Here is a very useful tool for you. Need to download a YouTube video to use at a later time? Maybe to use it in an offline situation or to avoid the dangerous pitfalls of YouTube. Go to Download and install the Windows software.

Search for a video through ClipGrab or copy paste the link.

Grab the Clip and then it will be on your Desktop unless you change it to a folder! It’s ready to go that easily!

Google Drive Folder Customization

Customize your Google Drive Folders to make them easier to find. I ALWAYS need to go to my Activities folder and it for some reason was always the hardest folder to find in my Google Drive. Now it has a bright green folder and an emoji clapping at me for my attention.

Changing the folder color is under the Organize settings.

When renaming the folder you can press the windows key and the period at the same time to open the emoji window.

Then inside that folder I even have a pair of those that are set to stand out to me as well.

I was able to create a logo and download it as an image file for free. If you needed premium features for your class they are cheap . You can set it to automatically save your work in your Google Drive.

This would be a great option to have your students just use the pencil tool and sketch out ideas. What are some ways you could use this tool in your class? Please share your inspiration with me. is a browser based drawing tool that you and your students can use on a Chromebook.

It has many stamps and graphic stickers that you all can use. It defaults to an empty background which is great for designing smaller images to use in other programs like canva or animation software like Wick or Gamesalad.


Freckle is a decent looking online skills practice tool that you can use with your students. You can use it pretty well in the free mode. You can manually create classes and get links to assignments that you can post in to Google Classroom for your students. You can also just have them log in and go to skills practice. I was even prompted to take a diagnostic and put on the appropriate practice level. It is worth checking it out.

Innovation Badges SY 2023-2024

It’s time to get rolling with Innovation Badges for this new school year. If you are new please check out the quick introduction video above.

We have a fun inter-campus competition each year. Lacy and Lowe had won previous years. Last year Southard MS rocketed to the top and pulled off the win! They plan to bring a strong title defense this year. They have an awesome banner displayed by their front office and the teachers there told me they are going to add a second banner this year.

Campus totals start over each year for the competition but your individual badges earn add up and roll over year after year.

Why Google Drawings?

I have always struggled to find a purpose for Google Drawings. It seems less useful than Microsoft paint. My biggest problem is the lack of actual drawing tools. Also there is no paint can tool to fill with colors. If I want to use a program that can’t do those things, I already use Google Slides, I so I just use Google Slides…

I was determined though to find a reason that Google Drawings is useful so I did a little digging. Google drawings can be useful if you want to design an image and download with with a transparent background. You can do that in Canva too though and probably more effectively.


UPDATE: When I tried to login in and actually use Loom it was blocked by our School Google accounts. I was blocked from accessing Loom via the PC download as well. I was only able to access Loom with my personal Gmail login, which would not get me the free premium options. ALSO it does not appear that an Education account can download videos. They can only be shared via loom link. That’s a deal breaker for me.

Need to screen record a video for a lesson or activity? You can get free premium access to Loom as a teacher. This includes a lot of really good features including videos up to 45 minutes long (but please don’t) and unlimited videos and views. I want to know if we can download MP$ files of our screen recordings and or upload them to YouTube from Loom. Let us dive in and check that out.

You can use loom to screen record a lesson for your class. It is also a good option for recording directions and expectations for a project so that students can re-watch later.
You could use Loom to create short videos that explain why an answer choice was right or wrong on a Google Form. Use conditional formatting to route students to the necessary video after each question and send the student to the video response or explanation they need.

Tackle a Controversial Topic

Today we are going to tackle a controversial topic with the intention of fairly examining the issues and developing a fact based opinion free from the influence of others and based solely and the law and the evidence at hand.

This activity leads students through several articles including a CBS News article in which law makers from each side express their sentiments. A legal analysis of the 6th amendment. As well as a Washington Post article describing the status of the Justice department and their prosecution of the January 6th prisoners.

This activity does not support either side of the issue in any form or fashion.


Life is all about Content Creation these days. At least it is surely a topic your students are passionate about. Kapwing is a tool that your students can use to create their own digital content. Have your students collaborate together to create a video project explaining or showing a concept as a summative project.

Students can make an effective video project up to 4 minutes long with the free account. That is more than enough time for them to demonstrate their knowledge through a project.

There are cool EDU templates available for your students to use which include cool Green Screen options to help them focus their video footage in a fun way. I confirmed that it did let me Green Screen in the free version.

Guided Reading Online

Previously I was asked for some options for Guided Reading in an online format. Here are a few I found that include free books. These books would be easily shared with your students in Google Classroom. You could create a topic under the Classwork tab and share them as resources for your students to access anytime you need them to.

WillowBooks has quite a few books available for free especially in the lower levels.

Dr. Burkins has a collection for you and your students as well.

There is always the wonderful Epic Books. Which offers thousands of online books for your students to access for free from school.

Inferencing with Inspector Inaya

Here is an interactive Google Slides activity on inferencing. This will hopefully be the first of several activities in a new Inspector Inaya series. In the case of the trashy trucker, Inaya must sort through and analyze evidence collected to identify the correct suspect. Special shout out to Mrs. Figueroa at Godwin for this wonderful idea.

Below you can download the Slides activity and the Google Form. Update slide 15 with the link to YOUR copy of the Google Form before assigning a copy of the Slides presentation to each of your students in Google Classroom.