Quick Tips

Digital Spelling Test

Here are a couple ideas on how to administer a digital spelling test.
Example 1 is with a Google Form and a YouTube video recording of the word list. This is the free option.


Example 2 is made in Teachermade.com I expected to be able to insert a recording of each word at each number on the answer document but that requires a paid pro account. It is possible with a the paid pro account.


Texas State Parks Bonham

Here is the second activity in my new Texas State Parks Activity Series. This activity is in Google Slides and can be assigned in Google Classroom. There are 15 questions on this activity that cover both math and map reading skills. This is a local State Park to us, only about an hour to the North. This is someplace your students might have visited or that they could potentially visit. I think that really increases the relevance and cool factor of this activity.

TPWD Lake Ray Roberts

I am going to start a new series of activities based on Texas State Parks. Here is the first one of those. This activity is a math and map skills activity that was created in Google Forms to be assigned in Google Classroom. There are 10 questions and one bonus question on this activity. Questions include multiple choice, multi select, and numeric response question types.

Lindale Candy Company

Not too far from us is Lindale Texas which is not only home to Santa land but also the Lindale Candy Company who are apparently famous for their delicious peppermint candies. Here is a Google Form activity that examines this Texas Highways article by Steven Lindsey. The activity asks students 10 check for understanding short answer questions as they progress through the article.



Engage students to assess their comprehension with on the fly quick questions or formal quizzes through Socratic. Check for understanding by blasting out multiple choice, T/F or Short answer questions. Get instant feedback about student knowledge to differentiate lessons for maximum effectiveness. You can have up to 5 quizzes on a free account. Pro accounts for unlimited quizzes are $90 a year. We have plenty of other free quiz alternatives though. I think this tool would be most useful for the quick individual activity questions and exit tickets.


The bread and butter of Zipgrade is camera scanning multiple choice answer sheets. You can download and use their 20, 50, or 100 question “scantrons” (or create your own) and have them instantly graded by the app on your phone.

It does scan rapidly one after the other on the same screen.

The app gives you item analysis for each question. You can grade 100 papers per month for free. Unlimited grading access is only $7 a year.

Timeline Tools

It’s time to take your timeline to the next level with these amazing tools.


Examine this Tiki-toki timeline and take a trip down my memory lane. Witness all of the times that Mr. Brown moved while growing up until he landed here in North Texas. This timeline was simple to make and include images. It takes all of the information you input and forms it into an interactive timeline.


Knightlab Timeline


TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet.

To make my timeline example I started with the green Make a timeline button pictured above.
https://timeline.knightlab.com/docs/using-spreadsheets.html Well I never got this to work….. Let me know if you do. Maybe it was down today.

Writing Ideas

Here are a few ideas to incorporate writing in a more fun and engaging way.


OverType Typewriter simulator is fun for students to experience the old school typing process of yester year. It is a great reminder to us older folks how awesome the technology we have now really is and how much we take it for granted. It really is a challenge to use with our modern typing style. The sound effects are a big deal also.

Try to interpret that


Typewritesomething.com is a much easier to use tool and will be a lot less frustrating. The experience isn’t as authentic but still fun.


Looking to challenge your students with some larger writing assignments? yWriter6 might be a tool worth trying to better organize and improve their ideas.


Insert a “poet and didn’t even know it” joke here then have your students create their poetry in Canva. They can use all kinds of fonts, styles, templates, backgrounds, images, and more. Below is my own personal original creation as an example. It is an ode to our beagle puppy who has as many nicknames as he does bad habbits. Followed by another even lamer example.


Thanks to Mrs. Summers for this recommendation

Put this on the list of coolest EdTech Tools! Check out wordwall.net for some awesome activities. With Wordwall you can create any of these activities below for FREE. Once you create an activity you can apply that word set to any of the activity templates below. This looks like a really fun way to get your students reviewing content in multiple different engaging formats.

I made a Biology Example. I just went to Quizlet.com and downloaded a set of terms (that’s a great resource for you also). I then copy pasted those into the wordwall template in a few minutes.

With that Share button I can push this activity out to Google Classroom. Or get a link to share the activity with a colleague. Also notice that Switch Template option in the top right corner.

Multiple Choice Quiz
Game Show
Maze game

Anagram Scramble

Word bank matching
Word search of answer to the clues

There are even more options including printable available under a paid Pro Account. Which has plans from $6 to $9 a month.

Medal of Honor: Roy Benavidez

Here is a Google Docs activity that asks students to read an incredibly exciting article about Medal of Honor recipient Roy Benavidez. The assignment then asks students to answer several open ended questions in the space provided. This assignment is designed to be assigned digitally in Google Classroom but can easily be printed as well.

Things in a pond

Here is a Google Slides drag and drop activity. This can be completed together as a class teacher led on the board. It would work even better with an interactive SMART projector or board. It could also be assigned in Google Classroom for students to complete individually on a Chromebook.

PDF Resources

How do I…. with a PDF is a question I often get. Here are some great tools for completing nearly any PDF related task.

Smallpdf logo


You can use this tool to annotate, or add text /images to a pdf. You could also have students use this tool to complete a PDF assignment with the pencil tool, for example have them circle the correct answers. You won’t get submissions graded automatically but there might be instances where this is useful. Like for labeling a map or analyzing a chart or graph. This tool even walks you through using Google Translate to convert a PDF into other languages.

PDF to JPG converter - pdf2jpg.net

Need to convert a pdf to an image file to complete some important task. Here is a great free tool for that.





