Test Preparation

Check out the AIR and ACT resources developed by the district for the 2017 testing cycle.

Click on the images below to access the independent websites developed to support teachers in preparing their students for the AIR and ACT tests in 2017. These resources were developed by and for secondary teachers and explored at the January 26th late start resource workshops.



Cool Trick: Quizzes and Images in Google Forms

Is this the end of Flubaroo? Not quite, but close. Check out how to create quizzes in Google Forms without add-ons.

Summer 2016 brought a couple of upgrades to Google Forms that will please teachers wanting to create digital assessments: embedded quiz tools and image insertion. Check out the tutorial below covering both and/or read the resources below that.

Google’s Support Page for Quiz Functions

Google’s Instructions for Editing a Form, with Image Directions

Resource Introduction: Actively Learn

Want to add questions, guidance, and multimedia to texts? Check out the smooth interaction of Actively Learn!

What is it?

Designed by teachers, Actively Learn aims to take texts of varying types, from current news articles to public domain novels, and enable teachers to power them up with digital interaction. That could mean adding a question at a point in a novel reading and setting it so that the student cannot proceed until answering. It could mean adding video to a news article to add richness. It could mean annotating any text to provide insight and guidance to students as they read. The goal is to make texts truly interactive for independent student reading.

Actively Learn offers standard and user friendly controls for creating classes, adding students, and managing content and work. The service is freemium, meaning that much of it is free, but complete access to assignment data, class data, and activity reports is only available with an account. Still, at the free level much rich content and functionality is available.

Yes, there is a mobile app for Android.

How can I use it?

Use Actively Learn to enhance reading activities beyond the traditional textbook or news resource. If you like the interaction of a digital textbook for English, for instance, you could use Actively Learn to accomplish the same result, but totally created and controlled by you, not the publisher. In a similar way, you could take current events articles and integrate them into the standards and content you’re already teaching in class, rather than needing to bend to the resource itself. The point is customizability and control, which Actively Learn will put in your hands as you integrate literacy in your curriculum.

Oh, and by the way, Actively Learn does provide world language support, including many texts in Spanish and French.

Who’s using it?

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 teacher introduction to Actively Learn and then watch this student tutorial follow up for more.

Resource Links

Actively Learn Home Page

Edsurge’s Complete Review

Resource Introduction: Edcite

Want to make your own AIR-style assessments? Check out Edcite!

What is it?

Edcite is basically an assessment generator, but it differs from generators like Socrative or Google Forms in some important and impressive ways. First, it allows the teacher to choose from a much wider range of questions types, many of which present the sort of challenges that students face on AIR tests and other next generation assessments, like drag and drop, sentence select, and more. In fact, Edcite offers nearly seventy different question types.

Like Kahoot, Edcite offers the ability to share and find publicly available assessments, which can make life much easier.

It also provides many of the same basic tools assessment generators provide, such as easy grading interaction and student data analysis through classrooms that you establish and use to provide assessments. Students can receive instant (or delayed) feedback; teachers can access detailed data reports.

Yes, the basic version is free, and you will not encounter a pay wall that locks you out of the coolest features on the service. It also offers a Google login, so creating and managing an account is simple.

How can I use it?

You can use Edcite to create and manage your own assessments, and it will offer you a greater range of assessment possibilities than Google Forms or Socrative. But the best value of the service is its ability to provide a framework for creating AIR-style tests. Use it to transform your tests into AIR format or to provide AIR-aligned tests on a straightforward, digital platform.

Don’t want to create these assessments yourself? Then find those that others have produced. As a test, click here to go to Edcite’s “Featured Collections,” collections of high-quality content from a range of content areas. You can also go to Sylvania’s AIR Preparation Resources site, which contains dozens of AIR-aligned assignments from all tested subjects and grades at the secondary level.

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 Sylvania’s own tutorial series exploring how to create and find assignments and questions, manage classes, assign work, and examine data. Then, explore the links below for more!

Resource Links


Sylvania-authored two-page Edcite primer (This primer explores several basic Edcite functions through direct step-by-step process.)

Edcite Text-Based User Manual

Edcite Summary (1-Page)

Basic Help Resources: Directory of Print-Based Guides (This link leads you to several short guides designed as printables)

Edcite Factory Guide (A handout given to teachers working in the Edcite Factory; contains detailed instructions on many tasks related to accounts, classes, and assignment creation)

Signing up for Edcite (video)

Creating and Finding Assignments (video)

Creating Questions (video)

Using the Question Library (video)

ELA Example: Rhetorical Study of President Obama’s Back-to-School Speech for 7-8

Resource Introduction: Zipgrade

Ditch those Scantrons with ZipGrade!

21C Profile Pic-MalcolmThanks to Northview’s Ian Malcolm for this resource introduction!


What is it?

ZipGrade is a low-cost and fast alternative to using traditional Scantron grading sheets.  This phone app works for both Apple and Android devices, and allows you to grade multiple choice tests as soon as the students hand them in.  Along with quick grading, the app also creates individual grade sheets for each of your students, stores all data digitally in a way that can be quickly accessed online, and gives you in-depth item analysis.

You get 100 free demo scans, but after that it is $6.99 for a year subscription.

How can I use it?

Turns your phone into a Scantron!  Setup shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and you’ll be able to use your phone as an electronic grading device.  Once you’ve graded, you’ll have access to a digital copy of each student’s answer sheet so you can double check to see if there were any grading errors.  You’ll also get item analysis showing the percentage of students that answered correctly, and what percentage of students picked each of the other options.  This is a great tool for finding your student’s misconceptions.

