Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Entering an Event (Elementary Assignments)

As you all know, at the elementary level we have switched to standards-based grading. What this means is that we are no longer grading assignments. We are grading whether a child has met a particular skill/standard. This means that a single assignment may be evaluating one skill, or it could be looking at multiple skills. If an assignment covers multiple skills, each skill must be evaluated independently. If multiple skills are lumped together for a single grade, it creates an inaccurate assessment of the child’s performance on each of the individual skills.

Below you will find directions on how you enter an event (assignment) into the Skyward gradebook. These events will roll up to give you information on how a student is performing on a particular standard/skill and in turn, these standards will roll up to show you the report card score for that group of skills.

For the printer-friendly version, click here.

Entering a Single Skill Event

Step 1: Click on the subject for which you wish to enter an assignment/event.

Step 2: Hover your mouse over the word Events at the top of the screen and click on Add Event.


Step 3: Select the subject/report concept you are assessing from the Subject drop down box.

Step 4: Select the Common Core State Standard (for Reading, Writing and Math) from the Skills drop down box.  For Social Studies, Science and Learner behaviors, this will be the same as the Subject/Report Card area.


Step 5: Enter in a short description in the Description box. This is what appears at the top of your gradebook grid. Enter in a more lengthy description in the Detailed Description box (this is optional).


Step 6: Enter in the dates.
  • Entered Date: The day you are entering the assignment.
  • Assign Date: The day you assigned the assignment to the students.
  • Proposed Due Date: The date the assignment was turned in.
  • Actual Due Date (optional): Don’t worry about this at all.


Step 7: If you want to grade with M, P and L you do not need to check anything. If you want to grade using points, check the “Use points to score this event” box and then enter the Max Points for the skill you entered above.


Step 8: Make sure the boxes for Post to Family Access and Post to Student Access are selected.

Step 9: Now you need to save the event. You have three choices for saving.


  • Save and Back: Will save and take you back to the gradebook grid.
  • Save and Add Another: Will save and take you to a new Add Event screen to add another event.
  • Save and Score: Will save and take you to the scoring screen.

Entering Multiple Skill Events

Follow steps 1 - 8 from Entering Single Skill Events above.

Step 9: Under Skill Options select the other skill you want to assess. If you are grading with points, you will need to set the points for that skill.





Step 10: Now you need to save the event. You have three choices for saving.

  • Save and Back: Will save and take you back to the gradebook grid.
  • Save and Add Another: Will save and take you to a new Add Event screen to add another event.
  • Save and Score: Will save and take you to the scoring screen. If you want to enter all the skills at one time, this is your best option.

Entering Scores

Step 1: Enter your grades in the Score column by clicking the * in the box.



Step 2: If you want an assignment to not count for a student, click the no count box.
Step 3: If you want the assignment to show up as missing check the Missing box.
Step 4: Add comments, if desired
Step 5: Click Save

Mass Assign Tools

Mass Assign Grades: If you would like to mass assign the scores, you do this by clicking the “Assign All Scores” button and selecting the score you want to mass assign. If you want to overwrite scores you already have, make sure you select the “Overwrite scores” box. Then, click Apply.

Mass Assign No Count: If you would like to mass set an assignment as no count (ex: Pretest), you do this by clicking “Set All to No Count”. Then, click Apply.

Skyward: Assigning Seats in the Seating Chart


Here's a quick little video on how to assign seats for your students in Skyward.




Monday, September 22, 2014

Skyward: Editing an Event/Assignment

Sometimes it is important for us to go back in after we have created an assignment to make changes. Perhaps we need to change the due date, sometimes we need to change a category or adjust the skill the assignment is linked to. Nothing is set in stone, so you can easily adjust the assignment/event. Here’s how…

Step 1: Click on the title of the event/assignment in your gradebook grid




Step 2: Click the Edit button in the window that pops up.




Step 3: Finally, make any necessary changes and click Save




For a printer friendly version, click here.

Skyward: PPS 6-12 Teachers - Checking student progress in classes other than your own.


In Skyward, teachers have the ability to check on student progress (grades and assignments) in classes other in the one they teach. You can either view students individual, or you can run bulk reports. The later is likely helpful for seminar teachers, MTSS efforts, etc. The instructions found at this link point out how to do this.

https://docs.google.com/a/portageps.org/document/d/15vBUy2tlJKmRQBomu4eCR_-2mCmlGMJwE3sqTnnCPBI/edit?usp=sharing

Friday, September 19, 2014

Secondary Gradebook Calculating E's or 0%

Secondary Teachers,

Are you having having difficulty with your gradebook calculating E's for all your students?

This tip discusses...

  • How to Configure Categories
  • 0% Weighted Categories
  • No Count Assignments

Configure Categories

Prior to entering assignments, it is good practice to configure your categories in each of your gradebooks; however, categories may be changed at any time prior to the end of the first marking period. (It is recommended that you inform students, parents, and administration of how you intend to make use of categories in each of your classes.)

Here is a video that describes the process for configuring categories.



Zero Percent (0%) Weighted Categories

Should you choose to use a 0% weighted category for recording pre-tests and the like without impacting the overall grade, know that if you use only that 0% category for all your assignments, all students scores will be listed as having a 0% (E) for the class. This only occurs if you have not yet added and scored an assignment in a category with a non-zero weight. As soon as you do, the categories and scores will calculate out as they should.


No Count Assignments

There is a category in the gradebook titled 'Not Graded-No Count'. You can add this category to your class and set it's weight to 0. Once added, any assignment you enter inside this category will not count towards a student's overall grade.

You may also do this when scoring an assignment by using the 'Mass Assign Options' widget on the right hand side of the screen. Choose the 'Set All to No Count' choice and then click apply.





Thursday, September 18, 2014

Google Classroom: Getting Started

For those of you who have used Google Docs with your students you know that it is a great tool for communication and collaboration.  Students can work on projects together, teachers can view documents in real time and comment and offer support, and everything saves automatically!  SO many great pluses, but getting students to share and "turn in" documents was a big head ache.

Enter Google Classroom!

Google Classroom is Google's new learner managements system (LMS) which makes handing out, turning in, and grading assignments a dream.

To learn more about Google Classroom and get started setting up your first class, check out this Blog post from Instructional Tech Talk: http://instructionaltechtalk.com/getting-started-google-classroom/

PPS Teachers, have questions or want some help getting started, set up time with Jessica (calendly.com/jwinstanley) or Paul (calendly.com/pmurray).


Monday, September 15, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Reordering your students in the Gradebook

Every school year it happens.  You have your classroom all set up, the desks are labeled, your spreadsheets are numbered, each student has a spot that corresponds to where they are in your gradebook alphabetically.  Then it happens.  You get a new student in your class, and of course their last name doesn't start with a Z, it starts with a B.  Now instead of John Boyd being #2 on your classlist, he is #3 and the rest of the class is off as well.  Non-teachers have no idea the frustration this can cause.  Thankfully, Skyward makes it easy to reorder your class in the gradebook.  Here is how...

Step 1: Login to Skyward and select the blue gradebook for the class you want to  reorder - elementary staff, you will need to do this for each of your subjects, so just pick the first one and work your way down the list.

Step 2: Go to the Display options menu and select Student Display.



Step 3: Go down to the very bottom of this screen and you will see Sorting Options.  Select "Sort by Gradesheet Sequence", then click "Modify Gradesheet Sequence".
Step 4: Click on the student you wish to move.  Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons on the right side of your screen to adjust the students location in the list.  Make sure you click SAVE when finished.

 Step 5: You will now be back on the previous screen.  Click Save.


NOTE FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS:
You will need to do this for each one of your subjects.




