Using Blended Learning for Assessment

Last week, I finally finished my online course. I was completing the Additional Qualification, Integration of Information and Computer Technology in the Classroom, Part 1 with Queen’s University Continuing Education. It has been a long three months, but it’s also been very rewarding. I played with a lot of new #edtech tools, as well as saw the bigger picture of what we need to think about when we use #edtech (i.e. safety, communication, accountability, digital citizenship).

Like most teachers, I feel that assessment is an area of weakness. I decided to try some new assessment strategies today in a collaborative setting.* I arranged the students in mixed-ability groups, making sure to disperse stronger students between them all and then asked them to work on their usual paper assignments … digitally.

First, they were asked to go on Geogebra and show their solutions to three graph theory questions. Each group had approximately 4 students, so they had to divide the questions up and also check each other’s answers to make sure they were posting the correct one.

After that, they look at Today’s Meet, which is a simple web-based chatroom. This is what it looks like; the left hand side is the messages as you type into the right-hand. The students are able to see my instructions and also click on the URLs to take them to their respective digital “parking lot”:


The “parking lot”, where they post their digital sticky-notes, looks like this. is a free website and it’s definitely a great tool for teachers who are new to #edtech. You simply double-click to add your notes.

Also, if you actually want to see the page live, feel free to click here.


As students wrapped up their work, I asked them to write a comment and give feedback to other students. I laughed at the one above that says, “Remarkable – New York Times Magazine!”

Overall, this was a really successful class that used blended learning and a variety of assessment of strategies. The kids also had fun trying something new and I was proud to see them collaborating and supporting each other. We need to do this more often!

*I’ve been meaning to use more Kagan structures through the year, but got lazy after term 1. 


15 Minutes of Fame

Just wanted to share some exciting news – the Ontario College of Teachers did a one-page article on my Grade 10 and 11 classroom in Waskaganish, Quebec. It was published in the March copy of the quarterly magazine; if you want to check it out, my ugly mug is on page 45

Thanks to Stefen Dubowski for the interview and letting me yabber on. It was also great fun hanging out with the photographer, Matt Liteplo, as we showed him around Waskagnish for the week. Also, big thanks to OCT for sharing the love. It means a great deal to get a little bit of recognition!

Most of all, my students, including one of my former graduates, S., who ended up in the photoshoot and making us laugh like crazy. I would not love my job if it weren’t for the kids, even if they drive me mad!


Gamifying Stats

February and closing in on the end of term 2!

This is the time of year where I often realize I’m not as far as I feel I should be in the curriculum and then we go full throttle again. In Secondary 4, which is Grade 10, we are covering Statistics and Correlation. As this is my second year teaching the course, I’m getting much better and explaining percentile rank in a more interesting and meaningful way.

Of course, it’s good fun to throw in a few math games! Gamifying high school math is a great way just to mix things up. Today, we played Guess the Correlation after I taught the linear correlation coefficient. Basically, you look at a scatter plot and you have to guess the correlation factor between 0 and 1. If you’re too far off, you lose a life:



The kids got pretty competitive and it was funny watching how aggressive the boys were trying to ace the high score. It’s not often you have students shouting over being good at math!