Friday, February 17, 2017

"Mr. A is always on his phone in class..."


So,, the above quote is true... I'm always on my phone in class.  For one, I take a lot of pictures (see the previous post, for example) - my students treat every surface like a whiteboard, and I like keeping track of what students are doing.

I also created a Microsoft Form (http://forms.microsoft.com) to track learning skills and other observations of learning.  What's nice is that everything gets pushed into an Excel Spreadsheet and I can pull out by day, by section, by student, by learning skill -- and because it's automatically date/time stamped I can also match pictures to anecdotes.

When I first opened the form on my phone in the browser, I made sure to click on ADD TO HOME SCREEN in the browser menu so that I could get a button I can easily tap each time I want to make an entry.

I teach three sections of Grade 10 Math, so my first question is which section I am adding a note to.  Now, I could have made three different forms but then I would have had three different spreadsheets and three different buttons on my phone.   It's worked out easier to just choose which section... because...

Forms does Branching ... 

...depending on which Section I pick in the first question, the next question displays which group of student(s) I am assessing.  And yes, I set up the "which student" so that I can make an observation on one or several students all at once.

It does take a couple of minutes setting up the form when I first started and I do have to go back in when there is a change of students but the time-saving on the other end makes up for it.

After I choose the student(s) I then added a series of ranking questions - in this case, I used the Ontario Learning Skills:

  • Responsibility
  • Organization
  • Independent Work
  • Collaboration
  • Initiative
  • SelfRegulation


Now, I don't necessarily use each rating for each observation - but if it's appropriate it's good feedback to capture.  I didn't make them required questions so I can skip what I don't need.

Then, I have an open text box in which to write a comment.

And lastly, I have a check box to indicate whether or not there is a photo associated with the entry.  Since Microsoft Forms puts a time/date stamp in the Excel spreadsheet, I can match the picture to the entry.



I also recommend using a swipe keyboard; I use Swiftkey (Android) - by swiping to get your words down, it can greatly increase your speed of entry and allows you to write using only one hand.  In fact, only one thumb with enough practice.

(The idea to develop a form like this came from an old app on my iPod Touch that I used to use called GradePad.  But then Apple removed the ability to update my iPod so I use my phone now).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What is your classroom like?

So my new year's resolution is to write one blog post a week.
I thought I would start off by answering a question I was asked during #PubPD in October.  Now, #PubPD is a fun evening where teachers gather together in a local pub and over the course of an hour, we discuss questions posted to Twitter, alongside teachers in pubs around the world.  During the dinner that preceeded us discussing the questions posted on Twitter, Melinda Lula, our Hamilton #PubPD organizer asked me "What is your classroom like?" ... and I never really got around to answering that question.  So I'll do that here.
My first statement would be that I don't religiously follow any approach or pedagogy; I think it's important to be agnostic in education since, unlike math or physics, we can't know 'best' or 'right' (we do know wrong, obviously, and I don't go there).  I'm not a bandwagon guy (okay, maybe OneNote, but that's like being in favour of having chairs in class).
So each day I will have planned something different.  We have 60 minute classes, so I can choose from me talking (yes, sometimes I just show them math and ask them questions throughout), sometimes it's them working individually on problems (although there's never a prohibition on asking questions of their group mates or others), sometimes it's them working in partners or larger groups, or as a whole class and I'm just watching and inserting myself when I feel appropriate.  Sometimes, they all work up on the board showing their work to everyone.  Sometimes they know where they're going; sometimes they don't and they don't get where I wanted or expected.  Sometimes it's guided, like a Desmos activity; sometimes it's completely open ended and they go interesting places that we document and clarify later.  And the 60 minutes each day is broken up in some combination of those.  So... what's my classroom like?  It's different each day.
What's the same day-to-day? 
Well, I have a small room to work in -- this does cause some challenges because I am a big guy so I do shuffle around a lot what with tables, chairs, bookbags and other human beings. Fortunately, when they redesigned the rooms, they put up whiteboards on every vertical wall -- and the fourth wall is all glass looking out into a quad, so I can use that space, too  (the students love to use the whiteboards but they have an aversion to writing on the window... they don't quite trust that they can get away with it).  I think room-to-work and documentation is important so I encourage them to write everywhere, and fortunately the tables the school purchased work well with whiteboard markers.  We use Office Lens on our phones to capture written information in the course OneNote.
Our tables seat two and I put the students in groups of four; they're randomly assigned at the beginning of class - the students walk in and they see the seating spreadsheet projected. And it really is random; I don't jig it.  This has worked out really well.  I used to not have a seating plan at all and let them sit where they want but it would always settle into "this is my chair and I don't like other people sitting in it", so random works out much better.
I think (hope?) there's one thing that people notice when they walk into my classroom and that's my use of questions.  I've really been affected by the Park City Mathematics Institute and I spend a lot of time thinking (both before class, during and after) about the questions I ask my students.  I've learned to pause a lot before I say something to a student.  To simplify things, I try to use Black&Wiliam's idea that questions should either probe the student's thinking or push the student forward.  I try to avoid answering questions that have simple answers directly ("Mr. Armstrong, what's 5*6?"... "well, John, what would it look like if you drew it as a diagram?").
------
My last thought is pushing on the idea of "like".  I hope my students experience my classroom as a fun place to learn a fun subject.  I want them to enjoy math, to see it as problem-solving and sense making, as a way of communicating ideas.  I do know that as a large (6'4, 230lbs), white male with an aura of authority (seriously, people always think I'm a police officer or in the military) that students -- until they spend some time and realize I'm a push-over teddy bear -- are put off by me.  That's one reason why I ensure my students have access to virtual spaces for questions outside of class.  If they're not comfortable asking in person, they have the opportunity to do so elsewhere (and anonymously, if necessary).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thoughts on Google versus Office