Saturday, September 13, 2014

Skyward Secondary Gradebook Videos

As we get into the school year and begin entering grades for our classes many of us are finding that we need a refresher on how to enter grades in Skyward. The following videos breakdown the process of entering grades into bite size pieces providing us with only the information we need. (Please keep in mind these videos explain using the secondary gradebook.)

Display Options (3:26)

Categories (3:39)

Adding Assignments (5:11)

Editing & Scoring Assignments (7:14)

Quick Entry (2:13)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Modifying Attendance

There are times when a teacher must modify attendance. This tip explains how.

Note: Modification of attendance history by teachers is limited to a two week window. Should it be necessary to modify a student’s attendance beyond that window, please contact your building office.

Step 1: Navigate to the Take Daily Attendance - By Name

From the home screen (Dashboard), Click Teacher Access and choose Post Daily Attendance

Choose any class “By Name”

Step 2: Scroll to the right to see attendance history



Step 3: Choose student/day for which you wish to modify attendance

Note: Student Attendance may only be modified by individual student


Note: Should you need to modify attendance from the day before, the column appears wider than the others. Locate the student for which you will modify attendance and click in the furthest left region of that cell. You will know you are in the correct location when you cursor changes from the arrow to the pointer hand.

Step 4: Choose the correct attendance, Save



For a printer-friendly version, click here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Student Birthday List

Would you like to get a list of your students' birthdays from Skyward? This can be done in just a few clicks.

Step 1: Login to Skyward and select the blue gradebook for the class you want to print usernames and passwords for - elementary staff, you can just select any of your gradebooks.


Step 2: Go to the reports menu at the top of the screen and select Class Roster.



Step 3: Choose Student Name & Student Info, then select Clone Template.



Step 4: Give your new template a name, such as Birthdays. Click Save.




Step 5: Select how you want the Names to Display, then UNCHECK all the boxes. Now only check Birth Date. Click Save.


Step 6: Now you can select the template you just created. Click Print.



Step 7: A PDF preview will open. From here you can choose to save or print. You do this by placing your curser in the bottom right corner of the screen and clicking on the picture of the disc (save) or the printer (print).



This is what the report would look like:


Secondary Teachers - You can also print multiple classes at once!

  • Select the newly created report
  • Click “Select Different Classes”
  • Choose classes to be included in report
  • Click “Print"
  • Report will queue to be viewed, saved, and/or printed

For the Printer Friendly Version, Click Here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

STEM/Science: Edheads - Activities and Interactives that will WOW your students, and you too!

Looking for a way to make the STEM/science concepts you are teaching in class come to life?  Then you must check out Edheads.org.  According to the website, Edheads is an online educational resource that provides free science and math games and activities that promote critical thinking. 

Whether you are looking for an activity on Simple Machines, Virtual Knee Surgery or Crash Scene Investigations, you are bound to find something engaging for your students. All activities meet state and national standards and are completely free!  Each activity includes teachers' guides, glossories and other resources.  Check it out today at Edheads.org!


Activities include: 
Aortic Aneurysm Surgery
Choose the Prosthetic
Crash Scene Investigation
The Odd/Compound Machine
Deep Brain Stimulation
Design a Cell Phone
Nanoparticles and Brain Tumors
Sickle Cell DNA
Simple Machines
Stem Cell: Create a Stem Cell Line
Stem Cell: Heart Repair
Stem Cell: Transplant
Trauma
Virtual Hip Replacement Surgery
Virtual Hip Resurfacing Surgery
Virtual Knee Replacement Surgery
Weather

Skyward Tech Tip: Skyward Unexpected Logouts?

Does it seem like Skyward is logging you out before the 30 minute time out setting?  If so, this short video may help you out!



Trouble viewing the video?  View it directly on YouTube:  http://youtu.be/VVqkWmT1I6A

Friday, September 5, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Sending an Email to parents from Skyward

Are you looking for an easy way to send emails to all your parents/students?  Thanks to the Skyward message center you can easily set emails to all the parent/student emails we have on file for your class(es).

