Mike Sammartano

What's Going on with that Graph?

The New York Times recently announced a new feature, aimed at bringing powerful data visualizations into the classroom. The feature, called "What's Going on with that Graph?" Will be available on the second Tuesday of every month through May of 2018. The Times will publish an engaging, informative graphic, suitable for use in a variety of different classrooms. Similar to their "What's Going on with this Picture?" feature, the graph feature will challenge students to think, observe and question.Read More

Books On-Deck with Google Sheets

Something that has come up in discussions with my English teachers has been an exploration of various ways to have students keep a running list of “books on-deck;” the books they are interested in potentially reading at some point in the future. While Google form or Awesome Tables would work well, I decided that a simple doc shared between the student and the teacher would be best. In putting it together, I found that a Google Sheet would make it even easier for teachers and students to enter and edit information. Read More

Google Tools for Tracking Reading

One of the more exciting and enjoyable projects I have been working on over the last two years has been an initiative to carefully track the reading that is taking place in our middle school. Literacy has become the main instructional focus for all students in my district and this has been one of many initiatives aimed at better understanding the barriers to independent reading, and how to overcome them. When several administrators approached me looking for an intuitive, user-friendly, but powerful tool for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, I immediately turned to G Suite - little did I know at the time that this project would keep getting bigger and bigger, and necessitate the use of nearly half a dozen web apps. Here's how it all came together.Read More

Make Studying Fun with Flippity

Now that the school year is back in full swing — it's  time to break out the flashcards, practice tests, and notes as students prepare for exams and assessments. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of great web tools available to enhance and liven up this typically arduous process. Quick assessment tools like Kahoot! and Formative are great ways to practice and review with students. But what if you want an even faster way to make interactive digital flashcards, Jeopardy-style review games, crossword puzzles, Mad Libs activities, and more — all without any work except for typing in the information? Enter Flippity.
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Google EDU in 90

Interested in keeping up on all the latest updates from Google for Education, but don’t running short on time? Take a look at EDU in 90, a new YouTube playlist full of quick, engaging videos direct from Google for Education. Episodes focus on an important topics for teachers, administrators, and school leaders including looks at everything from product updates and new programs to helpful resources for the classroom.Read More

Explore these Digital Archives

As I teacher, I was always scouring the web for engaging resources to bring into my classroom - including everything from primary source documents to video clips and gifs, animations, and cartoons. Over the years, I've have amassed quite a collection of links to web-based archives of digitized resources, perfect for use in an educational setting. Here are a few of my favorites.
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EdPuzzle Makes Flipping Easy

The biggest complaint I hear from teachers in my role as instructional coach is that they never have enough time. Class periods fly by as teachers struggle to engage students in the huge quantity of information they are required to understand. This is where the Flipped Classroom model comes into play. In Flipped Model, the majority of content, including facts, dates, concepts, and even procedures, is presented to students through an engaging video outside of the classroom. Students then interact with that content in some way, whether it be answering questions, taking notes, or some other assignment.
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Google Slides Outside the Box

Google Slides is a web-based presentation tool, not all that different from PowerPoint or Keynote. What sets it apart though, is the same thing that sets all of the Google (G Suite) apps apart from there Office and iWork counterparts — collaboration. While the Office and iWork suites have added sharing and collaboration features, they’re just not the same as what Google has accomplished. Google Slides makes working on a document with one or one hundred other people easy. This opens up lots of doors to unique and engaging learning activities using this powerful tool.Read More

Exploring Google's Hidden Gems

We all know about Google Drive, and Docs, and Gmail, etc, however Google has been busy at work on dozens of other projects which are quietly lurking online, just waiting to be discovered — many of which can be useful and engaging tools for the classroom. Here are just a few of these hidden Google gems.
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