This was a recent question posted amongst school educators
G suite versus Office 365. Thoughts?
Since I wrote a fair bit, I thought I'd also post it here:



If people are learning with a modern pen-based tablet pc, or are learning math, science, or languages outside of the QWERTY keyboard, then it is Office365 specifically because of Microsoft OneNote. There is nothing in the Google Suite that provides a 360 degree flexible, open digital learning environment. However, that flexibility & openness does require a bit more work on training for novices (and some handholding for those teachers who aim pedagogically for a, umm, less-than-21st century and/or paperless classroom) . I cannot teach without it, and its use has improved instruction and assessment school wide.

I have experienced that Google Classroom is really good at structured (and perhaps inflexible) document management, given its genesis on top of Google Drive. Teachers also seem dependent on a collection of 3rd party apps/plugins that extend functionality to the Google system; Microsoft tends to build that extension by themselves (likely since it's a smaller part of the market).

Now, if you're only running Chromebooks then maybe it makes sense to go with Google, but iPads are becoming pen-active.

I would also say that in the past 18 months Microsoft got its stuff together in terms of the rest of the package. OneDrive (their cloud based storage) now actually works and the online versions of the Office suite are better than their GDocs options (not to mention that you can pull them into desktop versions for more functionality). Microsoft's other apps in Office365 all bring something new, different and powerful to the table (Sway, PowerBI, Yammer) or lack some features of their Google alternatives but are quite functional (Forms, Video, Group, Planner). Having said that, the latter group are also under aggressive development, with considerable improvements every four months. Forms isn't even a year old and already it's nipping at the heels of Google Forms.

And then finally (since I could likely write considerably more) there is Delve, the Office365 intelligence, something completely missing in Google. Given the massive amounts of information in the cloud, Delve sorts through it all and presents it to you prioritized. I work with Google for several other projects outside the school and get frustrated trying to search for materials in 100G and ten years; Delve proactively surfaces materials for me from across the school often before I realize I need it. And it's completely individualized, so students get their upcoming assignments and critical dates automatically highlighted while teachers get report deadlines and policy documents, for example. It is also beginning to be able to offer feedback on how people use the technology in order to be more efficient, productive and healthy.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

OneNotes upon OneNotes...

We're just prepping for the start of the school year (we don't start teaching until the 12th) and I just thought I'd run through how enmeshed Microsoft OneNote is to our school.

1) Class OneNotes -- this is where it all started five years ago, so we have over 2500 Class Notebooks in our archive.  Each year, we run a script against our timetable and a Class Notebook is created for every class, with a Teacher Content Library section group (including a private planning space), a Group Collaboration Space section group (with a wide-open collaborative space along with the opportunity to add additional small-group spaces at the teacher's whim), and a section group for each student (with appropriate student assignment dropbox, private teacher marking space and a returned section which the student can't edit for marked work.  This is all spelt out here here and here.

But then there are all the other places we use OneNote that I thought we should mention.

2) Department OneNote
Every department has a OneNote -- it helps streamline the management of all the information that gets distributed both up from the teachers to the administration and vice-versa.  Curriculum, assessments, exams - everything about every course gets put into the Department OneNote so that if you don't know what's gong on, a quick search will show you.  What's awesome is that this is all available on our phones, too, so we can check up on policies and duedates anywhere!
The example below is from our Visual & Performing Arts Department - you can see along the left hand side all the sections over the past few years.  Well, not all, because it actually goes back to 2012!  And I love, absolutely love, that the very first section is a list of suggested Netflix shows with reviews from Arts faculty.  We encourage our faculty to use the tools for personal use, because there's a great symbiosis of skills development.

3) Advisor Group OneNote &
4) School Directors' OneNote (aka Principals' OneNote)
Our school has a large pastoral program - each teacher is assigned 8 or so students who they track from Grades 9 through 12.  It's an incredible thing to meet your students as they enter Grade 9 and then watch them grow and graduate in Grade 12.  Their academics, their extracurriculars, their social development, we try to capture evidence of all this.  Each week we meet to see how life is going and the teachers and students track their progress in the Group's OneNote, which is just a Class Notebook with sections aligned to the Advisor Program (goal setting, accomplishments, reflections, etc.)  This Notebook is active for all four years of their high school career so they have a complete record of things that went on outside the classroom.
To manage all this, there's a Staff OneNote Notebook where the School Directors (grade level principals, basically) are the "teachers" and each of the Advisor Group faculty is a "student".  This is the space for the principals to deliver content and have a space for collection of student info from each Advisor group.  As well, we add the community oriented directors (Morals & Ethics, Inclusivity, Social/Emotional) and Guidance staff so that the entire student-life is included.

5) Guidance OneNote
As a university preparatory school, our Guidance department is active from Grade 7 in finding out the interests and goals for each of our students.  To maintain continuity, we have a Class Notebook that contains all the students of each grade that they use for their Guidance class, with several Guidance teachers co-owning the Notebook.  This way, the students and Guidance can keep looking back on what their earlier thoughts were.  They also use it, in conjunction with the Advisor OneNote, to keep track of all of their accomplishments to record in their university applications.

6) Duke of Edinburgh OneNote
Another longitudinal Class Notebook, since the Duke of Edinburgh program runs the length of high school, and beyond in fact.  The DofE, as it's known, is an external award that highlights to students the benefits of "Service, Skill Development, Physical Recreation [and] Adventurous Journey."  But since it's an actual award, each of the students must be tracked by our DofE administrator to verify that they've completed all the steps for each of the three different levels of awards.  This is all done via a OneNote Class Notebook they have for each grade that the student continues to add content to.  The administrator then drags it into the student's "_R" section (read only for the student) so that the student doesn't muck it up and lose/edit something that's been confirmed.  For a very information-dense process, the OneNote has made it manageable.

7) Presentations of Learning OneNote
In Grade 8, our students spend all year reflecting on their progress from Grade 7 to Grade 8 and complete their year by giving a ~20 minute presentation on why they're ready for high school.  They meet regularly with a mentor preparing for this presentation, collecting content and practising their presentation skills.  To make things easier for this review process, we set up a OneNote just like it's a regular "class" but where all of the teachers & mentors can participate in the individual student spaces.

8) Service Trip OneNote
We send out about 1/3 of our 750-strong student body on international service trips, from Peru to Vietnam to South Africa.  Each trip is given a OneNote to provide all the preparatory planning material, all the travel information and to keep things up to date as the travel progresses.

9) PLC OneNotes
Every Monday morning our faculty meet for an hour in a self-selected Personal Learning Community group.  Of course, we use a class OneNote where the faculty can participate!

And there's lot more OneNotes running around campus.  I was surprised two years ago to find that our Medical Centre (we have two doctors and a cadre of nurses for our boarding students) have started to use OneNote internally.  Our Admissions, Advancement and HR are also starting to use them to track information - mostly because they interact with teachers with whom OneNote is deeply embedded.

--------------------------
I've been working on a series of OneNote Class Notebook blog posts for the 2016/17 school year: 

Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook
--- this post
Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)
Facilitating Feedback in OneNote (Review Student Work)

Monday, August 29, 2016

So you want to hack your OneNote Class Notebook

Taking a brief break from my "Getting Started with OneNote Class Notebook" series (you can start that one here)...

This is a little advanced so if you're not comfortable setting permissions inside of Office365 you may want to avoid this.  Or set up a Class Notebook to play with so that it doesn't affect any existing Class Notebooks.  Yeah, the latter is a good option.

One of the great powers of OneNote is that you can do some really neat permissioning of the Section Tabs. When the Notebook is created, of course, it gives you an "open permissions" on the Collaboration Space and student-read-only on the Content Library.  And then each student space is wide open to each individual student.

But we've found that occasionally you want to mix up the permissions a little.  For example, you could create a space in a student section for your private notes that the student couldn't see, or maybe you want a tab in the Collaboration Space that students couldn't edit.

Here's how you do that:

Go to your OneDrive for Business and go into the Class Notebooks folder.

The URL will look like this:

https://applebycollege-my.sharepoint.com/personal/carmstrong_appleby_on_ca/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=%2fpersonal%2fcarmstrong_appleby_on_ca%2fDocuments%2fClass+Notebooks&AjaxDelta=1&isStartPlt1=1472482816818

Click on the far right of the URL and get rid of everything up to the Class+Notebooks

Now, type %2f and the name of your Class Notebook.  Since my Class Notebooks is named "MPM2D-2 2016" it means I have to type MPM2D-2%202016 and I get:

https://applebycollege-my.sharepoint.com/personal/carmstrong_appleby_on_ca/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=%2fpersonal%2fcarmstrong_appleby_on_ca%2fDocuments%2fClass+Notebooks%2fMPM2D-2%202016

When you press ENTER you should now see the exploded version of your Class Notebook.

Notice that each Section Group is a Folder and each Section is File (ignore the "Open Notebook" file).
So if I go into _Collaboration Space you'll notice I have a Section called "Just Briana and Peter" ... right now, though, anybody could go in there.  We're going to make it just Briana and Peter...
Click on the selection button to the left of Just Briana & Peter and then click on the SHARE button along the top ribbon.  You'll get a popup window appearing
Click on the SHARED WITH option and then click on ADVANCED

You'll now see the permission on this section.  We want to "Stop Inheriting Permissions" because the Collaboration Space says everyone can contribute to it (and the teacher, me, has Full Control, which is why I can do this).  So click the Stop Inheriting Permissions button ... you'll get a warning about doing this, but go ahead.


Now, you have the ability to select students... so select the students that aren't Briana and Peter as I've done and then click on REMOVE.  They will disappear from the list and will no longer even see that there's a tab called Briana and Peter!

You can always go back into the permissions and re-inherit permission and it will become public again.

Let me know what you use this for!
And Microsoft has the habit of changing approaches so should this change I'll update the post.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Facilitating Feedback in OneNote

When we were creating the precursor to the OneNote Class Notebook, I was heavily influenced (well, I still am) by the work of Black & Wiliam and so improving the quality and quantity of formative assessment is cooked right into the Notebooks.  Likely the whole reason the Class Notebook exists in  its present structure in the first place is because of quotes like this from "Inside the Black Box":
Feedback to any pupil should be about the particular qualities of his or her work, with advice on what he or she can do to improve, and should avoid comparisons with other pupils. (Black & Wiliam, p.6)
And so we have a private area for the student to do all of their work that only they and their teacher can see, and in which the teacher is easily able to provide feedback in written, typed, pictorial, audio or video formats at any time.

Microsoft went a step further with their Class Notebook AddIn to make the process a lot easier.

