Quick Tips

QT Plickers

Plickers Quick Assessment

December 2, 2019|Alwayslearning, Assessment, EdTech, ELAR, Elementary, Math, Review, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

Amazon.com : Plickers All-Plastic Cards – Engage Every Student with  Real-Time Formative Assessment (Small Answers, Cards 31-40) : Office  Products

Plickers is a great way to use technology to gather data and check for understanding.  Your students do not need to have a device.  They will get a card that they will hold up to answer multiple choice answers.  Every students card is different to they can’t be influenced or copy each others answers.  Check out the videos below to learn more about Plickers.  If you would like for me to stop by during your conference period one day and help you get Plickers up and running, I would be happy to do that.  I would also like to join your class on your first day of using Plickers to help that roll out go smoothly.  

The first video is a quick introduction to what Plickers can do.  The second video is a more detailed tutorial about setting up Plickers.

Empresarios Activity: How Much Land?

How Much Land? Is one of my favorite activities! Kids get seriously engaged in this activity. In the activity students learn about the process to divide out land in an Anglo Empresario colony in Mexican and Spanish Tejas. This activity uses group work, kinesthetic dice rolling, math computation, and map skills.

I meet the students at the door and hand them a copy of a land deed as they are coming through the door. There are 4 different deeds so I just print as many copies of those four as I will need and keep them in a shuffled order. When the lesson starts(after going over directions and expectations) students find other members of their colony and group together. They then use the document to determine how much land they get based on the stipulations in the empresario grant, which are actual requirements from 1800’s Tejas. They then claim their plot of land on the map of their colony.

Trading Cards Project Summative or PBL

Let’s digitize and oldie but a goodie. Creating Trading cards was always one of my favorite unit review projects in class.

Below is a template I made in Google Slides to assign a trading card project to your students. This can be done in person by printing or digitally through Google Classroom. All you have to do is change the directions to meet your class and print or assign.

Trading cards can be made for all kinds of content areas including art, ELAR, science, and math. You can have students make cards about concepts, formulas, famous people, places, or things, in your content area. Make visual Vocabulary trading cards with the word and an image on the front and definition on the back.

How to Create an Aware Test in Eduphoria

Full Complete Video of How to create a test in Aware, Create the questions, How to set up the layout, Test Key, and Share the test under Administration. Below I will post sections of the video for quick reference.

How to start an Aware test in Eduphoria

How to add questions to an Aware test in Eduphoria

How to check the layout, test key, and share an Aware test in Eduphoria

Click the images below to download these cheat sheets

Where did my Download Go!?

Have you ever started a file download in your Chrome browser, got distracted while waiting for it, only to comeback and it is nowhere to be found at the bottom of your Chrome browser window?
Well fret no more, simply press ctrl-J to open up a tab with your download history on it.

Civil War and Reconstruction Ultimate Digital Activity Packet

Here is a digital activity packet made in Google Slides that is designed to be assigned in Google Classroom.

This activity uses skills including:

Using text boxes, inserting shapes, inserting lines, changing colors of shapes and lines, changing order of shapes, completing EdPuzzles, drag and drop, justification, analysis, Geography, evaluating sources, reading, researching, personal relevance, written composition,

This activity covers topics including:

The U.S. Civil War, Union, North, Confederacy, Rebels, South, State’s Rights, Slavery, Fugitive Slave laws, Railroads, Abolitionists, Abolitionism, Abolitionist movement, Election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Douglass Debates, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, Underground Railroad, Sectionalism, Juneteenth, Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Concept of Compromise, Secession, Harpers Ferry, Emancipation Proclamation, Appomattox Courthouse, Bleeding Kansas, Kansas Nebraska Act, Plantation Farms, Slave labor, African Diaspora, Slave Trade, Triangular Trade, Middle Passage, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Angelina Grimke, William Lloyd Garrison, The liberator, The North Star, Advantages and disadvantages, Jefferson Davis, William t Sherman, George McClelland, Robert E Lee, Ulysses S Grant, John Wilkes Booth, John Brown, Lincoln’s Assassination, Texas, Sam Houston, John Bell Hood, Francis Lubbock, John Reagan, Thomas Green, John Magruder, Sul Ross, Battles of Gettysburg, Appomattox, Mansfield, Sabine Pass, Galveston, Palmito Ranch, Atlanta, Vicksburg, Fort Sumter, First Bull Run, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Gettysburg address, Reconstruction, Amendments 13, 14, and 15, sharecropping, Andrew Johnson, KKK, Voter Suppression, Violence, Intimidation


Create or find TEKS based quizzes for your students.
Get usable data based on their results.

It looks like on a free account you can only see data for the most recent 5 activities.

Syncs with Google Classroom and posts activities directly to it.

Oh… My… Differentiation….
Send follow up activities to students based on their results

You can use images in the questions and answer choices. You can upload images or link to them by URL.

Math Mode helps you create math quizzes with all those symbols and

You can import questions from a spreadsheet or a Quizlet set.

Quizalize can read your activity aloud with text-to-speech.

You can include audio recordings with your questions.

You can set a time limit for each question which will in turn create a time limit for the entire quiz/test/activity.
You can also assign these Quizalize activities as a Test.

So that means you can use this tool to assign a time limited Test.

You can assign these quizzes as homework (Count it as a quiz or test) or play a live game in class.
You can also print the quiz and even answer documents if you have both in person and virtual students and a lack of technology.

And the results are in…..
You can see data on each question, what the student answered, and even how long it took them to answer.


Sketchpad.app is a very powerful and easy to use little tool. It is a web based drawing app like Paint only far superior in terms of features. Let’s take sketchpad.app for a spin.

Get ready for Hour of Code


Hour of code is approaching! December 7-13 is Hour of Code Week. Time to start planning a way to fit coding programs into a lesson that second week of December. Here is information on how to plan your Hour of Code activities.

You don’t need to have computers to explore coding. I have a set of programmable coding robot mice that students can use to learn basics of coding. Contact me to reserve one of those for your Hour of Code activities. You can also find or create coding card games.

If you have held Hour of Code activities before but your colleagues have not, maybe invite them to join your students for the first time with their entire class or during their conference period.

Jump out of your comfort zone and into Hour of Code. I promise you won’t regret it. You and your students will have a great time.

There are online coding practice games for all levels of student and skill level. I recommend you dig into any of these coding games you plan to have your students work on so you can know what to expect.

Online Dyslexia Practice Games

Words with friends is not only a popular and fun mobile game it is also an excellent way to practice spelling and reading skills for students with dyslexia.

Another fun and popular game also provides an excellent way to practice spelling and reading skills for students with dyslexia is Boggle. Here is an online version that is currently not blocked at school.

Scrabble also helps students with dyslexia to develop their skills.

EdTech Update Episode 4

The EdTech Update Episode 004 In this podcast we will Look at how you can turn a .pdf test into an online self grading ClassKick test with oral testing accommodations. We will have the Fast 4 Friday presented by some awesome teachers. We’ll learn about the arrival of 1000 new Chromebooks for the district. Mrs. Gerber will join me to talk about technology tools to help you effectively teach class from anywhere in your room.
I have a prize to give away, a very cool presentation remote that one of you will win. https://www.amazon.com/DinoFire-Prese…

Class Kick Full video: https://youtu.be/kpZM_63YYdg

Full Mrs. Gerber Interview on Proximity, Power Zones, and presentation remotes: https://youtu.be/Se4KW3E5Fks

Easy Google Docs Acrostic Poem

Let’s learn how to create an incredibly simple Google Docs activity for an Acrostic Poem.

The fastest way to start this will be to type Docs.new in the address bar of your Google Chrome browser.
BTW I recently learned that Google calls that the “Omnibox” (bonus learning for free).

Set up your title and directions as you normally do. I love to use a consistent format on my assignments with the same fonts, sizes, and style.

Next we will go to the menu bar and click insert, table, go out to two columns then down to five rows.

Click on that middle column line and drag it to the left to about 1/4 of the page.

Let’s add POEMS in the first column of each row one letter at a time.

Save this as your template. Now when you want to make an acrostic poem activity you can simply:
👍Make a copy of the template.
👍Rename it.
👍Add or delete rows as needed to your table.
👍Then change the acrostic letters.

You can assign this in Google Classroom and make a copy for each student. Kids will complete the poem online and return it to you. If you are face to face and don’t have tech you can of course always print your poem templates.

EdTech Update Episode 3

In episode 3 of the EdTech Update, we are going to explore some new features that are now available in Google Meets.  

We will get some advice from Virtual Teachers who are out there on the front lines in the “New Normal”.  

We will of course have our Fast4Friday ideas.  

Also we will take a look behind the magic with Mrs. Clark as we disable all of those Google Classroom notifications in Gmail and Google Calendar.  

Oh and at the end I will tell you about a contest we are having and how you can win a prize basket of goodies.  The challenge is to identify what in the background set is new in this video.  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s on the board.


Fast4Friday Ideas





November 1, 2019|EdTech, ELAR, ELL, Review, SPED, Tools

Fret no more dear teachers…  In less than one minute you can create 10 different practice exercises for your list of spelling words. 

 AAASpelling is quick and easy.  You simply give your list a name.  Type in the words separated by a comma.  Then click “Create Spelling List”.

It will generate a code (“practice list number”) for you to give your students.  When your students enter the code on the website they will be presented with 10 practice activities they can go through to gain experience and familiarity with the spelling words.  

(No login is required for you or students but if you do make a free login for yourself it helps you to keep track of the lists you make.  Without a log in you need to write down the code.)

Below you can find some I already made for you, Grades 1-4,  spelling lists for Nov 4-8.  Special Thanks to Mrs. Hoar at Southard for this resource recommendation.  

First Grade


Second Grade


Third Grade


Fourth Grade


QT PC Security

EdTech Quick Tip: Security

Oct 10, 2019 


It is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!  

That is a huge topic to cover, but the most important computer security related issue I need to pass on to you guys is as simple as locking your pc when you walk away from it.

You have access to lots of sensitive data, and it is important to keep that data secure and FERPA friendly.  Please get in the habit of pressing Windows+L when you walk away from your pc.  

