Teacher Showcase: Solving Problems through Achieve3000 with Jamie Holley

Learn how Achieve3000 becomes a collaborative, authentic learning experience in the hands of Arbor Hills’ Jamie Holley!

Someone at a party introduces you to your mother’s only sister’s husband’s sister-in-law. He has no brothers. What do you call this lady?

That’s the question that greets Arbor Hills students walking into Jamie Holley’s fourth period Reading 7 class. It’s a bell ringer that gives the students something to focus on and be entertained by as they set up for class, and it works remarkably well. I find myself focused in the time it takes me to work out the problem. Jamie’s students glance at the problem on the SmartBoard as they gather their materials and ready themselves for the lesson.

Today, Jamie is moving students from that little bell ringer problem to the exploration of problem/solution as a mode of writing and discussion. Having jumped enthusiastically into Achieve3000 last year during its piloting at Arbor Hills, Jamie is an expert at using its data to understand the needs of her students. In this case, she has seen that they do not perform well when tasked with understanding problem/solution writings. The data has driven her to develop a small project on the thinking mode, relying on material from Achieve to form the basis. That material, however, does not dominate the assignment. Jamie’s expert teaching does.

The class starts as many do these days. Students see a Google Slides presentation on the board, and they follow along through simultaneous access on their Chromebooks. Students sit in partnerships as they follow along, and they soon rely on those partners for a warm-up activity. The warm-up requires them to read a short paragraph describing a problem with eel populations. The partners work together to answer some simple problem/solution questions, such as signal words and responsible parties. Student collaboration gets going, and Jamie de-briefs their work after a few minutes.

Students collaborate on the warm-up activity exploring a problem with eels.

The next stage brings Achieve into the equation, but in a way that truly unlocks the resource’s potential. Partnerships are assigned one of two articles: “No Land? No Problem!” or “No Water? No Problem!” The students read the article to each other aloud, trading off paragraph to paragraph. We all know that these readings are leveled, but Jamie has partnered students according to reading proficiency, ensuring that they are reading identical or nearly-identical articles to each other. As they read, students use the “Setting the Purpose” annotation blanks offered in Achieve (referred to in class as the “circle things”) to note the problem and solution in each article. Finally, they answer the activity questions. This process of partnered reading leads to an environment of high productivity and low stress. Students gain strength from the partnered collaboration, but never draw off task in any significant way. Jamie’s lack of controlling direction throughout the process demonstrates her skill in setting the tone in her classroom.

The next stage of the process further capitalizes on collaboration. Partnerships that have explored the “No Land?” article “teach” it to the “No Water?” group, and then that group teaches the first their article. All along, Jamie’s direction focuses students on key concepts in text structure, such as signal words and paragraph structure. Throughout this step, and all others, Jamie reassures students that they can master the concepts and reminds them that “It’s okay to be confused.”

Student partnerships teach each other the content of their assigned articles in Achieve3000.

After this engaging and collaborative use of Achieve to explore the text structure, Jamie pushes her seventh graders one step further. She asks them to conduct informal research on problems affecting the Sylvania community for a short report. This work is still partnered as students read about algae blooms or drug abuse. They’re building not simply to a report, but to a problem/solution discussion that will be recorded through MoveNote and shared with fellow students. This opportunity excites students, and on the day of the recording, the time flies as students spend 100% time on task excitedly developing their newscast-style discussion of a community problem and their proposed solution.

Jamie provides help throughout the process.

Two of Jamie’s students, Lexus and Salma, decided to explore the puppy mill problem affecting the community through the store at the Franklin Park Mall. The girls enjoyed the assignment, stating that they “liked picking the problem.” And, “It was fun. We got to work in partners.” The girls understand the puppy mill problem, and their solution focuses on the buyer. They suggest that if you’re looking for a puppy, “You can adopt from a trusted owner or a shelter that you trust.” When asked why they focused their solution on the buyer, rather than the seller, they respond, ”The articles did not talk much about the stores,” showing how their work has depended on the research they read. It demonstrates the success of the reading instruction.

