buy them. In general, students get approximately 4 sponsors each. Then, once they have sold their books, 75% of the profits go to the school, 15% of the profits go to students for them to buy things on StoryJumper or have credit for their books to be published, 7% of the profits go to StoryJumper, and the last 3% of the profits are to cover transaction fees. The Write-o-thon Fundraiser is a pretty good deal for the school and the students who actually usually enjoy this sort of project because they have fun while helping and improving their school.

For students,
StoryJumper is fun and can make flourish one’s creative imagination. It is a motivational tool that allows students to mentally go away for a while, in their own imaginative world. It gives students pride about something they did on their own that cannot be copied, and that is sure unique for them.

For parents,
StoryJumper represents a great opportunity to do something with your child. It can create a unique contact and complicity between the parent and the child because of the moments shared creating the book, the story. Moreover, it is easy to use and may be more comforting for a parent to work with his child on such a project rather than have him play online video games that are much less pedagogical than the creation of a book.

Pros & Cons:
As presented on the StoryJumper Website, StoryJumper presents a series of perks such as:

  • being free;
  • responding to various MELS competencies;
  • presenting no limits (except the one of the child’s imagination);
  • allowing writers to add their own original photos and drawings;
  • offering a Write-o-thon Fundraiser option;
  • being useful in various school subjects such as:
    -English Language Arts;
    -Social Studies;
    -Foreign Languages;
    -Science;
    -Math.

However, StoryJumper also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • there is currently no mobile app available therefore, if you want to create a book, you absolutely need a computer to do so;
  • the site may appear a little childish for teenagers;
  • there is not such a vast variety of scenes and props to use;
  • the book edition can be a little expensive if done in a classroom (approximately 25$ per student);
  • the level of difficulty for younger children that might need more assistance when creating their books (some might not even write yet, but the possibility of doing only an illustrated book is offered to them).

Reviews:
From a learning rating, StoryJumper is rated a 5 out of 5 on the engagement aspect, a 4 out of 5 on the pedagogy aspect, and a 3 out of 5 on the support aspect.
From a teacher’s point of view, StoryJumper is an excellent tool because it gets students to write and enjoying it without them noticing that they are working on a school subject.
From a 9 years old child’s point of view, StoryJumper is great.

68176v2-max-250x250

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although I have not published my own book YET, I think that StoryJumper is a great tool that it easy to use and that fits pretty much anyone. It is another site I see myself using in my future career as an ESL teacher if I get the chance to work with lower level classrooms.

Justine Lavoie.

MAKE MY GRADES-A Must Have

Make My Grades is an assessment mobile application to make the best out of the teacher’s time and the students’ learning opportunities.

My-Grades-10

What is Make My Grades?
Make My Grades is a mobile application created by a teacher for teachers that can:

  • create and import classes;
  • create assessments;
  • record assessments;
  • take attendances;
  • create and present collated reports;
  • print and export files.

How does it work?
F
irst, the teacher simply has to create a classroom and enter or import the students’ names so that every student has a virtual folder. Every folder can then be personalized with a picture or an avatar for each student. The teacher can also fill in some information about his students such as their full names, age, gender or even birth dates, which will appear as reminders to wish happy birthday to the students. Then, the teacher has to create assessments and assign them to the students to later enter a mark when they are done with the corrected assignement. In order to be more efficient, the teacher may change the settings according to his grading system because the application works by default with letter grades, while some teachers prefer percentages. Also, the teacher can select and adjust the weighting of the assessments that will automatically be compiled. However, for instance, if the teacher only wishes to compile two assignments out of three, he can select the ones he wants and the compilation will also be possible. Here is a short demo presenting the big headlines of this app:

For an ESL teacher,
Make My Grades is amazing. Mostly because of the precious time it saves, but also because it allows you to keep track of the students’ marks and progress anywhere, everywhere. Also, the app is great because of the clarity and simplicity. By assessment, or in a more general summary of the classroom, you can rank and order your students by alphabetical order, best grades or worst grades, which gives you a general view of your classroom’s progress.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
Make My Grades is great. In my Practicum I, I had different tasks to do, and correcting assignments, tests and exams was one of these. I used this application to enter the students’ marks. However, I was using the free version of the app and it only allowed me to enter five classes. Thus, my cooperative teacher used some of her class budget to purchase the complete version, where there is no maximum of classes. The way I proceeded was by entering every group three times for the three competencies so that the assessments and their marks are not mixed together. Then, I adjusted the general settings for the weighting of the assignments and so that my marking was out of 5+. After that, it was a piece of cake to enter the results because the names of all the students appear on a page and the only thing you need to do is press on their correct mark. I can easily see myself using this tool not only in my next Practicums, but also in my career.

mmgrader-slide-img1

The main advantage of Make My Grades is definitely its fast and simple use. You do not need to watch a whole tutorial to know the functioning of this app. A simple fifteen minute of experimentation is enough for one to discover its main functions.