QT Google Tasks To-do List

Google Tasks To-do list

September 12, 2019|Alwayslearning, Organization, Tools

Have you ever noticed those 3 little icons in the menu bar on the far right of your Gmail screen?  If you click the blue circle logo, like you see above, you will open Google Tasks.  Tasks is the ultimate to-do list for me.  Tasks helps me keep track of and prioritize all of the things I need to accomplish.  

You can easily add items by clicking “Add a task”.

You can click and drag list items to reorganize them.

That little menu bar is on the right side of nearly all Google Apps you use.

 You can install Tasks as an app on your phone or tablet.  Any changes you make will sync across all devices.  

QT PDFescape

PDFescape.com comes highly recommended by Mrs. Cooper at Clark MS. PDFescape.com is “the original online Free PDF editor & form filler”. You can use this website to turn .pdf worksheets and more into interactive completable activities.

QT Kurkarella

The opening to that video was made with Kukarella. Kukarella.com converts text to voice to use in videos or activities. Maybe you want to include a reading of the directions for your students but you want to change it up instead of just your voice. Kukarella gives you lots of options to have your words read by other voices. It’s fun, go play with it and give it a try with your kids. You could have your students use it to convert their own writing to a recorded voice.

QT North America Map Activity

Download the Activity

Here is an interactive Google Slides Activity that you can assign in Google Classroom. Students are asked to complete a task on each slide of the presentation. They can then submit it through Google Classroom when it is complete.

This activity covers geography of North American as well as map skills. Students are asked identify the compass rose, map key, Texas, the mountain ranges, bodies of water, and other well known geographical features.

QT Punnet Squares Template

Download the Activity

Here is a template for a digital Punnett Squares Activity that is created in Google Slides and designed to be posted in Google Classrooms.

Teachers can copy paste the slide as much as they need. Teachers can change the Allele values and enter a question about the cross in the box on the right.

Students are able to type their answers in the cross and student answer box via text boxes that are already inserted.

QT U.S. history Timeline to 1870

Here is a drag and drop Google Slides activity. You can assign a copy to each student in Google Classroom. Students will click and drag the event to place them in the correct chronological order on the time line. The pictures help the events fit in like puzzle pieces. See completed example below. I ended up going through 1870 and the 15th Amendment for the events.

Download The Activity

QT ClassHook

ClassHook Video Clips

January 14, 2020|Beautify, Blended Learning, EdTech, ELAR, Elementary, ELL, Kinder, Math, Review, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools, Youtube

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hook-1024x1024.jpg


Classhook allows you to search for video clips from popular TV shows and movies that are educational and relevant to your topic.  There are filters to narrow down your search based on grade level and clip length.  

This looks like a great resource to find relevant and engaging video clips to enhance your lessons.  

I searched for Solar System and found short clips from TV shows like National Geographic,Ready Jet Go!(PBS Kids), Ice Age, Bill Nye, Animaniacs, The Ellen Degeneres Show,  Magic School Bus, and Beakman’s World.

I searched Characters for ELA and got results that included clips from Pay it Forward, Matilda, Despicable Me, The Big bang Theory, The Breakfast Club, etc.

For Fractions I found results from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Maths Mansion, Cyber Chase, etc.

For The Industrial Revolution I founds clips from America The Story of Us, Newsies, Seabiscuit, The Prestige, The Simpsons, The Great Gatsby, Titanic, and Gangs of New York.

You can get access to all the clips with a free account.


QT Plickers

Plickers Quick Assessment

December 2, 2019|Alwayslearning, Assessment, EdTech, ELAR, Elementary, Math, Review, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

Plickers is a great way to use technology to gather data and check for understanding.  Your students do not need to have a device.  They will get a card that they will hold up to answer multiple choice answers.  Every students card is different to they can’t be influenced or copy each others answers.  Check out the videos below to learn more about Plickers.  If you would like for me to stop by during your conference period one day and help you get Plickers up and running, I would be happy to do that.  I would also like to join your class on your first day of using Plickers to help that roll out go smoothly.  

The first video is a quick introduction to what Plickers can do.  The second video is a more detailed tutorial about setting up

QT Flocabulary


September 20, 2019|Alwayslearning, Assessment, EdTech, Gamify, Math, Science, Social Studies, Vocabulary

Flocabulary is genuinely cool!  Not only does it provide engaging rap videos over tons of topics for all content areas.  It has entire lessons developed around those videos which include: interactive vocabulary cards, group discussion questions, games, read and respond activities, 10 question quizzes, and a Lyric Lab at the end which allows students to demonstrate mastery by creating their own rap song.  

There is also a “Week in Rap” Current events news program each Friday. https://youtu.be/Wnftebc9DL0

This introduction to Flocabulary is very informative and worth a watch.


Skip to 25:45 for information on how to set up your classes and how to view the data.

Elementary Teachers, I did some digging and came up with some very good and applicable lessons for the first unit in the second six weeks to get you started.  Check for your grade level below.