A partnership develops their presentation for the MoveNote recording.

Achieve3000 has been established to run automatically. Students could plug into the system and work independently on developing reading skills. Unfortunately, that will not work. Isolating students does not support them in their learning, and using Achieve to push that isolation will not lead to success. Jamie knows that and knows how to avoid the problem. Her project relies on the differentiation power of Achieve, but never once do students find themselves alone in the system. They use it as an organic part of a collaborative, authentic, and engaging exploration of problems and their solutions. These seventh graders will learn and grow through this mode of instruction to become the problem solvers of tomorrow, thanks to Jamie.


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Check out these links for more information!

Jamie’s Problem and Solution Slides Presentation

Jamie’s MoveNote Rubric

SDL Introduction on MoveNote

Teacher Showcase: Video Recorded Math Reflections with Julie Young

Traditional math reflections become awesome when Julie Young’s students create them through MoveNote!

Julie Young, math teacher at Arbor Hills, advises her students to “use your words.” The joke tells the truth of the project her eighth grade Math II students are beginning today. Instead of them crunching numbers with pencil and paper as usual, these students are about to explore how words and images can be used to express their understanding of math concepts. That may sound like a traditional math reflection, and at its heart, it is. But today, Julie is about to inject the typical math reflection assignment with a dose of digital through MoveNote and Google Slides.

Before class, students have completed a short worksheet on finding the slope of a line using equations. Now, Julie asks them to take that traditional math work and create a recorded presentation exploring the process of finding the slope. In a sense, students are creating short lessons. In fact, as they begin to design their slide presentations for the project, they look just like teachers designing a lesson. The slide presentations will be joined to a video recording of the students delivering the material through MoveNote. The final product will be a recording that places the students in positions of expertise on the math concept at hand.

Students mix worksheet activity with Chromebooks.

Julie has partnered the students for this project, and on this day, they workshop the worksheet and presentation file, and some practice their delivery. Some will even get to the recording, but most partnerships spend the period in this pre-recording development.

And that development is rife with experimentation and discovery. After Julie challenges the students to include graphs in their presentations, some play with Google Drawing, fashioning their own graphs to accompany equations. Others find the graphs through Google Images. They discover that if you enter the equation as the search query in an Image search, the graph of the line will appear. Many use that trick to find graphs for their slide presentations. Still others add to that the trick of clicking and dragging the image from the search directly into the presentation without the extra steps of saving to a separate location.

In their desks and on the floor, students collaborate under Julie's guidance.
In their desks and on the floor, students collaborate under Julie’s guidance.

Throughout the period, students laugh and smile as they work. Julie floats throughout the classroom, observing and answering questions. Her student teacher, Maria Nielsen, does as well, but the students do not ask for their assistance often. They work well, and most of them demonstrate the best of collaborative student learning. They encounter challenges, discuss them, and develop solutions. In the process, they often learn much more than simply how to find the slope of a line. They learn Internet work skills, presentation design principles, and teamwork values.

If you step back from this activity, you’ll realize that Julie has not done anything dramatically new in curricular terms. Students have been expected to demonstrate their understanding of math concepts through reflection assignments for some time. Through the reflection, students assume the voice of authority, a voice that requires mastery of concept. Here at Arbor Hills, though, that traditional assignment has taken a leap. The power of Julie’s approach is to leave behind the typical English composition approach of the reflection. In its place, she has inserted student collaboration and modern tools of expression that key on multiple learning styles. The simple focus on MoveNote as a method for expression has made a huge difference in the learning of these eighth grade students.

Student partnerships at work.
Student partnerships at work.

As they pack up for the day, the smiles continue, as do the laughs. These students have enjoyed themselves this class period, which is really an easy enough accomplishment for a teacher. Julie’s triumph, though, is the learning that was evident in the work they completed as they smiled and laughed. Julie has made slope finding fun and accessible. No doubt because of that, these students will retain that skill for years to come.

