May 18, 2016

3 Easy steps to go Paperless with your DRA Testing

Don't you love giving reading assessments? I am sure most of you are shouting a resounding NO in your mind! I totally agree with you. I love seeing the results when I finish though, and I am always so excited and encouraged by all the growth my kiddos have made. However, the process itself is not my favorite. Well, I am here to show you how you can go paperless, thus making the process a bit easier for you. We use DRA in our school, but you could use this same process with any reading assessment that your school is using.
All you need is access to an iPad, the ability to scan documents to your computer, Google Drive or Dropbox, the app Notability, and you're all set. I promise if I can do it, you can too!
The first step is to get the test recording sheets into your computer. I used my printer and it has the feature, scan to email. I just scanned each sheet in and it was sent to my email. Yes, it was time consuming. However, it will never have to be done again. Each time we test I have to make copies of all the recording sheets and it is time consuming too. Not to mention then you have to file those recording sheets somewhere. Now all my test results are neatly filed in a folder in my Google drive. UPDATE: (I have now discovered that there is a CD with blackline master copies of each test in PDF format. So to save even more time find the disk with your testing kit and save a copy of each test that you need directly into a folder in your Google drive or Dropbox. Then you don't have to combine the pages either, they are already together in one file, so if going this route skip to step 2)

You will want all pages of each assessment in one PDF. I have adobe pro, so I just combined the individual scanned files into one complete file for each level.
You can also scan groups of pages together so all relevant pages are in one document. You need to then save those files to either Google Drive or Dropbox so that you can access them from the app.
Next, you will need to download the app Notability. Yes, it is a paid app at $5.99, but I feel like it is totally worth it, since I use it in many other ways as well. There are some other apps that would do the job as well, one being Seesaw, but I have been using Notability for a few years and was already familiar with it so that is what I use.
Once you open the app you will need to get your DRA tests into the app. Click on Import in the upper right corner, then choose either Google Docs or Dropbox. You can choose multiple documents to upload at one time. Once you have your tests in the app you are ready to begin.

Tap on the test you need to give and then tap on the title of the document and add the student's name that is being tested. This will make it easy to save and keep organized. Then administer the test as you normally would except that you will be making your notations on your iPad. I use the Adonis Jot Pro Fine Point Stylus (click here if you need it) as it makes a fine line which makes it easier to make notations on the form as opposed to a regular stylus.

You also have the option of recording the student reading during the test. Just click on the microphone in the upper right corner.

Once the test is complete and you have scored the student you will need to save it by sending it back to your Google Drive or Dropbox. Just click on export and choose where you want the document sent. Now it is saved in my drive with the student's name in the title, since I added the name prior to giving the test.
Now that I am ready to move on to another test level or another student, there are a few options. You can import a blank test again from your Google Drive/Dropbox or what I currently do is just quickly use the erase feature in the Notability app. Then after it is erased I just click on the title and put in the new student's name.

There you have it! I am loving using this paperless system to test my students. It is so much easier to prep for test giving and it is so much easier to file and track the data since all of my tests are saved in one digital location. Not to mention, I can easily and quickly share those results with administration or additional teachers. If you have any questions regarding the process or getting started I am happy to answer them. Just leave me a message below or email me via the contact tab at the top.

Have a great week and a fantastic end of the year!

May 1, 2016

Currently May

Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday! I am taking advantage of having nowhere that I have to be today! I have been missing out on joining Oh Boy it's Farley for her fun Currently linky. It has been just crazy busy. Now I see this is going to be her very. last. one.
Truth...I am kind of sad, but I totally understand she has hosted this fun linky for a long time and as she said...all good things must come to an end. Thanks Farley it has been a blast! Here we go!

Listening...It is Sunday afternoon and in this race family, if we are not at the track NASCAR is on the TV.

Loving...this beautiful weather. It has been a lot of back and forth here in central California lately, hot, one day, rainy and cloudy the next, then mild temps in the 70's.  They say a high of 85 today. I love me some warm weather, and we desperately need the rain, so it is all good!

Thinking...How can there only be 23 days of school left. This school year has totally flown by. There is still a lot of fun to be had in that time and I want to make the most of every minute I have left with my littles!

Wanting...A Fairy Godmother! I am pretty sure I have said this before. I keep hoping I'll find one I guess. I don't love cleaning, I mean who does, well maybe my mother in law, but anyway, I don't want to spend every weekend cleaning my house. I want to spend time with my boys and family having fun. If I could get someone to do ALL the cleaning, it would be a dream come true. For now, I guess I will just keep dreaming about it and plugging along.

Needing...I usually try to do a load or two of laundry a day so it isn't all backed up on the weekend. However, this week was busier than usual and I haven't done a load since Tuesday. Oh My! Which means that with myself, hubby, 3 teenage boys, towels, sheets, etc I have like 8 loads of laundry to do today. No joke!

Truth...I had to think about this a bit, I could give a generic answer or I could just lay it all out there. Well friends, here is is...I am a Hot Mess! I mean my classroom looks clean, my lesson plans are done, my kids are fed, the laundry is being worked on, but I still have a To Do list that I feel like is ever growing. I feel like I am just surviving. I feel that so many times I have to settle for giving less than my very best in certain areas, just so I can try to appear like I have it all together. Well the cat is out of the bag, I do not have it all together. So if you feel this way too, know that you are not alone! I even posted this on my IG today...

Happy Teacher Appreciation week my friends you are appreciated! Have a super week! Be sure to head back over to Farley's and check out all the other fantastic bloggers who have linked up!