Explain it: My lesson is based on the Oregon State Standard, “CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5: Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.” In my lesson, students will learn the elements of a stories’ beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning of the story answers the question: “Who are the characters? What is the setting?”

The middle of the story answers the question: “What happens to the characters?”

The end of the story answers the question: “How are the characters different than they were at the beginning because of what happened during the story?

Students will select a picture book, and look for a beginning, middle, and end. They will then retell the beginning, middle, and end of the stories they have chosen to the class.

Teaching how to Kahoot!

Hello, Substitute!

This video is a description of the Kahoot activity you will be running today. You can use the projector to show this to the students. As described in the lesson plans, students will be given some time to create their own Kahoot quizzes and will have the chance to quiz their tablemates.

Please note that the feed froze for the last minute or so. Luckily, this last minute was just going over something that they already have seen me do – hitting ‘next’ in order to move through the quiz. I’ve left it there in case you need it for any reason.
Have fun today!
Michael Birkhead

Quizlet Tutorial!

Quizlet Tutorial using Loom

Here is a little tutorial I put together on the website Quizlet. Quizlet is a free learning tool that can be super helpful during studying, as well as inside and outside the classroom. The virtual flashcard sets can be used to study, test, write, listen, and play games with the terms and their definitions, which students create themselves. I have found Quizlet to be incredibly useful during my academic journey and I hope this quick video can help anyone get used to the website themselves!

Exploring the World Through Nat Geo Kids!

For this screencast, I am recording as the science teacher of a fourth grade class. I begin by opening up this website and telling the kids they will be researching the animal of their choice. Since we were hypothetically watching the Lion King, I told them I would start by clicking the mammals button and exploring what the website had. There were fun facts, images, and resources about these species.

This website is important because it can help kids learn about the world around them through the click of the button. These images can take the students on an adventure to another country, or see an endangered animal they may never have the opportunity to see. I want my students to travel the world and if they can’t do so physically, then they have this resource to see the limitless possibilities of learning.

I would integrate this into my lesson, after the conclusion of our movie the Lion King. I think this movie shows animals in a beautiful way because it displays them with feelings and emotions. I want my students to feel connected to what we learn, so I will show this website after lunch (when they watch the movie) during our science class. This will be a nice transition from the classic Disney movie into a subject they may gain empathy for.

Questions for students after given time to explore the website:

1)How can you use this website for other classes?

2) What do you find most useful about this particular website? What do you like? What don’t you like?

Introduction to Zearn

According to their website: “Zearn Math is a coherent and rigorous K-5 curriculum delivered in a personalized rotational model. Zearn is designed so that each day, students work through engaging digital content at their own pace and learn targeted lessons with their teacher and peers. Students learn by demonstrating their math thinking with concrete and virtual manipulatives, explaining their reasoning aloud and on paper, and receiving personalized support throughout their learning. “

Here’s a little video to introduce it better…

Screencasting example Bri Ponzetti

My screencast was an example of sending a homework assignment home with kids and this video explanation would be sent out to parents along with a link to the video students are expected to watch to complete the activity. This specific activity would include watching a short news segment video and then completing a graphic organizer that differentiates what students heard in the video that they think was fact and what they heard that they thought was an opinion. The goal would be that we would then have a discussion the next day about the difference between fact and opinion, and we would eventually be using this graphic organizer to write an opinion writing piece. I think screencasting to create little videos like this can be a great tool for students to use to keep parents up to date with what their students are learning in class and also what we are expecting them to complete for homework. Using screencasting allows parents a visual connection of exactly what the teacher is looking for and the level of detail they are looking for.  Another reason I think screencasting can be a useful tool is it allows students to go back and review what they are expected to do in this case or you could use it to give them an example to look too if they are unsure of what to do.

Google Drive Shared Folder

This week in class we will be collaborating on a Google Slides project, but did you know Google has a bunch of other (free) products as well? From to-do lists, documents, spread sheets, and slideshows, you can do almost anything with a Google account. In this video, you will learn how to create a Google account AND a shared folder within Google Drive. This shared folder will enable you to share all types of documents with anyone you wish.

By creating the shared folder, teams can have access to all of their documents in one place. This is perfect in any setting – whether it be a classroom, office, or even between friends. I hope you find this screen cast useful and leave comments as to how it can improve.

How will the shared folder make YOUR life easier?

How can Google Drive help YOUR classroom run more smoothly?

Much thanks,

Featured Image: Austin Kleon / flickr


This video is for students and parents to show them how to log on to the classroom Seesaw page to either add content on the students end or for the parents to see what the class is working on.

I would add this to my classroom or school webpage as a reminder to students on how to login to their account if they forgot or if they were using an internet browser rather than the app that the school uses. This is also helpful for the parents because they are able to access the page as well in case they aren’t sure how to logon or if they forgot too.

Starfall Tutorial

Starfall is a fun phonics and reading website that is great to use with kindergarteners. They can practice sounding out certain letters and sounds, as well as work on reading skills. There are a variety of things for students to read, such as short stories, tongue-twisters, and poetry. This tutorial is for parents to learn how to navigate Starfall so that their child can get more practice, or just read for fun at home.

Khan Academy Tutorial

Khan Academy is an online resource that provides videos, practice problems, and quizzes for students. This is a great website for parents to use in order to better support their child with homework.  Parents can watch a video to revisit  fractions, or learn with their child and go through online practice problems together. Khan Academy provides support for all grade levels in a variety of subjects, and offers parents a great opportunity to prioritize education while  spending time with their child. I have included a brief tutorial below to help parents get started!