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Explore these links for more!

SDL Page on MoveNote

Sample Student Presentation-coming soon!

Sample Student Recording-coming soon!

Julie’s Worksheet File

Julie’s Rubric File

PD Session: Turn Every Chromebook into a Movie Studio

Come to this session and get introduced to three cool applications that can have a meaningful and beautiful presentation in minutes!

Presented by Laurie McCrary

Presenting last on October 19, 2015 as part of the Sylvania Fall Inservice Day. Next presentation to be announced!

“Tired of PowerPoint presentations? Video creation has become easier and easier with just a simple app! Come to this session and get introduced to three cool applications that can have a meaningful and beautiful presentation in minutes!”

In this session teachers will learn the varied possibilities of video recording in classrooms empowered by Chromebooks. Attention will be given to creating movies, video blogs, and recorded presentations. Apps demonstrated will include WeVideo, ClipChamp, and MoveNote.

Couldn’t make the session?  Check out this video from Anna Searcy on MoveNote!

Session Materials

Laurie’s Presentation Document


Google Classroom

Classroom Code: 3iqs8hv

WeVideo Home Page

SDL Resource Introduction on WeVideo


SDL Resource Introduction on ClipChamp

MoveNote Home Page

SDL Resource Introduction on MoveNote

SDL Cool Tricks Page on Chromebook Recording

Teacher Showcase: Video Blogging Spain Travel with Lisa Sobb

Spanish III students at Southview use the 21st Century technology of MoveNote to report on their virtual travels across the Spanish countryside.

Senora Sobb introduces the activity in Spanish.

In a small, windowless room at Southview High School, Lisa Sobb’s Honors Spanish III students file into her classroom, grab Chromebooks and headphones, and sit at desks arranged in tables. They banter a bit as Lisa talks to a few, but each one seems to know exactly what to do. Many are logged in within minutes; a few lag behind. The bell rings, and Lisa begins calmly delivering instructions in Spanish. Her accent is true, but the unaccented phrases “Google Classroom” and “MoveNote” ring forth without it, cluing the language-challenged into the digital tools of the day.

The Castilla y Leon region in Spain

Today’s lesson is the next step in a project that virtually transports students to the Spanish region of Castilla y León. Lisa has asked students to tour the region through the official tourist site, which not only features stunning 3D immersions in notable locations, but also reinforces the language and culture standards Lisa seeks to teach. Students explore the Spanish countryside, like the Sierra de Gredos, and classic sites, like the Basilica de San Isidoro in León. While exploring, Lisa asks students to imagine that they are actually traveling this countryside and producing a video blog. She does not give them a list of requirements for the blog. Instead, she provides loose guidelines designed to showcase the students’ mastery of last year’s and this year’s skills. As Lisa explains, “I want them to show me what they can do.” By today, the students have explored the site, taken notes, written a video blog script, and designed a Google Slides presentation. Now, they’re ready to record. It’s time for MoveNote.

Valle de Mena-1
The gorgeous Valle de Mena in Castilla y Leon

Continuing to speak in Spanish, Lisa takes her students through the amazingly simple creation of a MoveNote account (It’s done with a Google login) and permissions for the camera and microphone. After seeing a model example MoveNote recording on the Smartboard, the students are ready to record. Lisa asks them to finish the recording by the end of the class period. This entire introduction has taken fewer than five minutes.

Once working, many students fine-tune presentation slides. Some review their scripts. Others continue to fiddle with MoveNote settings, becoming comfortable with the app. One student, Gracie, begins recording immediately. Despite the tight quarters, she notices nothing around her as she dives into her narration, smiling into the camera. She does so without a script. Once finished, she dons her headphones to review the finished product. Although she has plenty of time to re-record, she seems satisfied with the finished product, and she should be.

