G is for…

Google, of course…but also: Graphic Organizer (GO). I use graphic organizers a lot in my classroom…And foldables #forthewin. I create hands-on activities, models and examples. There are a lot of useful resources for these types of things and they can be used for any content and grade/age level. GO’s are especially useful for planning and for students with   #executivefunctioningdeficits. GO’s help with planning, information management, prioritizing, organization, task analysis, task initiation (basically all aspects and facets of executive functioning).

Here are some of my fave resources for GO’s (aka concept maps, mind maps, webs, etc.):

Education Place Printable templates for tons of graphic organizers that you can print for your students and/or use yourself to make a graphic organizer. A lot of these are great for incorporating in Interactive Notebooks.

TeAchnology Graphic organizer maker, concept maps, mind maps, and more.

eduScapes Links to multiple resources on graphic organizers and concept mapping tools and templates.

Tech & Learning Blog post on 10 Sites for Creating Graphic Organizers

Educational Technology & Mobile Learning Blog post on 18 Free Mindmapping Tools for Teachers and Students

Inspiration Computer software for mindmapping/creating graphic organizers  than can be converted to outline formats, Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations and more! You can also create flow charts and there are templates for multiple subjects and content areas. (Students 6th Grade and Up). In addition to being a helpful tool for students, this is a great tool for teachers. I have used this to create concept maps to show connections between ideas and concepts when reviewing a particularly unit/topic and bringing it all together with a visual.

Kidspiration mindmapping software made by same company as Inspiration, but made for younger kids (K-5)


Q is for…

QR Codes (stands for Quick Response Codes) If you want to use QR codes in your classroom, they’re a great way to integrate technology especially for the 21st century learners that have a cell phone glued to their hand. There are several free website for generating QR Codes, but here’s one that I have used: QR Code Generator. You have to create an account and sign-in, but it’s very user friendly and will help you create a QR code for just about anything. You can create a QR code as a link for people to scan with their mobile device (and/or show a corresponding website address). The QR code can open a website, open a new email to a specific email address, open a video, open a Google Form, etc.


Quizlet Learning tool that is essentially digital flashcards. You can create your own “deck” of flashcards and/or search for existing decks of flashcards. There are reviews for just about every age and subject area, and even standardized tests (SOL’s) and teacher prep tests (Praxis, RVE, VCLA, etc.). Just search for whatever you need and it probably already exists! You can look at traditional flashcards with vocabulary on one side and definition on the other, have a matching activity, fill in the blank questions/activities, etc. and they are created automatically. This is a great resource for reviews and/or remediation. The benefit of the digital component is that they can be easily accessed by anyone, anywhere, any time (and no one has to write out 100 index cards). This is especially helpful for students that struggle with executive functioning in the area of organization.

P is for…

P is for…Procrastination…at least lately 🙂ambasadorbadgewhite

More importantly, PLICKERS Like clickers…but with a P! I first learned about plickers about 2 years ago from my younger sister who at the time was student teaching in Tennessee…she knew I would be excited about this awesome tool and couldn’t wait to share it with me (thanks Moll)! I’m especially excited about plickers, because I am now a plickers Ambassador!

plickers are basically a combination between QR codes (Wikipedia definition of QR codes if you are unfamiliar), and student response clickers. The way it works is similar to Kahoot…you create questions or sets of questions and can project the question so that students can give their answer.

When you create an account on plickers, you can also create classes. I recommend creating your classes and adding students before creating questions, because that way you can assign the questions to classes as you go (work smarter, not harder).

This is what the main screen looks like when you log in:


Screen when you login to plickers^^^

You can create questions by clicking the Pink +New Question button. When you add questions, you can type the question and your answer choices (multiple choice and/or true/false). You will mark the correct answer(s) and continue creating questions. You can assign or “cue” questions for specific classes by adding them to a class queue. Click “Live View” at the top of the main screen to start presenting the actual questions. Download the mobile app to use your mobile device to scan the plickers cards (which look like QR codes). Cards are numbered and you assign a card to each student (when you create the classes). Here’s a video of what it looks like when you create a class and assign cards.

I want to spread the word about this awesome tool for teachers because it’s a really great way to integrate technology into instruction, create (or transform) a lesson to be even more engaging for students. There are countless possibilities for the uses of plickers, and I love to share my experiences but please feel free to share your experiences, as well! It can be overwhelming at first, but stick with it because it is really an awesome tool and my students love it. There is also a “Reports” feature where you can see question history (how students performed on each question, essentially item analysis), and a score sheet, which shows every student’s score for each item and the total percentage of students that got the question correct. This is GREAT data and it’s there, you just have to click the button. I used plickers for the final exam with 2 of my classes last year and it was so efficient (administering the assessment and the grading…which was instant). I also think students performed better with the plickers assessment than they would have in a traditional testing environment, because they didn’t feel as much pressure and they’re having fun!