1. I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW THIS WEEKEND! For a while now I have been thinking that there had to be a way to declutter my STREAM view in my classroom. So while I was working on a classroom I am creating to help folks earn their Google Level 1 Certification, I hunted for a means to do just that and finally had to reach out to our two Google Trainers in Amherst. And of course, because we have the best of the best, one of the was able to help me out. Thanks, Jennifer! So now I have created a Cheat Sheet so that you can clean up your STREAM as well! Just click on my image for a printable copy.
2. I also explored the new Priority and Work Space views in G-Suite. I love this and now have it as my default view when I open up Drive. This way it keeps the important files right at your fingertips. Here is a quick video I did to explain Priority View.
3. Years ago I worked with a wonderful Kindergarten teacher who lamented the fact that it was difficult to find digital math manipulatives. So I created some for her. I now have these on my drive and am sharing the folder with you . Once you have these files you can click on an image, copy, and then paste it into a document of your own so that you can use these in games, digital worksheets, etc. Click on the image to get to the folder.
4. Are you looking for STEAM resources for your classroom that correlate with the Standards of Learning? Have you checked your Clever portal yet? Go to the Amherst County Public Schools home page and locate Clever on the left. Open it with your Google logon and then find an application called EMedia. EMedia has reading articles, videos and even simulations that all support our standards. This would be a great place to pull in resources for your blended classroom!
5. Friday at the Movies - I have had lots of folks asking me about Maker Spaces and why are they important. Here is a great video that not only explains what they are but gives some suggestions for integrating them.
1. I saw this posted on a FB wall and just had to steal: "It's a Google World and we are just teaching in it." With that being said, today I would like to show you some Google search tricks I have picked up over the past couple of years. Most of these came either from my son or a student.
2. Here is a suggestion for writing. Help you students create a Blogger account. Blogger is not part of G-Suite but it is a partner with Google and your students can sign in with their Google user name and password. Years ago when I was in the classroom, my 3rd grade students were given permission to blog. Student get really excited to be writing for the real world. And you can set the privacy so that only certain people see the blogs.
3. Want the kiddos to play a game on a topic? Use this template to do so. This is not mine; it belongs to a person I follow on Twitter by the name of Alice Keeler. I love how she coded the slide show so that there are "dice" rolls available. Notice the word "dice" beside the word Help in the tool bar. Click here for your copy of this template.
4. Want to combine STEAM with reading? Try reading The Recess Queen by Alexis O’ Neill and then have the students work together to build a prototype of a the perfect playground.
5. Friday at the Movies - In honor of that Full Harvest Moon we had last Friday.
1. Google sells its very own interactive whiteboard. The issue is that it costs a great deal of money. You can read about the Jamboard here. Although the board itself is expensive, the good news is that the software that accompanies the board is free! The software is not nearly as strong as Smart's software but when I was messing around with it, I thought back to Microsoft's free paint program that it bundles on all its computers. This would be a great way to allow new Chromebook learners (I was thinking of our PK-ers and kinders.) Try it out and if you think of any great ideas for out older learners, please post them in the comments below. Jamboard can be accessed here.
2.. This week a colleague lamented that she missed the snipping tool on her Chromebook. Again, this is a program that Microsoft installs on all its machines. There is a way to snip on Chromebooks too! If you want to print the entire screen you need to hold he control key + the switch window key at the same time. A screen shot will be sent to your downloads file. To take just a partial screen shot, hold down the shift key = the control key + the switch window key at the same time. The cursor will turn into cross-hairs and you can click and drag around a portion of the screen to "snip it."
3. I created this document to help support place value lessons. This is based on a Montessori lesson I saw years ago in a colleague's kindergarten classroom. Feel free to click on the image to get your copy of the document.
4. I am so excited and am asking you to mark your calendars for March 3rd. Amherst County is hosting its very first division wide STEAM night. The theme of the night will be space. After all, learning has no boundaries! You will hear more about the evening as we get closer to the date. In the meantime, I am asking that you save and bring me some large boxes. I would like to build some photo booths and am planning to get some students to help. You can bring the boxes to the school STEAM/computer labs
5. Friday at the Movies - You know how much I love the Floppotron!!
1. Educators hate reinventing the wheel , that's why this tip that I have come across will be worth a million. You have put a great deal of thought into how you want to organize and set up your Google Classroom; and, it 's a pain to have to created and organize several classes. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could have a template for our Google Classrooms? Well guess what? We can! All you need to do is navigate to your Classroom dashboard, choose the class you want to copy. Click on the three dots you see in the right hand corner of the classroom icon and then choose copy. Before you do this you may be asking exactly what will copy and what will not. I found that items that will copy are the title of the class (you can change this afterwards), the section if you have noted one, the description of the classroom, the topics, and the course subject. Also, any assignments, questions, and quizzes will also be copied as drafts with no due date. You will have to go back in and edit these as you wish and schedule them to be posted. Things that do not copy over are students, co-teachers, teacher announcements, and any student posts on assignments and questions. Please feel free to reach out to your ITRT if you need help in setting up your perfect classroom and copying it.
2. Years ago Amherst had access to a tool called Inspiration. With budget cuts and upgrades of computer systems we lost that tool. When we moved to using Thinking Maps as a division, I often grieved the loss of Inspiration. I can stop grieving now as I have stumbled across a great tool that would make it easier for students to digitally create Thinking Maps using technology that Amherst Veteran Teachers will recognize closely resembles our old Inspiration software. The best part is that this FREE tool can store the maps of the students in their Google Drives!
3. As I was thinking about a Google doc idea that I wanted to share with you this week I was browsing through my resources and came across an online site that I had bookmarked. I pulled up this AMAZING site that has tons of hyperdocs. I am linking the page with the literature hyperdocs. Please browse this site and let your ITRT know if you would like to download one of these and tweak it to fit the needs of your classroom.
4. STEAM is not merely about engineering or making. STEAM is all about problem solving in creative means by combining the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art, or math. One idea is to bring literature into your math class. At this time of year we are focusing on place value. Here are some books you can begin with. All of these books can be found on Amazon. When you are finished reading, have your students show what they know by using life size base 10 blocks. Here is a site that shows you how to make them. So cool! BTW, the site that shows you how to make these blocks is geared for kindergarten. Please do not let that throw you. The hands on strategy can be used in any elementary grade.
5. Friday at the Movies - I really enjoyed Dr. Hodge's message at Convocation. I enjoyed it so much that I went to YouTube to see if he had uploaded it at some point in time. I found others that he had uploaded. This is one that I truly enjoyed.
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