ELA: Main Idea https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/main-idea/

Math: Numbers https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/comparing-numbers/

What is a clock: https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/what-is-a-clock/

Science: Force and Motion https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/forces-and-motion/

States of Matter https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/three-states-of-matter/

Social Studies: Transportation https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/transportation/video/

1st Grade: 

ELA: Adjectives https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/adjectives/

Math: Numbers https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/comparing-numbers/

Science: Force and Motion https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/forces-and-motion/

Social Studies: Customs and Traditions https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/new-year-celebrations/ 

2nd Grade

ELA: Author’s Purpose https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/authors-purpose/

Math: Fractions https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/fractions/

Science: Energy from the Sun  https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/sun/video/

Social Studies: Map Skills https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/map-skills/

3rd Grade

ELA: Suffixes https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/suffixes/

Math: Money https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/money/

Science: Force andMotion https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/forces-and-motion/

Social Studies: Map Skills https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/map-skills/

4th Grade

ELA: Context Clues https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/context-clues/

Math: Place Value https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/place-value/ Multiplying with an arrayhttps://www.flocabulary.com/unit/multiplying-arrays/

Science: Natural Resources https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/natural-resources/

Social Studies: Explorers https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/age-of-exploration/

5th Grade

ELA:Persuasive Language https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/persuasive-language/

Math: Order of Operations https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/pemdas/

Science: Electrical Energy https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/current-electricity/

Social Studies: French and Indian War https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/french-indian-war/

And The Winner Is!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Facebook contest last week.

The winners were
Mrs. Tuter at Lowe
Mrs. Q’Quinn at Lacy.

I delivered their baskets of treats this morning. Hopefully you will win next time.

QT Boom Cards

Boom cards is a tool to create activities that you could post for your students in SeeSaw or Google Classroom.

Let’s take a quick look at Boom Cards. Boom Cards lets you create interactive lessons and activities for your students. Boom cards provides instant feedback and checks answers for you.

There are lots of possibilities for exciting activities in Boom Cards however the free version is purely for exploring how to make one. The free account is useless for assigning to students and trying to use in class. Pricing is low though.

Windows Cheat Sheet

Here is a printable .pdf poster with some shortcut key strokes you can use when working on a Windows PC. 

My Favorite one is being able to launch programs from the taskbar.  I can hit Windows + 1 to launch my Screencast-o-matic quickly.   

Chromebook Accessibility Features

Is your students screen zoomed in to the point it is unusable? Is the cursor gigantic? Is the display strange colors all of a sudden? Is the Chromebook narrating everything they do and see?

These are incredibly common issues. The Accessibility features on your students Chrome profile have been enabled. I am not 100% sure if they are accidentally turning it on or if their peers are messing with them. I can tell you it is a Chrome setting and will follow them to any device so changing Chromebooks does not help.

You can press alt+Shft+S to jump to that menu and turn off those features.

You can also reach them by clicking on the time in the bottom right corner and then clicking the little person.

A Guide to Your Chromebook's Accessibility Features


QT Collaborative Story Activity

Create a Collaborative Story with your students.  Start the story for your students with a good prompting line then have them continue the story one at a time.

This is an awesome and simple idea.  You can create a Google Doc with the first line already on there to get them started.  Maybe even include a table with a column for the students name to keep them in a rotation.

Or create a Google Slides presentation with the first line on the first slide.  Follow that with lots of blank slides for students to add their lines to.  Maybe even add student names to each slide so there is no confusion over who goes next.  With the slides option you could even have students go back and add illustrations to someone else’s slide.  This will also leave you with a fun presentation of the story to click through when it is done.

Here are some templates to get you started.  Make yourself a copy.  Type your students names into the template then copy paste the table/slides a few times as needed.

You could even get started with my Dragon Story example.

Build Better Gimkits

Let’s learn the best and fastest way to build good Gimkit Games. We will create using Flashcards which we will upload one group at a time, being sure to keep similar question types grouped together.
It’s quick. It’s easy. Check it out!

Slides Template Activities for Everyone


This website provides more than 30 slides templates that are set up for use in many content areas as well as generic templates for any content area. There are some pretty good and ready to go useful templates worth checking out.

I think the Would You Rather slide could be a fun warm up activity especially if you change the questions to something related to your lesson for the day. You could use options that include being able to understand a concept or work out a formula. Then as the lesson progresses they realize they might have made a different choice knowing what they know now.

QT Approve YouTube Videos for Students

If you are sharing a YouTube video with your students make sure to approve it ahead of time for ISD students, after previewing it of course. You can do that by clicking the “Approve” button under the video on the right hand side. This will help your students avoid issues when trying to access the video.

Emoji Quick Key Shortcut

You can press Windows + the period (.) to launch an emoji menu to insert emojis into text fields. This works on most any program. You can use emojis to spice up your assignment names or to indicate something about an assignment.

Login Issues with Google

table flip

Are yours or your students Google Forms submissions not coming through? Are they seemingly disappearing into the ether? Are you frustrated beyond belief? Don’t panic. I have not run into a case of this yet where one of these four tips didn’t fix the problem. These login issues can effect more than just Google Forms.

1 Don’t use a cell phone to complete it (Google Forms pulls the main personal gmail account as the ID and blocks it.) Or login to the cell phone as a brand new user with only the school @princetonisd.net gmail.

2 Logout all the way out of the Chromebook and log back in with their school account through ClassLink.  They are sometimes logged in with a personal gmail account first or on a siblings login and just open a new browser, which won’t work.

3 I also have seen this caused by students in a Google Classroom with a personal Gmail and not their school Gmail.

4 If it is on a PC computer they need to watch this video to learn how to create their own school only browser launcher.


ClassKick Update

With special guest Mrs. Nelson, we jump back into ClassKick for an update based on experiences teachers have been having with ClassKick. We cover creating folders to organize your assignments, locking rosters to keep them clean and correct, sharing activities with your fellow teachers, and take a look at activity grades.  If you don’t yet use ClassKick and need to learn more about it you can find my previous ClassKick video here.  

Google Forms Turn off Responses

Sometimes you might need to turn off your Google form to stop it from accepting new responses. Perhaps the assignment needed to be done by a specific time and you do not want to allow late submissions. Google Classroom won’t let you do that you have to make that change in Google Forms.

First step will be to go to the responses tab.

Then simply toggle off the “Accepting responses” option.

You can always turn that back on at anytime if you need to.

Customize Email Signature

Customize your Gmail Signature

Have you ever wanted to add a list of your life’s accomplishments after your name in your email signature? Do you want to add all of those abbreviations from your degrees as well? maybe you want to represent with school spirit or Holiday cheer in your email signature. Below are the steps for making that happen.

Got to settings

Then click See All Settings

Then scroll down that general tab until you reach the signature section.

There you can edit your current signature or create a new one. You can have multiple signatures and switch between them as needed. Perhaps you want to support your team or include holiday cheer in different email signatures.

After making your changes be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the settings menu and save the changes.

Clean Up Classwork Stream

Is your Google Classroom Classwork tab crowded and unorganized? That can lead to confusion for students and cause emails and phone calls from parents.
Let’s look at how to clean up those old assignments and get them out of the way.

You can learn more about creating google Classroom topics here:

Learn how I added the emojis to Topic titles here:

Topic Titles in Google Classroom

I discovered a very cool thing this week when poking around in Google Classrooms working on fixes. A couple of you wonderful teachers have little images as a part of your topic titles and I want to share that wondrous ability with everyone.

You simply visit an emoticon website like this one http://getemoji.com/
Then highlight the emoji you want to use, copy it, and paste it in your Google Classroom Topic Title! No tricks or secret codes. Just a simple Copy and Paste. You can rename existing topics to add images.

BIG Thanks to Mrs. Lafond and Mrs. Brown for bringing this to my attention.

Shared with me and Starred in Google Drive

You might be noticing that your “Shared with Me” section of Google Drive has gone crazy with copies of every thing you have assigned to students in Google Classroom and every Google Classroom you are a teacher on.
Once you locate that file you needed in there through the search bar, add it to your Starred files to find it faster in the future.
Check out the screen grabs below to preview that process.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-16-1024x813.png

GC Basics

I am excited to present to you some short but very useful Google Classroom training videos.  There are 15 videos here that are mostly around 2 minutes long which will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Google classroom.  

When you get bored of summer in a few weeks and you are yearning to learn, Please explore these resources to prepare yourself to use Google Classroom next school year.   

“Shall We Play A Game?”

Here is a link to an article from TCEA with some ideas of games you can play live in an online meeting with your students. https://blog.tcea.org/zoom-games/?utm_source=TCEA+Emails&utm_campaign=2e13991d66-TN-MAY12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3a5bb651e-2e13991d66-68439791&ct=t(TN-MAY12)

A scavenger hunt and charades are two of my favorite ideas on this blog post.  A scavenger hunt would be easy to pull off.  Send students to find an object in their home.  Have several rounds and eliminate students each round maybe or award points.  

It also got me thinking about playing Boggle.  If you have a document camera or adjustable webcam you could share the Boggle letters with your students and have them write their list of words.  Great spelling practice.

I have also seen mention of teachers playing chess and checkers with their students.  This would involve labeling the boards columns and rows to communicate moves.  That’s practicing graphing concepts as well as critical thinking.  


Screencast-o-matic is a versatile tool that every teacher can use to create digital content for their students.   

Screencast-o-matic is an awesome tool for recording a video of what is happening on your computer screen. It can often be easier to make a quick little video to explain a concept than to try and explain something in writing or over the phone. Screencast-o-matic helps you record your screen to save a video that you can share with others.

I use this tool all the time to record walk through videos. I have used it to record a scene from a movie that I wanted to show my students. You can run a slide show and record narration of you explaining a lesson to your students.  You can make videos explaining steps of directions for an assignment or project.  You could make a video showing your students how to navigate your Google Classroom or how to find something in Google Classroom.  You could even eliminate the confusion on how to turn in assignments in Google Classroom by making a walk through video for your students.

What are some other ways you have used a screen recording software?  What are some ideas you have for how you could use this for the first time?  Please go to the FB page I to share your ideas with us as a comment on this post: 

Below is a quick video walk through of how Screencast-o-matic works.