When asked about her work, Gracie admits that she practiced the presentation beforehand, as Lisa suggested. The resulting experience was easy for her. She likes that “You can see the slides at the same time as you see your face. It’s much easier than trying to create a video with words on it.” She also says that yes, she would probably use MoveNote to practice a presentation even if it were not an assignment requirement.

A student script stands ready for recording.

It’s twenty minutes into the class, and while Gracie may be finished, most are not. Regardless, they work happily. Some speak directly, albeit nervously, into their Chromebooks. Others talk together as they continue to complete presentations. Lisa floats around calmly, sometimes helping students, but most face no real challenges. More and more record, and it becomes obvious that Lisa’s requirement that they be finished before the end of class will be easily satisfied.

Lisa’s students at various stages of work

After finishing the recording, the students’ files do not become public (as Gracie anxiously asked at one point). Instead, students will share them directly with Lisa, as if they were Google Drive files. Lisa will then grade them, a process she admits will take some time, but she shrugs over that. “It takes less time than you think,” she notes. Rather than focusing on her grading time, Lisa notices her class time benefit. She will not lose days to live student presentations. The creation of a video blog may actually be a more authentic activity than presenting in front of a high school class, anyway.

The use of MoveNote today has never dominated the class, even though it was the centerpiece digital tool. Instead of agonizing over the use of an app, students worked individually and collaboratively on presentations, explored Spanish culture and language, and practiced speaking skills. Lisa has used the technology to support the learning of language standards in innovative ways not possible without the Chromebooks. MoveNote will most likely become a ready and available tool for these students, in this class and beyond. And Lisa’s mastery of the process and confidence in the students’ abilities has made that usefulness possible.

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Explore these links for more information!

Student Example #1

Student Example #2

Lisa’s Presentation Mini-Project Assignment Sheet

ODE Presentation Rubric

Lisa’s MoveNote Walkthrough

SDL Page on MoveNote

Cool Trick: Turn Your Chromebook into a Movie Studio!

Access to Chromebooks empowers our students to record audio and video in exciting ways. Read here to learn five ways to harness this power!

Movies are cool. Television is cool. YouTube is cool. Let’s use that coolness in our projects!

Teachers have been asking students to make film and video a part of project-based learning for generations, especially when VHS formats increased accessibility. And now that digital technology has made those old tape formats archaic, the accessibility and flexibility have increased dramatically. Of course, you’ll need the right tool for the job, and determining which tool will work for the specific job you want can be difficult. Worry not! Read below for 5 tips on how you can use Chromebooks and other simple tools to turn each student into a master movie maker!

Most of these tips discuss apps and extensions that add directly into a Google account. Once added, they become part of the user’s account and will open each time the user opens the account. Becoming comfortable with adding these tools can help you add to your and your students’ digital toolboxes. But, do not feel overwhelmed. Just think about what you want to do and read the process!

One: You and your students can use smartphones to record video footage.

clinton-phoneA surprising number of students carry smartphones with them to school every day, and that means each one of them carries a video camera with them. If you want your students to shoot footage without being limited to a desk and Chromebook, ask them to use their phones. They know how to use the video recorder on their phone, so recording is no problem. Once the recording is made into a file, they can share it with you or upload it into a video editor simply. They can either upload it to Google Drive using the Google Drive phone app or email it to their Gmail account. Both methods bring the file to the cloud, where they can do what you’d like them to do with it.

Advanced tip: Google Classroom now allows for students to submit photos taken on a phone straight to a Classroom assignment. Check out this video to see how.

Two: Students can use Chromebooks to record themselves.

ClipChampChromebooks can record audio and video through the webcam installed in the machine. This makes the Chromebook ideal for recording a single student or pair of students reading, opinionating, or discussing. Just aim and shoot. The best app for this is
ClipChamp. A student can download the ClipChamp app through their Chromebook Webstore. The app is then loaded any time they need it. Clicking it takes students to the ClipChamp web page, where a single click begins recording. Then, once the file has been completed, the student can upload it straight to their Google Drive. ClipChamp doesn’t even require an account. Simple!