Step 1: Log in to Skyward and click on the blue book for the class you want to send the email to.
Elementary teachers, I would always pick the same class (ex: Mathematics).

Step 2: Go to the Other Access menu at the top left.  Select Message Center.

Step 3: If you are an Elementary Teacher you will want to select "Add Message for Current Class".  If you are a Secondary Teacher, you can choose to send your message to multiple classes by choosing, "Add Message to Multiple Classes" or you can send to just the current selected class with "Add Message for Current Class".

Step 4: Give your message a Subject by typing in the Message Summary box.

Step 5: Write the body of your email in the Message Detail box.

Step 6: Click Attach to add attachments from your computer.

Step 7: If you want to post the message to the parent portal and the student portal, check the boxes under "Posting Options"

Step 8: If you want to email the message check "Send as Email" under Emailing Options.  Choose the day and time you wish to send the email.

Step 9: Choose who you want to send the email to "Email to Students" and/or "Email to Guardians".  If you don't check any of the boxes below the Email to Guardian, then the message will be sent to ALL guardians we have on record.

Step 10: If you do NOT want the subject and the period to display at the top of the email, uncheck "Display Additional details in the Email Body.

Step 11: You can choose to send the message/email to all your students/families, or you can select the ones you want from the "Select students to receive the message" box.

Step 12: Once you have made all your selections, Click Save at the top right.  SAVE means SEND!!!!!!



NOTES: At this time when you send an email this way it does not appear in your GMail inbox, only the message center in Skyward, however, the parents do get the Email.

For the Printer Friendly Version of this Tech Tip: Click Here.

Skyward Tip: Getting Parent Emails from Skyward

Would you like to get a list of Parent/Guardian Emails from Skyward? This can be done in just a few clicks.  For information on how to set up a distribution list in Gmail once you have the emails, check out this Tech Tip.

Step 1: Login to Skyward and select the blue gradebook for the class you want to print usernames and passwords for - elementary staff, you can just select any of your gradebooks.



Step 2: Go to the reports menu at the top of the screen and select Class Roster.



Step 3: Choose Student Name & Student Info, then select Clone Template.



Step 4: Give your new template a name, such as Parent/Guardian Email Addresses. Click Save.

Step 5: Select how you want he Names to Display, then UNCHECK all the boxes. Now only check Student Access Login and Password. You may also select Email if you want the students' full email address as well. Click Save.



Step 6: Now you can select the template you just created. Click Print.



Step 7: A PDF preview will open. From here you can choose to save or print. You do this by placing your curser in the bottom right corner of the screen and clicking on the picture of the disc (save) or the printer (print).



For the Printer Friendly Version, Click Here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Printing a List of Student Usernames and Passwords

Hi PPS Staff.  As we move through the week, I know that many of you would like a list of your students' usernames and passwords before you break out the chromebooks/laptops or take the kiddos to the labs.  Individual student usernames and passwords can be found on the student's profile page in Skyward, but going through each profile to write them down can be a time consuming pain.

Luckily there is a very simple way to do this in Skyward.  Here we go...

Step 1: Login to Skyward and select the blue gradebook for the class you want to print usernames and passwords for - elementary staff, you can just select any of your gradebooks.


Step 2: Go to the reports menu at the top of the screen and select Class Roster.

Step 3: Choose Student Name & Student Info, then select Clone Template.

Step 4: Give your new template a name, such as Usernames and Passwords.  Click Save.

Step 5: Select how you want he Names to Display, then UNCHECK all the boxes.  Now only check Student Access Login and Password.  You may also select Email if you want the students' full email address as well.  Click Save.
Step 6: Now you can select the template you just created.  Click Print.

Step 7: A PDF preview will open. From here you can choose to save or print. You do this by placing your curser in the bottom right corner of the screen and clicking on the picture of the disc (save) or the printer (print).


Check out the printer-friendly version of this tech tip here.