For students and parents,
Make My Grades is not a useful tool nor is it a tool that can be used. This can be explained by the fact that it is an app created by a teacher for teachers. Students will sure receive the report made with the help of this app, but they or their parents should not have access to the assessments and the marking. Therefore, no actual function for inviting and sharing was made available for teachers.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the Make My Grades Website, Make My Grades presents a series of perks such as:

  • sending reports to parents with one click;
  • having a free version;
  • having a not so expensive paying version for only 7.99$ (when compared to the Teacher’s Kit application, which is a similar app, that costs 39.99$);
  • tracking points and assessments with any iOS device;
  • seeing full classroom performance in minutes;
  • getting beautiful, hassle-free behavior reports;
  • taking attendances;
  • effective teacher-students-parents communication through reports;
  • creating and recording meaningful assessments that include:
    -rubrics;
    -checklists;
    -grades;
    -scores;
    -percentages;
    -comments;
    -weightings;
    -curriculum links.

However, Make My Grades also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • having a possibility of classifying assessments by the ESL competencies (C1, C2, C3);
  • being currently only available in English;
  • having a free version allowing more than five classes;
  • being currently only available on the App Store, for iOS devices
  • having some issues when entering the names of the students in a new class.

Reviews (*since the app is pretty recent, not a lot of reviews or ratings were issued):

From the App Store’s review, Make My Grade is rated a 4+ and is highly valued by teachers.
From a teacher’s point of view, Make My Grades is seen as a great program to be able to store teaching and educational programs.

MMGrades-tab-2

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Related Apps:
T
he Make My Solution brand presents not only Make My Grades, but also two other applications that can work very well by themselves, but even better when used with one another. Here they are:
Make My Group;
Make My Dayplan.

Although I do not have my own classroom with this mobile application to use YET, I think that Make My Grades is an awesome tool to save time and to make clear and concise reports.

Justine Lavoie.

 

eCLICKER-Quizzes Made Fun!

eClicker

eClicker is an application that allows the teacher to create and conduct formative assessments that can later be performed by his students.

What is eClicker?
eClicker is an app that:

  • presents three forms of assessment formats;
  • can record the results of the students in a classroom to later study and compile them;
  • is useful to see if students understood certain content presented.

How does it work?
First, you need to create an account on eClicker. Then, you need to enter your audience; here, your students. After that, you are completely free to begin the creation of your formative quiz. You start by selecting the type of questions that will be asked (multiple choice, true or false, agree or disagree), and you just enter the questions you wish to ask. You make it even more interesting by adding pictures of your choice.

For an ESL teacher,
eClicker is quite simple to use. Also, it is not so expensive therefore, it can easily be entered in the classroom expenses, and can be justified as reasonable and helpful in a class budget. It allows the teacher to create an assessment, offered through the form of a multiple choice, true or false, or agree or disagree type of quiz. Such quizzes can be used as formative evaluation to verify students’ understanding of a given taught subject before moving on to another. eClicker can also be performed before teaching students a lesson, and then be performed a second time once students have learned the lesson. This way, a comparison of students’ common knowledge can be done. Finally, eClicker can also be used by teachers who only want to reward students who behave well. It is a fun activity to do, and it changes the format of general teaching.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
I think that eClicker is a nice tool. However, I think that it is a shame that it is only available to iOS devices. Still, its clear interface and handiness win over this little disadvantage. Although it takes some time to install and set, the results is worth it.

mzl.igkqulwv.800x500-75

For students,
eClicker is fun and generates revision without them even noticing. It is quick and simple to use. It can also be used as a revision tool or even as a game between friends.

For parents,
eClicker can be used effectively with children. Indeed, parents can create assessments to help their kids review. It can be used as extra homework or even to teach cultural matter. Also, in the summer, some parents may ask their children to read books, and quizzes on those can be created. With the active cooperation of parents, eClicker could also be used as a memorization tool.