Three: Students can use Chromebooks to record a presentation for practice or submission.

movenote1What about split screen? Some apps allow a student to record a window and their face at the same time. Cool, huh? One of the best applications for this is the recording of presentations. Let’s say you want a student to record a presentation for practice. Or, you want them to record a presentation to send to a peer for review. Or, you want them to record a presentation for you to grade from home. Easy. Use MoveNote. This app allows students to record two screens at once. One is their presentation file (Google Slides, PowerPoint, PDF); the other is their face in the webcam. The app is simplified in that it uses the student’s Google login to run, so they can use their student account for the work.

Advanced Tip: Using Prezi? MoveNote will not show a Prezi presentation as is with all animation, but it will take a PDF download of the presentation. The student can still use MoveNote for practice and review, even if the full presentation will require live delivery. Check this out to learn how to download a Prezi presentation into PDF format.

Four: Students can use Chromebooks to record their work online. You can use Chromebooks to record lessons and instructions.

snagitWhat if you want to record a lesson or a set of instructions for students? What if you want students to record their own work on the Chromebook as part of a project portfolio? You can do that through the Screencastify extension. Download it into your Google account and use its simplified recording controls to record audio and video from the screen. You can even see an image of the speaker from the webcam if you wish and turn it off if you do not. Better yet, Screencastify links to a Google account, so students can directly upload the recording to their Google Drive.

Five: Students can edit footage together into a full movie.

WeVideo2Your students recorded video. Now what? Well, they can submit what they have, of course, and that’s great for simple applications. But what if you want them to develop a multi-shot project? Students can produce a full movie with edits of multiple shots, imported still images, titles, transitions, and music with WeVideo. WeVideo is accessible for free through the student’s Google login. The free version lacks some of the power of the premium version, but with it, students can still upload up to 5GB of data and create videos up to 7:30. The app uses an efficient timeline format for importing and moving content to develop into a full movie.

Advanced Tip: Do you want to use professional music for your movie, but you’re afraid because of copyright issues? Check out this library of free songs for use in videomaking. As long as you attribute these users, they have no problem with your use of their song!

Our students are born and reared in a visually engaging and visually demanding world. If you give them the opportunity to explore the concepts of your class through video, you will not only access powerful skills they have, but also help them refine those skills for the next challenge. Have fun!

If you would like help with any of these applications, feel free to ask for help!

Would you like to add to this discussion? Share your experiences and expertise through the comment feature below.

Resource Introduction: MoveNote

Check out MoveNote to help students make more, easier digital presentations for wider sharing!

What is it?

MoveNote is an app for slidecasting. That means it enables the user to share a slide-based presentation with others. You might say we can already do that with regular sharing, but MoveNote shares a fully recorded slide-based presentation with split-screen functionality. The slide presentation appears in a main screen while the speaker image appears in a secondary screen. The recording captures the full animation of the slideshow and full delivery of the speaker with audio. It’s a remarkable tool for recording and sharing presentations, and it works effortlessly on Chromebooks.

How can I use it?

MoveNote presents a number of cool opportunities. You could use it to flip the classroom by recording instructional presentations. You could use it to gather student presentations for assessment, to increase the number of possible presentations in a single year. You could even use it for students to record presentations in the development stage to share with reviewers, even reviewers in different buildings and at different levels.

Who’s using it?

At Southview, Lisa Sobb

At Arbor Hills, Julie Young

At Hill View, Kayla Nowacki

Are you or someone you know using this? Notify us, and we’ll post your or their name here as a building expert! Email to aclarkson@sylvaniaschools.org.

Check out this short video by Anna Searcy to help you get started.  

Resource Links

MoveNote Home Page

MoveNote Download on Playstore

MoveNote YouTube Channel

“3 Minute Teaching with Technology Tutorial: Using Movenote for Lesson Content” (Video; 3:10)

Teacher Testimonials with Application Ideas