Let's say you distributed one question to each of your students (How do you do that in 3 clicks?  Check here). So each student has a copy that they can work on in their private area.  Now you want to provide feedback on their work.  So I put the page with my question in each of the students' Unit 1 tab - so each student has a "Question 1" page in their Unit 1 tab (that's the power of Distribute Page).  They work on it.  Now, since OneNote syncs continually, I can actually watch their work progress -- but let's say I've designed this as their exit ticket and so I'm looking at them all outside of class.

You could click through to each student section, click into the right unit section and then click down to the page, then go back out to the next student section & so on & so on.  Workable, but not practicable.

Instead, go to the Class Notebook Ribbon and click on the Review Student Work button.  As before, OneNote is smart and knows which sections each of your students have.


We want Unit 1, so we click on that. We now get a floating popup "Review Student Work" listing all of the material in the students' Unit 1.  From the options, we choose which of the pages in Unit 1 we want to look at.  Our page was titled "Question 1" so when we expand that page, we see all the students we can assess.

Click on Briana's name and we automatically jump to Briana's Question 1 page.  We can give feedback by writing or typing or using the Audio/Video tools on the Insert ribbon.  Once we're done with Briana, we can click on Peter's name (the window keeps floating) and we jump right to Peter's Question 1 Page.  Because everything is stored in OneNote, there's no opening or closing of files, there's no emailing of comments -- all your feedback is exactly with the student work for them to see in context -- and you can deepen the comments by using audio or video right on the page.
Student solutions courtesty of Dekker & Querrelle, 2002, the orgin of the Quarter the Cross problem.


Remember you can do this quick-page switching while in class while they're working, since student content is always syncing between your and their computers.  This way, you can ask Stephen if you can project his solution to the class to have him explain and quickly jump to his page to enter into a discussion.

Feedback is one of the most critical, most effective and most often ignored steps in learning, and the Class Notebook and Tool makes it a lot easier for teachers to give rich and meaningful feedback easily.  Since OneNote is available on any device and can work offline, teachers can give students the comments they need when the teacher is available -- they're not tied to a device or access to the internet.



So far we've done:
Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook
Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)
--- this post


Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)

In the previous post Distributing content in your Class Notebook, I went through the steps of distributing a page to each of my students (effectively handing out what I wanted them to look at).  What's nice is that it doesn't involve any email - everything stays captured within OneNote.
It's sometimes easier to see that in action, so here's a screen recording of that process, first creating a new section in each of my students' areas (calling it Unit 1) and then putting a copy of the problem to work on in each of their Unit 1s.



So far we've done:
Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook
--- this post
Facilitating Feedback in OneNote (Review Student Work)

Giving content to students

Regardless of your teaching style, you're going to want to provide students with content - articles to read, worksheets to practice, diagrams to explore, maps to color, etc.  While OneNote allows the students complete freedom in constructing content within their own space, you as the teacher will want to give them things to work on or at least consider.  That's the topic for today -- "handing out".

For me, anything I hand out first gets stored in the Content Library - I want to be able to place the material in the right section and in the right page order to give it context to a student looking over the totality of the course.  If it's differentiated (i.e. not every student gets the same thing) we can use subpages, color or tags to provide that information to the student.  And this is personal and not policy, I always want to make sure that every student has access to the full breadth of content regardless of where they may be working and provide a structure that makes it meaningful when they're home alone.

First things first -- we need to add some capability to OneNote.  Remember, OneNote is a general purpose note-taking tool.  Architects, lawyers, doctors, police -- everyone uses it for their own reasons but teachers have particular needs.  That's where the Class Notebook AddIn fits.

Visit http://www.onenote.com/classnotebook and download the Tool.  Close any open OneNote and run the install. If you're Mac, just update your OneNote.

