1. SetImageSize is a must have add-on for Google Docs. Recently while planning together with Gail Moore we were discussing the hold outs for transitioning completely from Microsoft Office to Google. Even though we are both Google Certified Teachers there are still times we find ourselves pulling up Microsoft Word. The one thing that was a "bug-a-boo" for us is that we could not set the size of an image to EXACTLY what we wanted in Docs. Until now. SetImageSize is just we needed. Now you can set the image size by pixels and not have to worry about the drag handles.
2. Speaking of certified, our own Teresa Howell, math teacher at Monelison, has just earned her Google Trainer Certification. Last summer, Teresa, Gail and I all got our Level 2 Google Teacher Certifications. Teresa decided to go one step further to see if she could qualify for Trainer. She is the only one in this area!! Way to go, Teresa! We are so proud of you! If you are interested in working through any of the certifications, please reach out to Teresa, Gail, or myself. We will be more than happy to help!
3. Google Forms is a great way to post a daily warm-up. It is no secret by now that ACPS is hoping to move completely to Google. We even hope that one day our students will be 1-1 Chromebooks. That will take awhile but that is the dream. I read many blogs from teachers who are already 1-1 and I stumbled upon this great blog from Alice Keeler about how she posts a daily warm-up using Google Forms. She created one form that the students use daily and posts her questions on a Google Doc or Slide. Please check out her blog post for more details and I would love to help you with this!
4. This site has some great printable game boards that can be used for review. Can you believe that we only have about another month and a half for instruction? Starting in March we will be doing nine week benchmarks through April. Then comes Spring Break followed by SOLs in May. Many teachers are already planning review activities. Maybe a board game is just what the kids need? Try putting these into a Google Slide or Draw and students could play on an IPad or a Chromebook.
5. Friday at the Movies - Neesha
Facebook has a series of short videos on their YouTube channel which are great story starters. Check out Neesha. This short vid shows a great deal about her life in India yet she isn't connected to the Internet. Perhaps your students could compose a list of questions they would like to know about after watching this. Perhaps they could write a diary journal after researching about something they see in the video. Older elementary and middle schoolers may want to create a fake Facebook page for Neesha. Or maybe a persuasive letter to Verizon or another internet company asking for them to provide service for Neesha. This would also be a wonderful Internet Safety review. She the video and then discuss what advice they would offer Neesha if she ever gets connected to the net.
YouTube is one of my favorite go-tos for instructional resources! Check out this sweet video.
1. As awesome as Chromebooks are, they are on their way to getting even better. One of the complaints Google has been hearing is that users want Chromebooks to be able to run Android apps. Even though Google already has a TON of apps, it listened. Some of the newest Chromebooks now can run any Android app. PLUS! Some of the older models of Chromebooks will have updates scheduled during 2017 which will allow them to run Android apps. To see if you have a Chromebook which will run Android or are scheduled to have an update which will allow you to run Android, check here.
2. I recently stumbled across a very cool tool called EDpuzzle. Nope! This is not a jigsaw puzzle creator. This tool that allows you to add your voice and text questions to educational videos. On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and or upload your own videos to use as the basis of your lesson. EDpuzzle has an online classroom component that you can use to assign videos to students and track their progress through your video lessons.
3. School House Chalk is a new site that was created by Grand Canyon University which in recent years has been emerging as a front runner for training educators in using digital tools for best practice integration. Gail Moore completed a Masters at Grand Canyon! School House Chalk is totally free and provides strategies as well as interactives and tools.
4. Coding, coding, coding! The word is everywhere! Very soon the Virginia Department of Education will expect coding to be a part of every classroom, every subject. Gail and I have been working on how to correlate coding with our curriculum. One of the ways that has been the most fun for students is with Bee-Bot or Colby Jack, the mouse-bot. We have several ideas and would love to share them with you! Each of the robots is very economical. Bee-Bot is $89 and Colby Jack is about $30. The difference is that Bee-Bot is rechargeable and Colby Jack is battery operated. We have used these with students PK-5 with positive comments from everyone. Some of my students even shared that they asked Santa for a Bee-Bot for Christmas and these were students in the upper elementary grades. I would LOVE to see what the middle schoolers think of them! If you would like to see what either of these robots are like, please let me know and I can schedule a visit from my little coding buddies!
5. Friday at the Movies - This is one of my students favorite songs!
1. The IPEVO Interactive whiteboard that I have been demo-ing has been a hit whether or not it was with little people or bigger ones. Yesterday, while at Monelison, I had some middle school kids come in who even thought it was cool! You all know how hard it is to impress a middle schooler with technology.
IPEVO is an amazing company which strives to keep technology affordable. They have set up a Wishpool site for teachers. Each month they give away one of their products for free to teachers just for the asking. Well, they use to give it to every teacher just for the asking. They still try to give away as many as possible. All you have to do is register on the site and then watch each month to see what they are giving away. If you see something that you think can be used in your classroom, just submit a paragraph explaining what you want and how it wil be used. Hopefully, you will be one of the lucky ones!
2. Google Classroom just got better! As of this week, Classroom makes it a lot easier for teachers to assign work to individual students and groups based on their unique needs. As they’re creating an assignment, post or question, teachers can choose whether to share it with the entire class or just with a subset of students. You can check out Google's blog to read more about these updates.
3. Google slides is a perfect tool to use for a pixel art project! Linked here is a Google Slide show that reinforces place value. Students first solve the problems and then shade those numbers in on the table on the following slide. These can be created for just about any content. If you want to work on some together, please let me know!
4. National Parks and Services offers a free tour of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birth home. Your class can read about family life for insight into Dr. King's childhood and the influences he had as a child.
5. Friday At the Movies - How an Igloo Keeps You Warm is a new video from It's Okay To Be Smart. The video does a great job of explaining how an igloo provides insulation and stays relatively warm when people are inside it. The video also explains the engineering concepts used in the creation of a strong and warm igloo. Too, here is a site that provides the instructions for creating an igloo out of milk jugs. This would make an great STEAM activity for those early finishers and when it is all done, it makes the perfect reading nook!
1. Google has a new simple to use app for 1 to 1 video calling on your mobile called Duo. This is available for both android and IOS although it is easier to use its Knock-Knock feature on android. This is not an app meant to replace a video-conference call. This is a one to one tool. I am still trying to get my family to install. I did manage to talk my sister into installing!
2. Wonderful resource for Internet Safety Lessons called Mr. Young's Bouncy "A" Activities. These span PK to ealy middle school. I will add this to our portal. By the way, don't forget you can access our portaportal off the Amherst website. You can find it on the staff page or here is the direct link: https://guest.portaportal.com/internet.safety
3. Photomath is an app I really wish I had in high school! This is one to share with your own kids. All you do is point your phone at an equation and the app solves it for you. It even shows you the steps on how it is solved.I LOVE IT! It is available for both android and IOS.
4.. Room recess is a site with educational games. The site was and is maintained by a teacher. He is constantly adding new games for ELA, math, keyboarding. These gamies will also work on IOS and android devices.
Friday at the movies - This is another one of my favorites! As we are beginning the second half of our year let's celebrate what our children are becoming and not what is coming at them.
Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools, located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus, I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler