Welcome to The Pirate D.L. Blog! We hope you find a lot of great resources for digital learning that you can use in your classroom.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Take a Brain Break

Take a Brain Break

Image result for brain breaks

Go Noodle is a great free tool that has tons of appropriate music videos with coordination activities for your students. From yoga to The Sid Shuffle, these short videos will help students take their mind off testing and get the wiggles out!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


This week we are sharing a wonderful new web tool that allows you to create standards based formative assessments with instant access to mastery grading.

To get started, go to: https://www.edulastic.com/

Click on the "Join for Free" button and you can create a free teacher account by linking your Google account.

Once you have created your account and entered your school information, create your classes. Edulastic allows you to import student rosters from Google Classroom.

On the left side of the screen, you can see the menu to create an assessment, visit the assessment library, view student reports, or manage classes.

Edulastic has a fantastic library of assessments already made and tied to standards.

In this example, I searched for "fractions" in the assessment library. I can search assessments by grade level, topic, or standards. You can click on an assessment in the library to preview it or assign it to a class.

Here is an example of what an assessment question looks like.

When you give an assessment in Edulastic, you have several options for dates, scoring, and mastery thresholds. This is an exciting feature for our teachers who are using standards based grading!

Under the reports section, Edulastic will track which standards you have assessed and mastery by standard.

I hope you explore Edulastic with your students!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wrapping Up 2016-17!

This week, we are sharing strategies for wrapping up your Google Classroom for the year.

Clean Up Your Google Drive

Google Classroom creates a "Classroom" folder in your Google Drive. In the folder is a sub-folder for each class you have created. You can move the folders and I recommend making a new favorites folder and moving any favorite assignments or project examples to this folder. It will make it easy to add assignments or handouts next year to your new classes.

Another good idea is to create a 2016-2017 sub-folder in your "Classroom" folder and move all your current courses into the folder. This will make it clean and ready to go for next year.

Archive 2016-2017 Classes

Google has an archive tool to save your completed classes and remove them from your home screen. Note that you cannot add new assignments and students can no longer turn in assignments once a class is archived.

To archive a class, login to Google Classroom and click on the three dots next to the class you wish to archive.

To see a list of your archived classes, click on the  button and scroll to the bottom, then click on "archived classes".

Start Planning Ahead

It is not too early to go ahead and create your new classes for next year. I recommend creating new classes each semester or year, depending on how often you get new students.  Google Classroom has the ability to save assignments and announcements as drafts and reuse assignments, you can use this time to pre-populate your classes as well as add your syllabus and resource documents.

Don't forget that you can now schedule posts to appear for your students on the first day of 2017-2018!

Also, use Google Takeout to backup your Google Drive! 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Google Password Change

It is a good practice to frequently change your password in your google account.  Here are the steps to change your password:

Step 1: From your Gmail account - access your “My Account” settings.myaccount.png

Step 2: Once in your settings click on Personal Info and privacy to find these settings:

Step 3: Using the Personal Info section find your password and sign in method, it will tell you when you last changed your password.

Step 4: Once you click on your password area - you will be prompted to verify your current password and then select a new password as shown. Click “Change Password” to save.