Video in Google Meet

With a recent update you can finally play videos in Google Meet and have the sound broadcast through to your audience. When you go to present your screen you need to choose “tab” to present a video with sound. So make sure you have the video you want to play already open in a tab and ready to present.

Have you successfully used this new feature yet with your students? Please share you experience with us as a comment here:


YOU can edit videos. It really is super easy with WeVideo.com . Check out this tutorial on how to upload your video clips and edit them together to produce a finished video in WeVideo.
We put together a cooking video in this tutorial. Below the WeVideo Tutorial you can also check out the video I made… IN THE VIDEO… on how to make low carb chips.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a great communication tool for your team.

Google Hangouts lets you send text messages, images, make video calls, and more. Google Hangouts is already built into your Gmail page but you can use it on most any device and it syncs your conversations up across them all. Make sure you download the mobile app on your phone and the Google Chrome Extension on your Chrome browser. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-hangouts/nckgahadagoaajjgafhacjanaoiihapd

Check out this quick introduction video to learn a little more about it.

Adobe Spark Video Slide Show

Let’s take a look at how to create a video slideshow in Adobe Spark. We will add images and music to create our video. You can also add a voice over or text to slides if you need to as well. Please check out the video walk through below on how to create an Adobe Spark Video.

Google Login Issues

Are you or your students having trouble accessing Google Forms, Drive, or Classroom when it requires you to be logged into your school gmail account? Here is my guide to fixing/avoiding these issues.

The first and simplest method is to use a Chromebook if possible. Just have the student login to the Chromebook with their school account. That should eliminate other logins interfering (Unless you have multiple logins in that Chromebook browser. If so delete the extra account.).

The second way is to create a separate Chrome Browser login desktop icon on your PC. Check out the video below to be walked through that.

Google Meet Added Tile View

Google Meet recently pushed out a new update to include a Zoom like grid view feature called Tiled. You access the menu in the bottom right corner; select Change Layout; Click Tiled. Check out the super quick video below to learn more.

Windows Split Screen Multi Task

Here is a quick tip to hopefully make it easier when looking up grades in Edgenuity or Google Classroom (LMS) and entering them in Infinite Campus(Grade book software).  It is also helpful when making new activities for your students and you need to see the Doc or Slides you are working in and the resource you are using. 

Here is also a resource for accomplishing the same thing on a Chromebook: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/view-apps-and-tabs-side-by-side-on-your-chromebook/

Here is a little bonus info


Google Slides Publish to the Web

If you have a slide show that you have created you can easily share it with your students, parents, or staff by simply publishing it to the web through Google Slides. You don’t have to create a website to host it online. Google slides will generate a link for you to share that presents your slide show in presentation mode. That’s what makes this different than just sharing it from your Google Drive. A published slideshow is presented to the viewer and not in edit mode.

What would you share?  Maybe photos of your students or their work.  Those cutesy slideshows of somebody holding cue cards to tell a story.

Check out my quick video walk through to see it in action. Also the steps are below the video.

To publish a slideshow to the web you simply go to “file” then “publish to the web”. Then set up the options the way you need them and select “Start Publishing”.

WDW Virtual Field Trip

The folks in Florida may have no idea when Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will open again but in the mean time we can take a virtual field trip there. I have created an exciting activity for your students to explore and as an example to inspire you to create a virtual field trip of your own. I created this in Google Drawings and Sites.

This is an educational field trip not just fun. This virtual field trip includes essential knowledge and skills from Reading, Math, Science, History, Geography, and more.

Check out my introduction video of how it works. Then explore the activity at the link below.

Here are the activities in Google Forms if you want to save a copy to assign to your students to get their responses.



Google Classroom Custom Banner Image

Did you know you can change the banner image at the top of your Google Classroom? There are quite a few stock images to select from built in to Google Classroom. You can also upload your own image. Here is a quick guide on how to create your own correctly sized (16.67″x4.17″) banner image and how to add it to your Google Classroom. Check out the video below for the walk through.

Gmail Schedule Send

Did you know you can schedule an email to go out at a later date and time? This can be a great feature for creating a regular routine or expectation with your students. It can also help you not send out emails at strange hours of the night. Here is a quick video walk through on how to set up a schedule send email.

Google Classroom Tips


Here is a link to some FAQ’s and tips for using Google Classroom from Mrs. Kasey Bell. Kasey Bell’s Shake Up Learning is a great resource to follow.
One cool tip I learned from this page was that you can post assignments to all of your classes at the same time if you are not scheduling them ahead of time. This link will show you how.

EdTech Quick Tip: Google Meet Class Time Procedure

I was in a Region 10 Webinar today about Remote Learning for the ESL classroom, which I will post about later, and I noticed a great strategy they were using to keep the meeting going smoothly. The presenter had a second person that was monitoring the chat tab and would relay the questions to the presenter. I thought this would be a great job for you to assign to a student helper. The student helper could keep their microphone open and be responsible for interrupting the teacher and reading the questions from chat so that the teacher can address them while they are relevant.


Let’s take a quick look at Classkick’s super short introduction video then we will dive in deeper.

You can create new interactive assignments in Classkick that include manipulatives, multiple choice, and fill in the blank activities. You could also use the multiple choice and fill in the blank question features to add on to an existing worksheet.