When you restart OneNote, you now have a new ribbon along the top.  It's broken in two five sections (colors added by me):
Content (yellow, the topic de jour)  - this is how we will easily "push" as much content as we want to as many students as we desire
Review (orange) - the reason why we use OneNote in the first place -- how to easily provide feedback to students
Manage (purple) - these buttons just send you back to the Main Menu on the web we ran into when we first set up the Notebook.  When you press one of these, your default browser will open and you'll be able to quickly add students, coteachers or even create a whole new ClassNotebook (this can be convenient if you have a long-term project with a smaller group of students)
Connections to LMSs (green) - you can actually sync students & assessment data with your LMS, if supported!  I'm assuming you're not yet connected but it you are, it can be convenient.
Resources - Microsoft help & support.  They have been very responsive to teacher input and so you are strongly encouraged to provide feedback, a lot and often!  Seriously - we've floated suggestions to them and within a week there's an update to the Tool.
And... an Update button can show up!  Updates happen quite often so if you see the Update button appear, press it.

We're only concerned about pushing content out to students today, so let's do that.  You can push content out from anywhere in any of your OneNotes (the page doesn't have to be in your Content Library) but for the sake of this description, and to get used to putting things there, that's what we'll do.  You can push it out from a personal OneNote, a department OneNote or another Class Notebook. The idea is that information can come from anywhere but can still get to the student.

Last time, I used Insert Printout to put my Course Information Sheet into my Content Library.  I'm going to distribute that to all of my students (since they would normally receive a paper copy).  So I click into my Content Library and then click on the Course Information Sheet.
Go to the Class Notebook ribbon and click on Distribute Page (1).

So
Now, the OneNote tool is smart -- it knows which Sections the students already have (remember, I set up an A, R and Unit 0 section when I first created the Notebook).  So, all I have to do is select the Unit 0 option and every student will get a copy of the Course Information sheet page in their Unit 0 section automagically.  That's it, done!  Handing out has never been easier.  And students don't have to open anything, they don't have to download or log in -- the page appears in their OneNote.  OneNote does bold the Unit 0 and Page name to indicate to the student where there is new material.

You get additional options, too -- you can distribute to individual students, choose several random students (the pop up on the left), or set up groups (pop up on the right) for when you've created different arrangments of your class (as a math teacher, I will often have students working on different topics at different times - and this can be fluid so I can change these groups at will).

One of the suggestions we made was to make the buttons on the Content portion to be available on the right-click menu, and sure enough, if you right-click a page (or several pages) you'll notice you have the option to send those pages to the students without having to go to the ribbon.  I use OfficeLens on my phone (Android & iPhone/iPad) and the OneNote Web Clipper on Chrome & Edge to grab a lot of content (oh, that's a cool picture to discuss in class! or oh, I'm stealing that idea she just posted!, etc) -- it goes into my personal OneNote for review, but I can push things out to students from there with a simple right-click.  Any time we can reduce the number of clicks, we save time for the teacher to be doing the really important part of teaching, which is giving feedback.  And that's our next topic...



So far we've done:
Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook
--- this post
Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)
Facilitating Feedback in OneNote (Review Student Work)


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Getting things ready for students in your OneNote

So far we've created a Class Notebook *link* and made the first page our own *link*.  Now we're going to provide some content for the students.

The _Content Library is where all YOUR stuff goes; it's the Teacher space.  We used to have to photocopy material we wanted to give to students.  And then, for students who weren't present or who lost theirs, we used to have binders at the front of the room, file folders or those little plastic boxes to hold extras.  Now, we just put one copy in the Content Library and send it out to the Students -- if they destroy their copy, or just want another copy to work on, they can always grab another copy from the Content Library (since they can't change anything in the Content Library, when they pull a sheet out, they're only grabbing a copy).

So... in your _Content Library, clear out all the material that Microsoft has put in and create your first tab.  Right-click the "Getting Started" tab and choose Delete and then click on the PLUS sign and add your first section.  I called mine "Course Info" -- I'll put my course information sheet, contact information , office hours, textbook, etc. in there.



Now, I already wrote my Course Information sheet in Word (our school provides us with a template to fill in).  I am NOT going to copy & paste it into OneNote.  Instead, I'm going to use the "Insert Printout" to get an exact copy of what's in Word, as if I handed them it on paper.