There is a mobile application, but only for iOS devices. But, considering that most schools work with iPads, that is not much of a big deal.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the eClicker Website, eClicker presents a series of perks such as:

  • providing instant feedback;
  • presenting flexibility in its format of questions and pictures;
  • being easy in terms of both the writing and the taking of a quiz.

However, eClicker also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • having a free version that is not so complete (the paying version (5,79) is more interesting in school contexts);
  • being only available on iOS devices;
  • having a fixed time for each answer.

Reviews:
From a tech tester’s point of view, eClicker is great because of the real-time feedback it gives, and also because it does not put students in uncomfortable situations of humiliation if they do not know an answer.
From a teacher’s point of view, eClicker was rated a 3 out of 5 because of the great immediate feedback it provides.
From a parent’s point of view, eClicker is great because of the actual connection between the parent and the teacher; there is no more wait of a failed exam, the communication is fast.

eclicker (1)

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although eClicker can only be used on iOS devices, I think that the idea behind this tool is great. It is much more than a time-saver; it can positively transform a whole classroom routine.

Justine Lavoie.

KAHOOT-Students Just Love It!

tumblr_inline_n5za5h2ToY1rgp1yg

Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system for schools, universities and businesses.

What is Kahoot?
Kahoot is a free game-based classroom response system that:

  • asks thought provoking questions;
  • has students take control of their own learning;
  • is easy to use, inclusive and highly engaging.

How does it work?
First, one (leader) has to create a Kahoot account, and simply create a “Kahoot” under the form of a quiz, survey or poll. One leader may also use an already existing Kahoot. Then, the leader has to launch the quiz on an interactive board and invite learners to join it with the help game pin through the use of a computer or an electronic device such as an iPad or tablet. They need to enter a nickname that can have them recognized throughout the quiz. If ever the leader wants the quiz to be confidential, the option of nicknames can be set off (but, the scores will not appear after each question). Then, one may begin the Kahoot and let learners time to read the question on the board and respond to it on their own by selecting a color or shape. After the allowed time is over, learners will find out if their answer was right or wrong, and each right answer gives the learners Kahootpoints. The five best learners’ nicknames will appear on the board along with their scores to let the classroom know how the game is going. When the Kahoot is done, students receive their ranking out of the total number of students, and they are welcome to consult the questions and the answers they responded to them. Here is a short tutorial about how Kahoot works:

For an ESL teacher,
Kahoot is an awesome tool because it gets students to apply their prior knowledge and use their critical judgment to select their answer to a specific question. It can also be interesting to present a Kahoot quiz before students actually see the theory of a new subject matter, and then, present the same Kahoot again once students have seen the theory, in order to see, through the classroom’s answers, their evolution and understanding. Also, it is a great app that can be used as positive reinforcement to reward students because they love these quizzes that set a game show atmosphere in the classroom.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
I think that Kahoot is great. I actually have tried it in my Practicum I and students just loved the activity. We used it to review some concepts of the simple past and students did quite well. They used iPads to respond to the questions that were presented on the ActivInspire interactive board. They were allowed thirty seconds to read and answer each question, but they generally did faster than that. Kahoot is another great app that I can see myself using in my next Practicums or when I finally become a teacher. In my opinion, it creates a healthy competition and is great for elementary, secondary, CEGEP and university levels.

kahoot 3

The main perks of Kahoot, according to Whitney K., are that it “brings life back to quizzes, checks for understanding, and collaborative learning.” Indeed, Kahoot is a great tool to ensure students’ comprehension of classroom content, and to have students enjoy a comprehension task.

The pedagogical aspect behind Kahoot is the “learner to leader” cycle. In other words, Kahoot encourages both independence and research from the learners, as well as encouraging leaders to share their knowledge with others. The website shows a loop presenting the connection and link between the creator, teacher, leader, learner, player, researcher and then creator again.

For students,
Kahoot is fun! It is a challenge that presents, after each question, the five strongest students in the classroom along with the points they have accumulated. The classroom just changes into a whole quiz context where students are only focused on the questions and their answers. However, being a competitive game, some students may lose interest after a while of not being in the top five best students. This may even lead them to answer whatever answer that appears the faster to their eyes on the screen. But, overall, Kahoot has students learn and review without them even realizing it and by having them enjoy the activity.