This looks like a great new tool to try. It also has some pretty decent features with the free basic account.

Here is my video walk through of Classkick. It includes signing up, the features, creating an assignment, and assigning it to your students. It’s a little longer but very detailed and helpful.

Bill of Rights Game

Do I Have a Right? - GameUp - BrainPOP.


Do I Have a Right

This is a cool game based on the Bill of Rights. Students run a law office and interact with clients to determine if they have a case in their complaint. Watch the video below of me checking out the game and seeing how it works.

To assign the game to your students in Google Classroom you have to find it through the green teach tab at the top of the home page. Then you will find the button to assign it in Google Classroom. You could easily just share the link as well without involving Google Classroom. It looks like there is an Apple and Android app as well.

Thanks to Mrs. Kaufman for sharing this with me.

Discovery Education Coding

Check out this message below from Discovery Ed

Coding Designed for Kids
 We’re excited to provide your educators and students with an exclusive full-access preview of our all-new Coding app, now available with Discovery Education Experience through June 30, 2020.

Discovery Education Coding provides completely self-guided and engaging lessons for students to learn block coding, HTML, and Python. Designed for educators and students with varying levels of skill, Coding is easy to use and loaded with Help videos and lessons. And, best of all, students can demonstrate their creativity by creating their own apps and sharing them with their classmates!

Want to maximize your students’ experience with Discovery Education Coding? Be sure to maximize your free student accounts today!*”In today’s Digital Age, coding and coding literacy are important skills every child should have the opportunity to develop. A basic understanding of coding fosters student creativity as it sharpens the problem-solving and numeracy skills critical to future success. I am looking forward to integrating this new digital resource into my lessons.”

As you begin to explore, visit the Coding page in the Professional Learning Center (PLC) to find:An Overview Video
A Getting Started Guide
Coding, Python and HTML Navigation Tools
Studio Boards

Please note that we have updated our terms and conditions to extend any obligations that relate to Discovery Education Experience to Discovery Education Coding as well. See our updated terms and conditions here for U.S., Canada, and International.
Privacy | Terms of Use

This email was sent by: Discovery Education, Inc.
4350 Congress Street, Suite 700, Charlotte, NC, 28209 US

Please add the domain @email.discoveryeducation.com to your safe senders list to ensure you continue
to receive these updates.


Let’s take a look at Powtoon. Powtoon is a video creation tool that lets you make animated engaging videos to share with your students. There are a few usable free features available to you that make it worth checking out. There are two videos here. The first video walks through how Powtoon works. The second video is an example I created.

Smithsonian Resources


LeVar Burton Reads Stories on Twitter and Other Livestream Learning Opportunities This Week

These resources include kid’s P.E. classes on YouTube.

Laurie Berkner Facebook Live singing and story telling.

Facebook Live videos with Pennsylvania’s Elmwood Park Zoo.

An outdoor adventure class.

Daily Art challenges.

Zoom Civics lessons from the National Constitution Center.

There are also Language arts reading programs.

There is also a link to astronomy resources.

Region 10 At-Home Instructional Support

Region 10 has curated content and resources that are available on their website at the link below.


The resources on this website includes Administrator resources for assistance making decisions and supporting your staff.

Teacher resources include theoretical support as well as content are resources.

There are also links for Counselors, CTE, Dyslexia, ESL, Fine Arts, and more.

There is also a schedule of remote learning webinars being hosted by R10.

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There are websites for families from Scholastic, PBS, and others.

There is also information regarding discount home internet providers.

See All the Smiles

Google Meet Grid View is a Google Chrome extension that will tile the camera view of all the participants in your Google meet session so that you can see all their faces. Thanks to Ms. Hall for sharing this one.

"No data is stored by the extension, it's a purely cosmetic script. No extra permissions are required except access to meet.google.com."


Distance Learning Resources



Classlink is the best way to get your students connected to Google Classroom and many other online activities.  After students login to Classlink they only need to launch Google Classroom and they will be connected.

ClassLink also contains many other activities and resources for your students to work on. 

Check out this link here to find ClassLink Resources for your students.  

Google Classroom

Google Classroom will be the easiest way for you to push out assignments for your students to access at home.  

If you do not already have a Google Classroom for your students you can refer to this training here for information on setting that up.  

Email your students the Class Code for the class section you want them to join.


You can record a video to post to your Google classroom of a lecture, explanation of directions, etc.  

You can accomplish that as easily as making a video on your phone and uploading it through the Google Classroom App.

Use the webcam on a Chromebook to record a video that will save in your Google Drive.

You can get fancier with a program like Screencast-o-matic that will record a screen capture video.  You could use a tool like that to click through a slideshow and narrate as you would in class.  You can record screencasts up to 15 minutes long for free. A deluxe account that removes the time limit and gives you access to their decent editing software is less than $20 a year.


FlipGrid is another amazing tool that you could use to pose questions to your students and allow them to respond with a short video.  You could ask them to reflect on a reading or other assignments.   

You can learn more about FlipGrid and ways to us it here.  Flip Grid works with Google Classroom.  You can connect it to your Google Classroom and post assignments through FlipGrid.  


