We are proud to introduce our sixth Sunday Spotlight, featuring Jennie Tookoian who teaches in Fresno, CA. Jennie works at a charter school where there is a combination of homeschooling and on site classes. Digital assessment allows her to easily work with students and get immediate insights throughout the week despite not having a lot of contact time with students. We hope you enjoy getting to know Jennie and the fun tips and tricks she had to share!
Hallmark Charter School
15 years teaching
“When I realized all of that data was instant, it changed my world and I never looked back. I also love using the text editor and importing media clips from YouTube in my assessments.”
Get to know Jennie Tookoian
What do you love about teaching?
My favorite part about teaching is when I am introducing a new topic. I teach English and have a passion for history so when I am starting a new book or unit I love providing the background and historical setting. I think the “classics” are best taught when the modern student understands the context of the time, including the clothing, food, daily activities– the everyday circumstances of the original audience. I use videos, art, costumes, food, newspaper articles, letters…whatever I can find to fill in the experience.
What is your “Edulastic story”?
I am currently working at a charter school which is a combination of homeschooling with classes on on site. Some of my students I see in their home and others I teach in small classes on campus. I was looking for a way to reach out to my students beyond the short time I spend with them each week. The online platform allowed my students who were working from home to get immediate feedback without having to wait for the next time we met. And, the automatic grading helped me keep track of their progress in real time no matter where we were.
Describe your Edulastic “aha” moment.
The reporting and real time data is one of my favorite parts of Edulastic. I was one of those teachers who used the spreadsheets and tally marks to analyze assessments and assignments. When I realized all of that data was instant, it changed my world and I never looked back. I also love using the text editor and importing media clips from YouTube in my assessments. I use these on assignments at the beginning of a unit to introduce a new time period/era. There are some great clips from Shakespeare plays and when I taught science for elementary kids, I used clips from the Amoeba Sisteds on YouTube.
What are your teaching/learning goals this school year?
I want to get all of my assignments – tests, homework, class work, group projects – on Edulastic.
Tips for new Edulastic users:
I think getting new students started and understanding how to maneuver through the tech enhanced questions is the biggest challenge. I like to use fun trivia assessments to teach the new students how to perform questions like labeling, dragging, etc.
Favorite Edulastic question type?
I like the categorical questions where students drag answers to the right “buckets”
Favorite snack while using Edulastic
My pencil…as much as I embrace the technology, I still need my pencil and paper to doodle out my thoughts.
Coffee or tea?
Favorite time of school year?
May! There is excitement in the air and still a bit of nostalgia about parting ways for the summer.
Best tactic to get the class quiet?
Speak very quietly to the students nearest me until the class thinks they are missing something interesting and they get more interested in what they might be missing than in their own conversation.
Must-have classroom decor:
Funniest student moment?
Kids make me laugh every day of the year. That is why I am in this!
Kindest compliment you have received from a student?
“You are way older than my mom but you don’t look like it” … I’ll take them any way they come ?
Greatest teaching-related accomplishment this year?
Finding the carrot to motivate a borderline 9th grader.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Read historical fiction, travel, camp, hang out with my family and friends.