End of school year self-evaluation

Animal Farm puzzle activity

As part of my reflection as an educator in the classroom, I always like to administer a questionnaire to find out what my students thought of my teaching performance. I use Google Forms and DO NOT collect email addresses so the students can remain as anonymous as possible.

The questionnaire I used this year was developed by some of our teaching staff but I decided I wanted the students to provide their own items. They came up with some interesting thoughts as to how a teacher should work in the classroom.

Items in the form usually include how a teacher uses time, returns corrected work, posts grades, handles behavioral situations, and uses technology, among others.

Some of the items that my students wanted to include were the following:

The teacher offers opportunities to make up work after student has been absent.

The teacher helps out the student who needs it.

The teacher discusses the topics for an upcoming test.

The teacher assesses what has been discussed in class.

The teacher reacts favorably to questions asked by students.

The teacher respects the students’ personal space and property.

(This last one was unusual, but I decided to use it.)

The choices used were (1) always, (2) almost always, (3) sometimes, (4) very few times, (5) can’t say

Suffice it to say that I got some feedback that I will consider in the future. It’s always wise to reflect on past teaching practices and use these opportunities as a measuring device for future growth. For those of you who use a self-evaluation instrument, what do you include? ~~LMMolina


Teacher Evaluation: The Eternal Conundrum


Teacher evaluation time is a headache for most school administrators. How to be fair? It’s definitely not a simple task.

When it comes to evaluating a teachers’ performance, the student factor is essential. After all, who is exposed to the teacher on a daily basis? At our school we use Google Forms to assess a teacher’s work. We’ve prepared a form that hopefully gathers all the components that will give us an idea of how well the teacher is performing. This questionnaire was prepared by the department heads along with some of the teaching staff. It’s quick and easy to administer.

Now, I believe that students should be able to prepare a questionnaire of their own. I think their form would be vastly different from our own. Why?  Because they see the teacher from a totally different perspective. But we should take into consideration how they feel a teacher should work. By combining the results of both questionnaires we should get a better picture of the teacher and her classroom. Don’t you agree? I’m going to give it try and see what happens. The findings should be enlightening! ~~LMMolina

Professional development: Blogging workshop

Integrating skills: Reading, writing, and coding!

Welcome to the wonderful world of computer science! With coding, a whole new language to learn and embrace. ~~LMMolina

English & Mrs. Molina

Session #4: Google ignitesCS Program

Some of the students from the 10th-grade English class have been delving into the world of computer science these past few weeks. Why not? It helps them see a whole new world.  It broadens their horizons, so to speak. At the same time, they continue to use their English-language skills.

Computer science uses the English language as a medium of expression.  So, not only do these students practice the English language but learn new terms such as, programming, machine learning, user interface, debugging, merge, decomposition...the list continues. I certainly hope they’re aware of how important the English language is when it comes to reading about technical topics!

Studying the topics related to computer science should expand their brains by making them think in different ways.  One topic that is in vogue is CODING.  Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer…

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Google Forms: Surveys, Assessment, and Elections

Computer room at CBCMR: 2017 polling station

During this school year I’ve had the opportunity to use Google Forms in various contexts: as an assessment in the classroom, as a questionnaire to elect candidates for different organizations and as a tool to determine students’ perceptions of their teachers. My tech students who are in their Senior year of high school have used it for their science and Spanish-language research projects. Bear in mind, that a form is only as good as the items created by the teacher (or student).

So far I’ve found Google Forms to be effective. A G Form is easy to create and the results can be had almost immediately (depending on the Internet connection). The resulting graphs are usually visually pleasing and relatively simple. This past week, the student body elected their student council representatives using Google Forms. The results of the voting of 212 students were obtained in less than two hours without the hassle of a hand count! Half-way through the second-class period (Note: We have 80-minute periods) we were able to announce the winners. The student council adviser was impressed and rightly so!

However, there is one drawback with Google Forms which I haven’t been quite able to work out. When it comes to printing out the graphs, not all the data can be seen. Unless, the print version is scaled down quite a bit (and you have a magnifying glass at hand to read it!), there is always one circle that is cut off or some of the percentages aren’t visible. I suppose it depends on the length of the form. But I’m still trying to work around this “glitch” and the Google Forms HELP section is really not helping at all. So, if there is anyone out there in the cyber world who can provide assistance, I’ll be eternally grateful!  I will continue to use this app because, frankly, I like it, and the best part of all, it’s free! ~~LMMolina

Another look at Wikispaces

I’ve been checking out Wikispaces to see what they have going for them that’s new, and exploring the possibility of using it in one of my courses this new year (2017). Wikispaces is now Wikispaces Classroom.  Competition for Google Classroom? More than likely. And by what I’ve discovered so far, Wikispaces Classroom seems to be in the lead. Why? For one thing, the teacher can invite all students no matter what their e-mail addresses are. Google Classroom needs every student to be in the same organizational domain. Something , that right now is not user friendly for me as a teacher. It would mean that I would need someone at the administrative level to do that. I’m not sure my school is ready for that yet.

However, I can invite my students to join my Wikispaces classroom through the Wiki I’ve created, in this case, mrsmolinatechnology. Each student can use his own email address. I can create group projects and monitor each student’s work.

How is Wikispace different from Wikispaces Classroom? Apparently, it’s “social writing with formative assessment.” A place for a classroom to work, connect and communicate. Sound cool? I think so. With Wikispaces I can email and receive private messages. I can also customize permissions: who can view, edit, or create pages. I can allow discussion posts from non-members if my Wiki is public. To safeguard my students’ privacy, I think I’ll keep it private for now.

Wikispaces by TES has brought me to Blendspace. This is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students or colleagues. I’m experimenting with that, too, and looking forward to using it with the students during the new semester of the current school year.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I’ve found the ‘ideal educational platform’. Here’s to a successful semester for all! ~~~LMMolina





Prisma: An App to try out

Just recently I was introduced to an App I decided to experiment with and decided it might be useful. Prisma is an app for editing photos artistically.  If I want to post photos of my students and I don’t want their faces to be easily recognized, this just might be the ticket!

I tried it out with a photo of the school’s female volleyball team.


Only the teammates will know who’s who! ~~LMMolina

Check out the site for more details: http://prisma-ai.com/

Cyberix Members: Tech Support for School’s Mock Election

Another use for Google Forms: Mock Elections! ~~LMM



Last Thursday three of our club members were on hand to help out student electors with the process of voting electronically. It was the school’s first mock election using Google Forms. Total count of those who voted was 179.  Results were displayed graphically through a pie chart (see image below). Our History Department Head, Wanda Ríos had prepared a group of students to function as election officials. The computer room served as part of the polling station.   Everything went smoothly and we hope to use this more frequently in the near future for other voting events. My thanks to the tech team of Kevin, Ángel and Victor. ~~LMMolina, Club Adviser


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Publishing student writing with the Book Creator App

Through my Twitter feed, I just came across an app that I might be able to integrate into my classes. Using the Book Creator App students can not only create a book but a video as well.

which is a simple and easy stop motion animation app for iPad.



Apps for Making Movies


Just came across an interesting article about apps for making movies. I decided to share it with my students; those who are blogging and those taking the course on films. All students will benefit. They’ll be creating their own original video during the school year so every little bit of help will count! I’ll advise them to first look at the freebies to try out. Then if they’re really serious, they can purchase an app that suits their needs.

You can check out the article by Monica Burns here at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/apps-making-movies-mobile-devices  I think you’ll find it very useful!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll create a video of my own!  I have to model for my students, of course, and it might just prove to be fun!~~LMMolina