EdPuzzle is another tool that you can use to create assignments that your students could easily complete from home on their own devices.  You can learn more about EdPuzzle here.  EdPuzzle also integrates with Google Classroom.  You can post EdPuzzle assignments into Google Classroom from EdPuzzle.

Turn a .PDF worksheet into a Google Classroom Digital Assignment

Today we are going to learn a quick and easy way to turn those .pdf worksheet files into a format that can be assigned and completed in Google Classroom.

I will walk you through the process in the video but here are the basic steps:
1) Save the worksheet as an image (make it the background on the slide)
2) Create a new Google Slide
3) Change Google Slide size to 8.5×11 or 11×8.5 depending on your worksheet
4) Enter text boxes for students to type answers over the image

It is super simple to accomplish and can turn something old into something useful during these times.

EdTech Quick Tip: Trouble printing .pdf in Google Chrome

We have been struggling around our household with printing pdf files. When you click print the browser is freezing on the print preview screen. The work around I have come up with is to download the pdf and open it in Adobe Acrobat Viewer instead of Chrome. You can change the settings of your Chrome browser to force it to do that. In the Chrome settings search for pdf. Under Site Settings will be the PDF Documents menu. Expand that and turn on the setting to “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome”

EdTech Update 26 March 2020

EdTech Update
26 March 2020

What a busy and interesting time we are all working through!
Today I am bringing you something new, a reminder, and something fun. In true dessert first fashion let me throw something fun at you first.
This is my current favorite song. You will either love it and think it is genius or you will HATE it and hope you never hear it again. Feel free to let me know where you fall on the issue.

For our reminder, you can get help with Google Hangouts, Meet, Contacts, Calendar, and how they all work together to run your new online class through the link below.


Something New!!!
Google Jamboard
Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard software that you could use during your Google Meet sessions or even in class someday….
Check out the video and link below for a quick introduction to Jamboard.

Google Voice

Google Voice

March 17, 2020|Accommodations, Blended Learning, EdTech, ELAR, Elementary, ELL, FERPA, Google, Kinder, Math, Organization, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

If you are unable to get to your school phone and don’t want to use your personal phone number, Google Voice could be a great option for you to use when making phone calls to contact parents.  You can set up a free Google Voice account with your personal Google Account.  You cannot set up a Google Voice account with your school Google account, it must be a personal account.  Google Voice will generate a phone number that will forward to your personal phone number.  When you make calls from the Google Voice Application it will show the new Google Voice number as our caller ID.  You can access Google Voice through a mobile phone application or on a computer with a headset.

Here is a link to information about getting started with Google Voice:  https://support.google.com/voice/answer/115061?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en 

Getting Started with Google Meets and More

March 17, 2020|Accommodations, Blended Learning, EdTech, ELAR, Google, Math, Organization, Science, Secondary, Social Studies, SPED, Tools

Google Hangouts Meet will be a primary contact tool that you use with your students during this time. 

The first step you will need to take is to create a Gmail Contact Group of your students.  Those groups are called “Labels” and they are in Google Contacts.  Here is a quick video walk through of how to set up a Label.  

Do you need to create a spreadsheet of parent email addresses?  There is no exact and easy way to accomplish that in Infinite Campus but we have worked out a plan to help you create that list if you do not already have one.  There are two steps in this process.  The first step will be to create a Google Form requesting that parents verify their current email address that they wish to use.  The second step will be to send that form out through the Messenger platform in Infinite Campus.  This is not going to be a perfect solution.  You will have to fill in the gaps for students who you do not get responses from but this will hopefully drastically reduce the amount of email addresses that you have to look up one at a time in Infinite Campus.  

Step 1 Video Creating the Google Form https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXKd39rYiEs 

Step 2 Video Sending that Form out through Infinite Campus  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sDWT9g55OQ 

If you want to create a Gmail contact group label list for parents here are the steps to create that.

There is no way to just pull a list of parent emails only for all your students. You can select print roster in Infinite Campus to speed up the process of getting all those parent emails. Make sure to check guardians and show guardian contact information.

To schedule a Google Hangouts you will need to send out a Calendar invite.  Your students will receive an email confirmation about the Calendar invite.  In that email will be the link to join the Hangouts meeting.  Here is a quick video on how to send out a calendar invite.  

Are you getting spammed with emails from parents and students accepting your calendar invite?  You can create a filter to automatically archive those responses and keep them out of your inbox.  Here is a quick walk through for setting that up:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNSiI2vjNPw&feature=youtu.be 

Now when you are ready to join your Google Hangout Session the quickest and easiest way to access your meeting is through your calendar.  Here is a quick video walk-through on how to join and operate the meeting.  

You CAN record a Google Hangout Session so that students who missed it can watch it at a later time.  While in your Hangout Meeting click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner and click Record Meeting.  After your meeting is finished and you stop the recording (same place) a recording will be automatically uploaded to your Google Drive in a folder called “Meet Recordings”.  The recording could be uploaded to Google Classroom.  The video recording of the meeting should also be available to the invited guests on the Calendar invite.