For parents,
Kahoot can be used as a reviewing tool to use with children when they are studying for tests, exams or just homework. The parent can create a quiz and have his child do it. This makes the learning and revision both fun and helpful, and it can create a nice mood likely for the child to want to study or review with his parents again.

There is also a mobile application available to iOS devices and tablets. Therefore, students do not necessarily need a computer to perform the quiz, and such a thing can get their interest.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the Kahoot Website, Kahoot presents a series of perks such as:

  • having the answers associated with different shapes and colors;
  • having multiple choice questions and answers;
  • having a variety of tests already made and available to anyone;
  • being free and easy to use;
  • being liked and enjoyed by students (and teachers).

However, Kahoot also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • it is hard to keep the class serious;
  • it gets really competitive (which can be good for some students, but terrible for others);
  • it may have students answer randomly only to be faster than others;
  • it requires students to have their eyes on the board to read the questions;
  • it does not really offer a possibility to track students’ progress;
  • because of its shapes and colors of the answers, it may confuse some students.

Reviews:
From a learning rating, Kahoot is rated a 5 out of 5 on the engagement aspect, a 3 out of 5 on the pedagogical aspect, and a 3 out of 5 on the support aspect.
From a teacher’s point of view, Kahoot is “fun way to engage students [and] it can be used as a review for formative assessment.”
Although no actual reviews from students have been published, I can say that, from my Practicum I observations, students love the app and always suggest to do a Kahoot when they have time. If used wisely, it can be seen as a reward rather than a test.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 10.31.19 AM

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although some quizzes present some typos or are too long, the main idea behind Kahoot is both nice and very pedagogical. It is a great app that I am happy to have discovered and explored and that I will surely use in a near future.

Justine Lavoie.

DUOLINGO-Learning English Made Easy!

duolingo-1024x587

Duolingo is a free website designed for language learning. 

What is Duolingo?
D
uolingo is a tool for online language learning that:

  • teaches a language (or more) to anyone that wishes to be taught;
  • allows a community of language learners to exchange on language learning;
  • may teach a language in 34 hours.

How does it work?
First, you have to create an account and profile that will save and record your progress. Next, you need to select the language you wish to learn. You can either learn English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Dutch, Swedish or Danish.  A short tutorial will be presented to you and you will have the option of deciding to do a placement test or not. The placement test determines your level and helps adapt the exercises for you. However, you can easily just explore the website. Then, you may begin your learning by doing the provided exercises that are divided into four distinct categories: translation, listening, matching, and speaking exercises. At the beginning of each level, you will be given three hearts or lives, and if you make more than three mistakes, you have to restart the level.

For an ESL teacher,
Duolingo is great because it is free and can be used to vary the teaching. Also, it can be seen as a reward activity when the students behave well. It is complete, concise, and some exercises can be modified to later on be used in the classroom. Duolingo can be used with students who are more visual. Another idea for ESL teacher can be to use the tool in order to do cultural language workshops. And finally, Duolingo can be used by teacher for their personal learning of a new language.

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
think that Duolingo is great and I actually enjoy using it. While it is easy and simple to use, it provides a complete formation of a new language teaching. I can see myself using this with my future students because it is adapted to second or foreign language learning. Most importantly, I believe the exercises presented are relevant and the way Duolingo is designed is effective.

Duolingo-app

The main perk of Duolingo, according to Jasmine Daudier, is to be able to start and stop learning a language at any time. Which gives one the opportunity to explore various languages.

For students,
Duolingo is fun! It is a great and fast tool to learn a new language. It is actual and interactive. Students may like it because of the game aspect it has and the challenge it provides. Also, learning a language now becomes something that they can do on their own, in their free times, and without any expense.

For parents,
Duolingo is a great website for them to work with their children, but also for themselves. Indeed, although it presents a childish face, Duolingo can be used by pretty much anyone. However if parents want to focus more on their children’s language learning, it is possible. They can assist their children throughout their exercises and motivate them. I believe it is a nice tool to create a connection between a child and his parents because of a new language they can learn and speak together.

There is an mobile application available to Windows, Android, and iOS devices.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the Duolingo Website, Duolingo presents a series of perks such as:

  • having easy-to-search vocabulary;
  • having a possibility for learners to pass on irrelevant or easy content;
  • having a forum where problems, concerns, tips can be shared;
  • having a spaced repetition that reinforces weaker students’ vocabulary;
  • having and presenting articles that can be related to real life contexts;
  • being free.

