GTCC Golden Apple News


“Golden” Apple  

            By Diana Knudson                                             February, 2016



·         If you have not looked at the Smarter Balanced Digital Library, you are in for a great big, positive experience.  Your school administration can get you in.  The library is found on the Smarter Balanced website, and your password has been shared with your school from OPI.  If you have any problem contact Pam Birkeland at OPI (  IT IS A DIGITAL LIBRARY STOCKED WITH MORE THAN 2600 RESOURCES that have been strictly vetted for excellence.  All 2600 resources are tied to the Montana Common Core Standards and feature instructional videos, lesson and unit plans, and other tools submitted by teachers.  “An example is an animated instructional module showing an 8th grade math teacher leading a discussion about the Pythagorean theorem.  She sees from her students’ work that they don’t fully grasp how irrational numbers can be used to express the lengths of triangles’ sides.  The segment follows her as she pinpoints this misunderstanding and facilitates a discussion among the students to bring light to the idea.  The 10-minute module was designed to show how a teacher can identify and act on evidence of students’ learning, a key principle of formative assessment (Education Week, vol. 35, no. 12, Nov. 11, 2015. pp. S8-S9).


·         Sometimes, teachers just want to know which students get it and which don’t.  Some technology products out there can give us that on-the-spot, at-a-glance information.  The free app Plickers, for example, has students hold up cards in response to teacher questions.  Using the app and a smartphone, teachers scan the cards, and the results are displayed on a smart device or screen.  Other products:  ExitTicket, Quizlet, and Socrative.


·         Formative Assessment in the form of games feeds on students’ love of competition and digital gaming.  “By definition, a game is assessing a player all the time,” said Barry Fishman, a co-author of the 2015 report, “The A-Games Project.”  The report found that educational games can enhance formative assessment but need design improvements to help teachers collect information of student progress connected to specific concepts.  Sample products :  BrainPOP. GlassLab Games, Kahoot!, MathBlaster, MIT Education Arcade, SimCityEDU.


·         We have about a third of the school year left.  The GTCC Summer Institute will be published around April 1.  Don’t forget to check early and sign up early to assure your spot in the classes of your choice.

Congratulations to the winner of the January giftcard drawing, Allyson Hoff of Cut Bank Schools!



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Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events... 
January 2016
 Career Vocational 
Committee Meeting
3D International Great Falls
Principals Forward Meeting
Moved to April 20
Hampton Inn Great Falls
April 2016
Committee Meeting
3D International Great Falls
Spring Leadership Meeting Hampton Inn Great Falls



Web Resources, Grants and Other News...


New additions to OPI's Teacher Learning Hub include the following:
• Montana Historical Society Educator Resources - self-paced course worth 1 renewal unit
• Orientation to Special Education - 4-week facilitated course starting again on 2/15/2016 worth 15 renewal units
• Dealing with Grief and Loss in Adolescents - self-paced course worth 2 renewal units


More information at Learning Hub.

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