BPS BlendED Teacher Spotlight

Spotlight (1)

Our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy teachers are a talented and innovative group of educators. We are grateful for their time, enthusiasm, and positivity as they transform their classrooms with blended learning strategies and personalize learning for their students. This series is a way to celebrate them and share their wisdom on blended learning. The resources, advice, and passion from these educators is something we need to capture and share. These trailblazers are helping to lead the way in creating a change in teaching and learning. This blog series will give you a chance to meet and learn from these inspirational educators!

Angie EllisAngie Ellis, 2nd Grade Teacher-Belleaire Elementary

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….

”Before I had technology, I taught in front of the classroom to the whole group at one time. I would casually walk around as student’s began working on their assignment to see if they were grasping the concept I was teaching. Now as a blended classroom, I  have transformed my teaching with more engaging lessons. One subject that stands out the most is Math. I am able to introduce my lesson by creating a Nearpod presentation for the class to follow along with as I teach the new concept for the day. The students are able to work out a problem and submit it to me where I can see each student’s work all at one. I can share their work for the rest of the students to see on their iPads. They love the quiz questions that I create at the end of the presentation to check for understanding. Once we are done with the introduction of the lesson for that day, student’s come and get their math paper to listen to me teach the lesson via Schoology. They can work at their own pace. I can pull small groups back to my table to give guided practice. The students who finish early are then able to use Seesaw to reflect on their learning for that day. When finished with their Seesaw reflection video they can practice their math facts in Front Row.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?

“I am most proud of the way my blended classroom flows. At the beginning of the year, I take the time to each the most important apps that we use in our everyday learning, such as Schoology, Notability, Seesaw, Nearpod, and Classkick. As we move through the year, I teach them what I call “show me what you know” apps such as Book Creator, Explain Everything, Keynote, and others.  Once they have a good grasp of how to use these apps, it allows them to have a choice to pick which app to “show me what you know”. I love to see how engaged they are when creating projects and how proud they are of their work.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom

Currently, I use Schoology to deliver Daily Spiral Review in Math as well as Reader’s Writer’s Notebook in Reading where student’s can then upload to Notability.  My student’s can also access the Math videos the I have pre-recorded for each Math topic to use for self paced learning. This year, I cuse pre-made Words Their Way Stick Around Puzzles, found in the Blended Learning Schoology Group, and load them into my course.

Some of my favorite apps are Nearpod, to create presentations to introduce a topic or review for a test. Kahoot! is another great app for reviewing a concept. Book Creator is perfect for students to show their creativity by making a book about a certain topic. Seesaw is great for any subject to give a reflection or to show how to work out a math problem. Parents love hearing their child talk about what they’re learning in school.  As a parent of a third grader, I love being able to see and hear what my son is doing in class everyday.

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice

“My advice to a teacher who is just getting started with 1:1 iPads in their classroom, would be to start slow. Pick one subject and think how you could use the apps mentioned above to create more student engagement.”

Connect with Angie: Twitter @angie_ellis

Robin Kratina Social Studies Teacher-Bellevue West High School


Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….

“Before I had technology, I was using a lot of paper!  I was building classes every year, and had filing cabinets full of folders and lots of paper!  When you have multiple preps and every prep is a different content that’s a lot of master copies!  

With Schoology it is all in one place, build a class that maybe you don’t get assigned for a few semesters and it is o.k. because you have your class built.  Also I chased after absent kiddos, now I have a place to send them. I also sent time competing for time in computer labs.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?

“Students who take responsibility for their own learning.  My students are smarter than me, they teach me all kinds of new tech stuff every day.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom

The simplest thing we do, and they one they have the most fun with is making paper slides. Very simple, but their creativity goes crazy! Another thing they like is making mind maps, I have been playing with SimpleMind+Intuitive Mind and a couple of others with the AP classes looking for ways to have them synthesize the content from a Unit as a closure activity

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice

“Sometimes when we are facing change it feels like the message is that we’ve been doing it wrong,  I read that in an article, and realized I felt a little like this.

I felt like I didn’t know what was wrong with what I had been doing, but it must be wrong, and suddenly there was this pressure to get on board.  What I came to understand is, we can take our time, and do what we do at our own pace. What we’ve been doing is right for each of us, and what we will do will be right for us and our students too.”

Connect with Robin: Twitter @RKratina