Also, you should be able to upload your student’s scores directly into Powerschool through ZipGrade’s export feature and Powerschool’s import feature, saving a lot of manual work.

Here is a quick run-down on how to make it work:

  • Download the app and create an account.  You get 100 free demo scans
  • Add a class through the website.  You can actually run a report from power school with your class roster and upload it into the app.  This an improvement over other grade scanning software which you have to enter manually, and I have created a video showing you how to do this.
  • Once you have the class, you can print out answer sheets that have the student’s name and number printed on them already.  
  • Create a quiz on the phone app, and then create the answer key.  Fastest way to create a key is to fill out a blank answer form and scan it as the key.
  • You’re finished.  Just select the quiz/test on your phone app and scan the student’s answer sheets when they complete the test.  The app saves a picture of the test, and uploads all the data to website.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use ZipGrade in your school. Ask them for help!

At Northview, Ian Malcolm

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.

For more help with ZipGrade, watch Thomas Grodek’s excellent tutorial!

Resource Links

ZipGrade Home Page

ZipGrade Help Page

Zipgrade Apple Download on iTunes

ZipGrade Android Download on Google Play

Ian’s “ZipGrade Class Setup Tutorial” video

Resource Introduction: Zaption

Videos now become quizzes with Zaption! Add questions directly into videos!

What is it?

Zaption enables teachers to add interactive elements to videos. These elements include text and image slides, drawings, and three types of questions: open response, multiple choice, and checkbox. Teachers can share those videos with students and track their progress through answering the questions. All of this is free and requires only a Google login. A premium upgrade will provide more features, but unlike some free-to-premium services, the free version is very likely all you’ll need. Zaption also offers a gallery of finished lessons.

How can I use it?

Add a video from YouTube or elsewhere and add any of the interactive elements above. Comprehension questions? Sure! Images to enhance content? Sure! Use these elements to convert lessons into interactive experiences and make a flipped classroom more than simply students watching TV.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use Zaption in your school. Ask them for help!

At Southview, Lisa Sobb and Shelley Bielak

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 Klista Rader’s video tutorial to get started!

Resource Links

Zaption Home Page

Zaption Web Store Download

Zaption YouTube Channel

Zaption Help Center

“How to Create a Zaption Tour” (video 4:18)

Lisa Sobb’s “La del Facebook” Video Lesson

Alex Clarkson’s “How Do Wounds Heal?” Video Lesson

Resource Introduction: Quizlet

Make virtual flashcards and more with Quizlet!

What is it?

Quizlet is an online quiz and flash card generator. Teachers can use it to generate quizzes and other assessments. Students can use it to generate flash cards and other study guides. The “Live” featured, introduced in 2016, enables teachers to create live, interactive games out of the flash card sets. One of the best parts of Quizlet, though, is its connection to other users and creators. Teachers and students can find quizzes and flashcards generated by others to use or modify. The service is free and uses a Google login, making it simple to start.

How can I use it?

You can use Quizlet for quizzes and tests, but it works even better when you teach your students how to use it and encourage them to rely on it as a study resource. They can create their own flashcards for review or access those created by you and others. The utility is most impressive in its ability to connect teachers and students to collect support resources on a dizzying array of topics.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use Quizlet in your school. Ask them for help!

At McCord, Holly Welsch

At Arbor Hills, Aaron Joplin, Tony Cutway, Angie Robinson

At Timberstone, Korinne Turnbell, Carol Bohland, Mary Carmony, Lauren Clark

At Southview, Katy Creecy

At Northview, Kathryn Nelson, John Word

At Highland, Kyle Newnham

At Stranahan, Amanda Sanderson

At Central Trail, Julie Bennett and Christina Renz

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 Russell Stannard’s lengthy, but complete tutorial to learn Quizlet.

Resource Links

Quizlet Website

Quizlet Web Store Download

Gwen Scott’s Quick “Quizlet Tutorial” (video 6:07)

“Quizlet Virtual Flashcards 2014 Tutorial” (video 12:27)

“11 Ways Quizlet.com Can Supercharge Your Teaching”

“Quizlet Live 101” (video 6:31)

Sylvania Digital Learning’s eGames Guide

Resource Introduction: Socrative

Want to manage digital assessments? Try Socrative!

What is it?

Socrative is a free online tool designed specifically for classroom assessments. Unlike Google Forms, which was originally designed as a general tool, Socrative was designed specifically for classroom assessments. It offers a wide range of assessment functions, including question customization, automated grading, live views, grade reports, and more. It works on any devices, so students could even complete assessments on smartphones.

How can I use it?

Use Socrative to create and administer tests, quizzes, or other types of formative assessment. You can use it for large, summative assessments or small, formative ones. You can also use it to connect to other educators to share content.

Who’s using it?

Check out these teachers that know and use Socrative in your school. Ask them for help!

At Arbor Hills, Aaron Joplin, Tony Cutway, Angie Robinson

At Timberstone, Carol Bohland, Korinne Turnbell, Lauren Clark

At Southview, Katy Creecy

At Northview, Kathryn Nelson, John Word

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.

Look at how easy it is to generate a quick question in the 30-second video below. Then, go to Socrative’s YouTube channel (linked below) for more helpful videos on similar functions!

Resource Links

Socrative Website

Socrative YouTube Channel

Socrative Web Store Download

Socrative Garden: Growing 21st Century Skills An exploration of question types and pedagogical approaches

Learning Inspired “10 Ways of Using Socrative”

Crazy Teaching “Using Socrative for Formative Assessment”

Sylvania Digital Learning’s eGames Guide