So, go to the INSERT ribbon and choose FILE PRINTOUT (that would be the "1") ... you'll get a pop-up window asking you to find the file.  Once you select the file and click INSERT, it'll take a few seconds and then (2) the page will be renamed with the filename and (3) a copy of the actual file will be embedded in the page (so if you or the student double-clicked on the Word icon, it would open it up in Word) and (4) a printout of all the pages in the file will appear.  Since OneNote pages go on forever, regardless of how long the document is, you'll just get page after page (there is an option in Settings to put actual pages on different OneNote pages but that's seldom what you want).  You can add comments to the printout by using your pen (5), highlighting (6) or typing (7).  Since this is a printout, you can't change what's actually on the "page" -- which can be a good thing if this is a fill-in for students!

For the record, Insert Printout is the best way to use material you already have in Word, PowerPoint, PDF or other formats.  It gives the students an exact representation of what they would have received on paper.  Of course, when you have more time, you can re-create it in the free space of OneNote but remember, use your time wisely -- it's likely more effective to spend time giving them feedback than worrying about what things look like.

Now, you can go ahead and add more pages to this section, as many as you'd like in fact.  We've found it good practice to not add more pages than fit on a regular computer screen (so maybe 20-25 pages).  You can organize your pages into sub-pages (right-click the name of the page on the far right and choose "Make Subpage") but again, if you get too many, it isn't helpful.

Here's an example below... the teacher's first section "Course Foundations" is all about the course, she's printed out the Course Information sheet and then added pages & sub-pages to give other important course tidbits.  Her next section is the "Diagnostic" they start the course with, then the next tab is the first book they read, "The Things They Carried", and so on.

So, you can break your content up into logical sections.  How you do that is up to you, based on your course.  I thought I'd provide a few images from the top of our teachers' OneNotes after they're done a complete year showing all the tabs (sections) that they've used.  Think of these as the Hilroy binder separators that we used to use when we had paper.  These are high school courses but do notice the variety of approaches.

This first one is mine.  Now, I'm a mathematics teacher, so I tend to build my course linearly, starting with Unit 0 and working slowly to the Exam.
 This next one is French -- it's one of the few that work thematically, so they build across Ressources, Vocabulaire and Lecons on any given day rather than building on one unit and then moving to the next.

The next few are from English, Social Science and Chemistry courses -- they seem to work like Math in that they work on a piece of writing and then move on to the next.






This last one is from Music.  Like French, it is built across several tabs at a time and on any given day, students may be working in different sections.


So far we've done:
Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook (this post)
Giving content to students
Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)
Facilitating Feedback in OneNote (Review Student Work)

Page One of your OneNote Class Notebook

So when OneNote Class Notebook was first designed, it was put together by teachers from several subject areas, each with different approaches to classroom, content and assessment processes.  OneNote was chosen specifically because it allowed teachers to maintain their digital spaces in the same way-- it's open, responsive and yet provides enough structure to prevent getting lost.

The first step when you open your Notebook is to get rid of all the debris -- Microsoft provides a lot of material to help you work with OneNote.  Read it through and then get rid of it before anyone else sees it.  Like your classroom, you want to make it your own space.  Right-Click the pages on the right and Delete them all.  Add a fresh new page instead.


You want your first page of the Notebook to welcome your students to the course, provide information on both the course & you, and give next steps on where to go.  Remember, they only see three tabs across the top -- the Collaboration Space (everyone), Content Library (read only) and their space (not shown in the picture above as I haven't added any students yet).  So when they go to the Notebook, let them know it's your classroom's digital space!

Having said that, what we did at our school was standardized a Course Plan page as the first page in the Notebook, but then, everyone at our school uses OneNote in their classes.

So below are a few examples of Course Plans - what's nice is that it's in a table so it resembles a Calendar and the structures helps to build the narrative of the course, the HW expected of the student is highlighted and a number of teachers provide hyperlinks to documents, webpages or pages within the OneNote (you can do that!) to help students find things.  And teachers make it their own through color coding and use of images - and in the last example, the teacher was using "tagging" of content to differentiate between formative & summative assessment.


This last example is not from our school but was posted on Twitter by @LemarrTreadwell ... it's quite pretty, but then he's a 4th Grade teacher :)  The blurred out area is all of his contact information (a great idea!)
If you're using OneNote Class Notebook in your school, tweet out a picture of your first page!  I'll collect more as I see them come across.  Remember to tag them with #OneNote.