This is another do all pdf tool that is great for merging multiple pdf documents into one or doing the opposite and splitting a pdf into smaller pieces, maybe you just want one page from a packet to use. This tool lets you add a watermark to a pdf file, rearrange the pages of a pdf and of course convert other office files to pdfs.


Another PDF multitool that gives you free options to do the usual as well as cool things like extract an image from a PDF, as well as crop, rotate, and resize pages in a PDF. You can also use this tool to add a header or footer to a PDF.


Another option for you which works smoothly with Google Drive.

Google Classroom schedule ahead assignment for multiple classes

Ok, ok, As of right now there still is no built in 100% perfect way to just do this. However I did come across this workaround which might be of some value. I think it would be a little faster than reusing a post from the first class.

I did some research at the request of a teacher and tried to find an extension that would accomplish this but had no luck with that. If anyone ever finds one please let us know.


Google Chrome quick add to favorites bar

Here is a super simple tip that you and your students can use to quickly get back to a website. Did you know you can simply click and drag the little lock next to a web address onto your favorites bar to quickly bookmark something. I will use this trick often with a website I will be using a lot temporarily. I want it right there to get back to constantly and quickly. When I am done using it I right click on the link and delete it. You can of course also keep the shortcut if you need it.



Quilgo lets you put a timer on a Google Form as well as limit the time the form is available to be completed, for FREE. You can have up to 100 tests under the free account.

A paid account throws in the ability to access and monitor the testers web cam to verify who is staking the test and can also screen record the tester to ensure test security.

Best of all I tested this and it actually works. When the timer ran out on my “test” it closed out on me. Keep in mind that does mean if it is not completed and submitted with in the allotted time the work will be lost. If web camera is enabled it won’t let the tester access the test without a webcam, which school chromebooks do have.

Native American Heritage Day

Native American Heritage Day is a good opportunity to learn about other cultures and reinforce TEKS. There are quite a few TEKS that cover native American tribes, economics, beliefs, government, and more. TEKS from not just social studies but also fine arts and science.

ASTR.4A Research and describe the use of astronomy in ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Europeans, and the native Americans.

FA.M.4.b.5A perform a varied repertoire of songs, movement, and musical games representative of diverse cultures such as historical folk songs of Texas and Hispanic and American Indian cultures in Texas.

TXH4.1 The student understands the origins, similarities, and differences of American Indian groups in Texas before European exploration. The student is expected to:

TXH 4.1A Explain the possible origins of American Indian groups in Texas.

TXH4.1B Identify and compare the ways of life of American Indian groups in Texas before European exploration such as the Lipan Apaches, Karankawas, Caddos, and Jumanos.

TXH4.1C Describe the cultural regions in which American Indians lived such as Gulf, Plains, Puebloan, and Southeastern.

TXH 4.1D Locate American Indian groups remaining in Texas such as the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Alabama-Coushatta, and Kickapoo.

TXH 4.3D Describe the successes, problems, and organizations of the Republic of Texas such as the establishment of a constitution, economic struggles, relations with American Indians, and the Texas Rangers.

TXH 4.4D Explain the effects on American Indian life brought about by the Red River War, building of U.S. forts and railroads, and loss of buffalo.

TXH4.9A Explain the economic activities various early American Indian groups in Texas used to meet their needs and wants such as farming, trading, and hunting.

TXH 4.12A Compare how various American Indian groups such as the Caddo and the Comanche governed themselves.

USH5.2A Analyze the causes and effects of events prior to and during the American Revolution including the taxation resulting from the French and Indian War and the colonist response to taxation such as the Boston Tea Party.

USH5.4F Identify the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of people from various American Indian and immigrant groups such as the settlement of the frontier and building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

TXH7.2A Compare the cultures of American Indians in Texas prior to European colonization such as Gulf, Plains, Puebloan, and Southeastern.

TXH7.6A Identify significant individuals, events, and issues, including the factors leading to the expansion of the Texas frontier, the effects of westward expansion on American Indians, the buffalo soldiers, and Quanah Parker.

USH8.4A Analyze causes of the American Revolution, including the Proclamation of 1763, the Intolerable Acts, the Stamp Act, mercantilism, lack of representation in Parliament, and British economic policies following the French and Indian War.

USH8.5G Analyze the reasons for the removal and resettlement of Cherokee Indians during the Jacksonian era, including the Indian Removal Act, Worcester v. Georgia, and the Trail of Tears.

WH.15B Analyze the influence of human and physical geographic factors on major events in world history such as the development of river valley civilizations, trade in the Indian Ocean, and the opening of the Panama and Suez canals.

US.3A Analyze political issues such as Indian policies, the growth of political machines, and civil service reform.

US.9C Describe the roles of political organizations that promote African American, Chicano, American Indian, and women’s civil rights.

US.22B Evaluate various means of achieving equality of political rights, including the 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments and congressional acts such as the American Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

US.25B Describe the Americanization movement to assimilate immigrants and American Indians into American culture.

SOC.11D Analyze the varying treatment patterns of minority groups such as African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and American Indian.

Here is an activity about the connections between Mythology and Astronomy in Native American cultures.

Here is an Edpuzzle activity about Comanche music.

An interesting reading article for secondary in Google Docs which could be pushed out through Google Classroom. You could follow this with a class discussion or a writing activity.

Here is an lesson set from the National Parks Service about the Trail of Tears

Learn about traditions of the Caddo tribe from a Caddo girl named Olivia.

Learn about the Tigua Tribe.

Learn about the Caddo tribe.

Learn about the Kickapoo tribe.