However, Duolingo also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • having unnatural vocabulary that may not be used in real life contexts;
  • not demonstrating the students’ progress through the failed attempts;
  • not having enough forum management, therefore, some problems or concerns may not be resolved, and some tips may not be validated;
  • having an unnatural spaced repetition that may eventually lose the students’ interest;
  • having and presenting some articles that are not based on any reliable or scholarly sources.

Reviews:
From a tech tester’s point of view, Duolingo has an addictive element that can motivate students to perform and explore the levels of language learning even further.
From a teacher’s point of view, Duolingo focuses on spelling and vocabulary, and is good for low budget schools that wish to have their students learn more than one language.
From a parent’s point of view, Duolingo is great not only because of the money saving on courses it provides, but also because it really makes the users progress and learn.
Since the website is quite recent, no relevant reviews were published by children.

Duolingo_banner

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although Duolingo may appear childish, I think that it is a great tool to learn a language quickly, and to challenge oneself. I can see myself recommending it to my students in my next Practicums, as well as to my future students.

Justine Lavoie.

TEACHER KIT-Easy and Useful!

TeacherKit1

TeacherKit is a simple classroom management tool.

What is TeacherKit?
T
eacherKit is an easy-to-use classroom management tool that:

  • manages one’s class;
  • manages one’s students;
  • creates seating charts;
  • takes attendances;
  • adds behavior notes;
  • records students’ grades;
  • imports, exports the date while keeping it safe.

How does it work?
First, after opening the app, the teacher has to create and add a classroom by selecting the proposed option. Then, he may enter a name for the classroom as well as a description for it. After that, the teacher can enter the students’ names and profiles, which not only contain students information, but also parents’ information. Those profiles will later be used to enter the attendances, behavior notes, and grades. Once all students of a classroom are added to the class, the teacher needs to do a seating plan. To do so, he need to follow the easy steps offered by TeacherKit. From that, the teacher simply has to carry on with his class; the hardest part is done, the only things left are to keep track of everything!

For an ESL teacher,
TeacherKit is basically a personal organizer, which allows one to spend more time teaching. Although it requires time at the end of the day to enter and compile the grades and behavioral notes, TeacherKit still represents a giant economy of time. It manages pretty much everything in the classroom, and makes some teaching aspects just a piece of cake!

As an ESL teacher in the becoming,
TeacherKit appears to me as a great classroom management tool. However, I liked it less than the Make My Solution tools I had the opportunity to work with. Still, although I do not forsee myself using it in my next Practicums or future career as an ESL teacher, I can recognize its several perks, and I can understand why so many teachers use and love it. I think the way it records pretty much everything is nice and, the fact that it is available on any mobile device (Windows, Android, iOS) is also a big plus.

TeacherKit1

The main perk of TeacherKit, according to David Jones, is that it keeps track of the students participating with a visual layout.

For students,
TeacherKit can be seen as a positive reinforcement tool. Indeed, knowing that notes concerning their behavior might be taken, students have the tendency to behave properly in order to receive good comments. However, apart from that, the tool is not really significant for them.

For parents,
TeacherKit is great because of the detailed reports of children, and also because of the easy communication with the teacher that is offered by the email option of the application. However, it is no use for parents to create a TeacherKit account because they will not have the access to their children’s classroom.

There is an mobile application available to pretty much any device as long as it has access to an online connection.

Pros & Cons:
As illustrated on the TeacherKit Website, Teacher Kit presents a series of perks such as:

  • being free;
  • being easy to use;
  • being available on Windows, Android, and iOS devices;
  • having step-by-step instructions;
  • having a “one-click” email function;
  • having the option of creating and entering more than one class.

However, TeacherKit also presents areas in need of improvement such as:

  • not being that easy to understand for people who are not familiar with technology;
  • necessitating a lot of time to get the setup done and ready;
  • not having letter grades ranges that match the grading system of Quebec;
  • being expensive (39,99$ for the full version).

Reviews:
From an educational consultant’s point of view, TeacherKit “is a complete solution for any teacher looking to keep an organized classroom. It is bright, and user friendly.”
From a teacher’s point of view, TeacherKit is a “one-app solves all” program.
Since the tool was not created in order to be used by students or parents, no actual reviews were issued by any of them.

teacher-kit-1-638

Why don’t you just give it a try?

Although I personally do not see myself using this classroom management tool much, I can however recommend it to well-organized teachers because in my opinion, it offers functions that can be really useful in a classroom.

Justine Lavoie.